Topic: Mayor Mike McGinn
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September 27, 2013 at 11:53 AM
The Seattle Police Department will hire 10 new police officers with a $1.25 million grant from the U.S. Department of Justice. Interim Police Chief Jim Pugel said the officers will be deployed into each of the city’s five precincts as part of SPD’s Community Police Team program.
Pugel said the new hires will patrol known crime “hot spots” and focus on long-term and chronic problems specific to individual neighborhoods.
Mayor Mike McGinn last week announced funding for 15 new officers in his proposed 2014 budget. Combined with 27 new officers authorized in 2013, the total number of new officers authorized since the end of 2012 is 52.
The U.S. Attorney for Western Washington, Jenny Durkan, said Seattle is one of five jurisdictions in the state to get the awards and it received the largest. The others are Auburn, Pierce County, Port Angeles and Sequim. The grants were made under the Community Oriented Policing Services (COPS) program, which supports neighborhood-policing plans.
“Every additional cop on the streets helps community safety. These grants focus on needs identified by communities,” Durkan said.
September 23, 2013 at 2:00 PM
Seattle Mayor Mike McGinn today submitted a proposed 2014 general fund budget to the City Council that, for the first time in four years, doesn’t make major cuts.
The improving economy translates into increased city revenues that the mayor said will allow him to add 176 employees next year after laying off almost 550 between 2010 and 2012.
The increasing revenue also allows the mayor to fund many popular programs in an election year. Over the past two weeks, McGinn has held an almost daily news conference to announce a new beneficiary of the city’s current largesse, including senior citizens, perschoolers and domestic-violence victims.
The $1 billion general fund budget includes money for 15 new police officers, an additional $2 million for road maintenance, $7 million for safety improvements around schools and $4 million to improve traffic flow downtown. It also shores up the city’s human services safety net, adding almost $1 million for homeless services, $450,000 for domestic violence services and half a million for early learning and child care.
“It’s a welcome change,” McGinn said. “It’s a lot more invigorating as mayor to talk about where we can invest rather than where we have to cut.”
The federal and state governments continue to slash funding for human services. Budget Director Beth Goldberg said that since 2010, the city has lost almost $33 million in social-service funding. Over that same period, the city has increased its own contribution almost $15 million to make up the difference, but hasn’t been able to restore all the programs. With additional revenue in 2014, the city will pay to keep a winter shelter and a women’s shelter open year round, increase hours at hygiene centers so they can remain open seven days a week, open a new shelter south of downtown and increase support for people living in their cars.
The mayor also added money for a new bicycle greenway parallel to 23rd Avenue in the Central District, pedestrian and bicycle facilities near the Northgate light rail station, and a new pedestrian crossing near the Montlake light rail station. The mayor also is proposing $3.2 million to improve the city’s transit network including planning and preliminary design of a ship canal crossing for a future light rail line and connecting the South Lake Union streetcar with the First Hill streetcar.
September 19, 2013 at 2:51 PM
The Seattle Police Officers’ Guild (SPOG) announced Thursday it is endorsing Sen. Ed Murray for mayor, snubbing Mayor Mike McGinn, who appeared to represent the interests of the rank and file when he fought the Department of Justice over the extent of police reform.
Guild President Sgt. Rich O’Neill said in a written statement, “Many view Seattle government as broken and dysfunctional. SPOG believes that in order to work on all the problems facing the city we need Ed Murray and his ability to unite all of the different groups for the common good.”
The union cited Murray’s legislative experience and expertise on civil rights, transportation, budgetary problems and public safety. It noted that Murray received the 2013 Legislator of the Year Award from the Council of Metropolitan Police and Sheriffs and the same award in 2009 from the Washington State Council of Police & Sheriffs for his work supporting public safety.
O’Neill said that Murray assured the guild he would make public safety his No.1 priority. “We need a Mayor that will stay focused on public safety!” O’Neill said in the statement.
Murray strategist Sandeep Kaushik said the campaign “appreciates the guild’s support. They were looking for leadership in the mayor’s office.”
McGinn campaign manager John Wyble said McGinn tried to strike a balance in the negotiations with the Department of Justice over sweeping reforms in the department, the cost to the city and the concerns of the city’s minority communities over use of force and bias.
“Reform is happening. The mayor fundamentally believes in police reform. Maybe the Guild was saying, ‘Let’s take a chance with somebody else,’ ” Wyble said.
September 17, 2013 at 1:13 PM
Seattle Mayor Mike McGinn will include funding for 15 additional police officers in his 2014 budget. At a morning news conference today, McGinn said those numbers are in addition to the officers he said, after the downtown shooting of a Metro bus driver in August, that he would add next year.
