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Councilmember Tim Burgess
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City View Newsletter

Volume 1, Issue 2  •  March 18, 2008
Newsletter Archives

Lobbyist Registration Passes 9-0

The City Council unanimously passed a new law yesterday requiring private sector paid lobbyists and government paid lobbyists to register with the city's Ethics and Elections Commission and report their activities. The law follows similar regulations currently in place in both King County and Washington State governments.  Seattle joins dozens of municipal governments aro+und the country to enact this open government sunshine law. I proudly co-sponsored this legislation introduced by Councilmember Nick Licata.

Tim Burgess

I blogged this past weekend about this legislation, especially about the misleading, and, I believe, seriously misguided opposition that came from a few neighborhood activists who would typically support this kind of legislation.

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Stone Way Bike Lane Victory

Tim Burgess In a major victory for those who favor promotion of multiple transportation options, and full implementation of the city's Bicycle Master Plan, the Seattle Department of Transportation has reversed itself and announced that they would complete reconfiguration of Stone Way between North 34th Street and North 40th Street, including bike lanes, in the Wallingford neighborhood. SDOT had previously reduced the number of lanes and applied bicycle shared lane markings (sharrows) on Stone Way, but only north of 40th Street.

This is a good example of bike advocates and others in the community staying engaged and using fact-based argumentation to advance their position. SDOT's own study showed that their original plan for the "complete streets" design from 34th Street to 47th Street was correct. Bravo to both the citizen activists who never lost their focus and passion, and to SDOT's leadership team who kept listening and allowed the facts to guide their final decision.

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Police Statistics in Context

I recently asked the police department to provide me with a statistical summary of their activities for 2007 compared to 2006 in terms of contacts with the public.  Here is a table that summarizes the big picture.




Percent Change From Previous Year

911 Calls Received




911 Officer Dispatches




Felony Arrests




Misdemeanor Arrests




Criminal Traffic Citations




Traffic Infraction Citations (Non-Criminal)




Officer Reported Use of Force Incidents




Source:  Seattle Police Department

It's interesting to note that the reporting of the most serious crimes (known as Part 1 crimes) in 2007 declined 13.7% compared to 2006. The decline in 911 calls and arrests follows a similar declining pattern, although not as steep. The increase in traffic citations is due largely to the new Aggressive Driving Team deployed in 2007. Reported incidents involving use of force declined significantly and outpaced the decline in felony and misdemeanor arrests.

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Seattle Center for 21stCentury

Seattle Center The Council was briefed again yesterday afternoon on the sweeping plans for redevelopment of Seattle Center. Take a look yourself! The plan is not only sweeping, it's stunning. More open space, more entertainment and food options, more family-friendly spaces, and an intriguing modification of Memorial Stadium. The stadium will continue to meet the needs of the school district for athletic events, but will also become a dual-use facility that can accommodate concerts and festivals, or, when not being used for specific events can serve as a large open space, which I'll call the "Memorial Green."

The issue the Council must wrestle with now is how to fund the improvements and when. There has been talk of a special levy measure for the November election. The plan carries a whopping $676 million price tag in 2007 dollars over the next 20 years. But not all of that will be from public funds. Center officials anticipate that a combination of public and private funds will be used to fully execute the plan.

The last Seattle Center master plan was developed in 1990 and has cost $700 million since then, about 63% of it paid for with private dollars ($440 million).

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