The Seattle City Council prepared for the holiday season by giving thanks for rising tax revenue and spending it all in a $5.6 billion-dollar budget for next year that increases spending on homelessness to record levels. As the Seattle Times noted, the “mayor proposed that the city spend a record of about $59 million next year to combat the city’s homelessness crisis, up from nearly $50 million this year.”
But even that wasn’t enough for the Council, as the ultra-liberals “tacked on another several million dollars for human services. The funds will help open a new shelter, extend hours at an existing shelter and provide lockers and a Portland Loo-style restroom, a solar-powered sustainable urban toilet, for people living on the street.”
Making Seattle a beacon for street people looking for a friendly locale required that the Council actually cut spending in one area – on the failed bike-share Pronto program. Despite a push by Councilman Mike O’Brien to increase bike spending by $1 million, “Pronto is pedaling into the sunset. The council chopped $300,000 off the beleaguered bike-share system’s 2017 operating budget and set a March deadline for the money to be used.”
The budget debate was fairly muted, with little real disagreement among the Council members, However, showing that she can’t resists calling attention to herself, the Times did note that “Councilmember Kshama Sawant cast a symbolic vote against the overall package after voting for specific changes. She said more should be done for poor people.”
For Socialist Sawant, even though the city is planning to spend a half-billion more dollars next year than this year, there is never enough to share with everybody.