McGinn said the 42 new officers will be recruited in partnership with community groups to ensure they reflect the diversity of the city.
“People want to know their officers, they want to see their officers on the street,” the mayor said.
The number of Seattle police officers in service has fallen from 1,300 in the first quarter of 2011 to 1,233 in the second quarter of 2013, according to a staff analysis prepared by the City Council. Hiring was frozen in 2010 and 2011 because of city budget cuts. The numbers also have fallen because of retirements and officers leaving the force.
The Downtown Seattle Association in July called for hiring additional officers to address downtown crime. “In the year 2000, there were 2.24 officers for every 1,000 Seattle residents compared to just 2.07 for every 1,000 residents today,” a letter from the group said. It was signed by 40 downtown business and hospitality leaders.
The mayor also released a new Code of Ethics for the Police Department that new recruits will be required to study and sign. The code includes the pledge to treat people fairly and act in good faith, work toward racial and social justice for all, listen to what other people are saying, ask questions and consider their concerns, and reduce harm to communities and individuals.
September 16, 2013 at 2:05 PM
Seattle Mayor Mike McGinn called untreated mentally ill people on Seattle’s streets an emergency at a Monday news conference and called for increased funding for mental-health treatment beds.
McGinn said an effort to fund mental health services in the 2011 Legislature through repeal of an out-of-state sales tax exemption was defeated by business. The mayor called on the Seattle business community, which has been critical of his inaction on downtown crime, to help identify a funding source to support additional treatment beds.
“This is a longstanding issue for the city, the county and the state,” McGinn said, adding that he wanted people to feel safe downtown.
After the August shooting of a Metro bus driver by a man with mental-health and drug issues, McGinn said that violent crime downtown was down and criticized statistics in The Seattle Times showing that on four beats around Westlake Park, violent crime was relatively steady over the past five years with a notable spike in July.
Three days after the shooting, McGinn announced that he was directing an additional $400,000 for police-emphasis patrols through the end of the year, but that downtown was only one of several neighborhoods that would get the stepped-up enforcement.
August 15, 2013 at 4:39 PM
Mayor Mike McGinn today announced an additional $400,000 to extend summer police patrols through the end of the year in crime hot spots across the city’s five precincts. The money will buy about 180 extra officer hours per month, largely through overtime.
“We know people want to feel safe and secure in all of our neighborhoods, not just downtown,” McGinn said in a news conference at City Hall. He said precinct captains would identify problem areas through crime data and in response to the concerns of their communities.
The additional money comes from better-than-expected city revenues. The mayor suggested that the funding would be available again next year to continue the additional patrols.
The mayor also announced a pilot project to keep Cal Anderson Park on Capitol Hill lighted at night to help prevent crime. The city in June added two park rangers who divide their time between Cal Anderson and Occidental Park in Pioneer Square.
July 22, 2013 at 4:11 PM
The Seattle City Council voted unanimously Monday to spend money raised by school-zone traffic-camera tickets exclusively on road- and pedestrian-safety projects near schools.
Mayor Mike McGinn has also repeatedly said he wants to invest all those funds–which amounted to $3.3 million after the pilot program’s first six months–into road safety projects near schools. But he wanted that money to stay in the general fund so there would be more flexibility and accessibility when the city wanted to spend it, according to his spokesman, Robert Cruickshank.
As our story in today’s paper says, the separate fund the council established today would require every penny to be spent on operating and maintaining the cameras; safety education; and capital-improvement projects, such as repainted crosswalks, new sidewalks, lights and more camera installations.
Councilmember Nick Licata has said he wanted a separate fund to increase financial transparency for those skeptical of traffic cameras and to ensure the money is spent the way the city promised. He hopes the same can eventually be done with revenue generated by the city’s 31 red-light cameras.
Because of past difficulties in funding pedestrian-walkway improvements, Councilmember Richard Conlin said at today’s meeting that he sees the new fund as “an opportunity, not a restriction.”
Councilmember Tim Burgess said the fund could be used for Seattle Neighborhood Greenways projects as well as Safe Routes to Schools projects.
In school zones, when vehicles drive faster than 20 mph while yellow beacons are flashing, the cameras take a picture of the vehicle’s license plate. A traffic officer from the Seattle Police Department reviews the $189 citation before it’s mailed out to the owner of that vehicle.
McGinn wants some ticket revenue spent on installing nine new cameras next year at Bailey Gatzert Elementary on East Yesler Way, Dearborn Park Elementary on South Orcas Street, and Roxhill Elementary and Holy Family Parish School, both on Southwest Roxbury Street.
