It’s a day early for a Friday Funny, but any time the Seattle City Council takes up budget matters, it is certain to generate laughs – as long as they aren’t spending your money.
Yesterday’s hearing on next year’s city budget produced plenty of laughs, however unintended by the clown show that is the Seattle City Council.
One particularly humorous moment was the description of one spending item – to take city bonding authority away from rebuilding the North Precinct Police HQ and put it towards so-called affordable housing. According to the liberal blog Publicola, “in a memo to the mayor’s budget director calling the $29 million item “modest,” council members Sally Bagshaw, Lisa Herbold, Rob Johnson, Mike O’Brien, and Kshama Sawant, the co-sponsors of the affordable housing add on, said their proposal would have “a minimal impact on funding allocated” for the North Precinct.”
To liberals, using 2.5% of the city’s budget on one new line item is “modest” and will have “minimal impact” on the city’s ability to fund other priorities, like public safety. What a hoot!
Also, as Shift pointed out yesterday, the council was considering a tax-per-employee for businesses, to fund a city agency created to fund “community” (read: union) groups to harass businesses. However, PubliCola reports that at the last minute, one of the council rookies, Rob Johnson, got cold feet, and voted against the new tax.
He did, however, promise to support it in the future, according to PubliCola: “Johnson, in fact, pledged to Herbold on the council dais yesterday that he’d support the idea in the future. ‘If we can’t get to that [an agreement by the first quarter of 2017] I commit to you council member Herbold that I will happily vote for a dedicated revenue stream in 2017 over opposition by business or labor. But I want to give us a little time to figure out if we can get that coalition together to agree on a revenue source.’ ”
What a profile in courage. Vote no today, but promise to raise taxes in the future after we have had some “outreach.”
As a final laugh line, the council decided to throw away more money on the failed bike-share program known as Pronto. Publicola pointed out that “the council approved $300,000 to keep Pronto, Seattle’s botched bike share system, running through the first quarter of 2017.”
What a funny way to treat taxpayer money, eh?