Eight existing school-zone cameras started catching speeders in December at school zones near Broadview-Thomson K-8 School on Greenwood Avenue North, near Thurgood Marshall Elementary on Martin Luther King Jr. Way South, Gatewood Elementary on Fauntleroy Way Southwest and Olympic View Elementary on Fifth Avenue Northeast.
To see how many times school-zone and red-light cameras have triggered citations at a specific location, check out our interactive map.
Preliminary data from the Seattle Police Department shows the average speed of people who were mailed citations was 30 mph. The data showed that 96 percent of those cited have not re-offended since the program started in December.
July 21, 2013 at 11:28 AM
Sunday Memo: Ed Murray’s UW job … Westneat talks with Mayor McGinn about Whole Foods … The Bite continues
Weather: Fog this morning will give way to a lovely day. Partly to mostly sunny, highs in the 70s. Here’s the forecast.
It’s good to be Ed Murray: State Sen. Ed Murray was hired by the University of Washington in 2009 at a time the school was being hit with budget cuts and layoffs. His one-year post has been extended repeatedly since, giving him a steady second paycheck while the Legislature is not in session. Read political reporter Jim Brunner’s story.
It’s work to get a job: Business reporter Amy Martinez looks at the competition for good jobs in the post-recession market. Read more about the strongest job sectors locally, the fast-growth job markets nationally, and personal stories about the hunt for a job.
What’s eating Mayor McGinn about Whole Foods: Columnist Danny Westneat talks with Seattle Mayor Mike McGinn about the mayor’s objections to Whole Foods coming to West Seattle. McGinn tells Westneat he is “setting a new standard here” in saying that the city will take a look at wages and benefits when a company wants public property for its project.
Bite of Seattle: Today is the last day of Bite of Seattle weekend at Seattle Center. Here is the full rundown for the weekend, including recommendations on what to sample. The Bite runs until 8 p.m.
Most-read stories on seattletimes.com:
June 17, 2013 at 2:35 PM
The leaders of the City Council Transportation and Budget Committees Monday said they would not recommend Mayor Mike McGinn’s funding request for study of a light rail crossing of the Ship Canal.
Instead, Councilmembers Tom Rasmussen and Tim Burgess said they would prioritize safety and maintenance projects in the city, including at East Marginal Way, where a bicyclist was killed recently, and Northeast 75th Street, the site of a horrific truck-vs.-pedestrian crash that left two people dead and two facing lengthy recoveries.
The council announcement came as the Budget Committee, chaired by Burgess, this week takes up a mid-year supplemental spending package. The council’s proposed transportation package reallocates some of the $7.5 million in savings from the Spokane Street Viaduct and 2013 debt service savings.
“Our proposal is intended to ensure every city dollar that goes to transportation will be spent to meet current critical safety, maintenance and transit needs,” Burgess said in a news release.
McGinn had sought half a million dollars to study a Ship Canal crossing for a light rail line from downtown to Ballard and another $300,000 to speed up a study of another light rail route up Eastlake to the University District.
May 17, 2013 at 12:04 PM
Seattle Mayor Mike McGinn joined other bicyclists for a ride down Dexter Avenue on Friday during Cascade Bicycle Club’s annual Bike to Work ride and rally to City Hall.
City of Seattle transportation planner and avid cyclist Eric Mamroth estimated 100 cyclists attended the rally. He said attendance in past years had been much greater, but attributed this morning’s turnout to the dreary weather. He said he attended today’s gathering to help promote the benefits of biking, adding that he hoped it would encourage others to start commuting by bike.
Tom Fucoloro writes the Seattle Bike Blog and rides his 1983 Nishiki International bicycle everywhere. He said he sold his car years ago after seeing it sitting unused for long stretches of time. He said he’s proud of the way Seattle has started to embrace bicycling, but said there is still a great deal of room for improvement.
“The percentage of people biking [to work] is growing every day,” Fucoloro said. “The city should invest in where they want to see transportation go in the future. If we want to see 10 percent of people bicycling, then it’s not unreasonable to put 10 percent of our transportation budget into bicycling.”
“There’s a lot of energy behind this,” Fucoloro said. “No matter what age you are, no matter how strong you are, you should be able to get around the city on a bicycle. And that’s a message that’s really appealing to people.”
The Bike to Work ride and rally is an annual event that coincides with Bike Week. Friday’s event was sponsored by F5, a Seattle-area tech company. It was coordinated by the Cascade Bicycle Club, a nonprofit organization that boasts over 15,000 members.
About The Today File
The Today File is a general news blog featuring real-time coverage of Seattle and the Northwest. It is reported by the news staff of The Seattle Times and edited by Assistant Metro Editor Nick Provenza.
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