Archive for 'Councilmember Burgess'
This morning my committee passed legislation that encourages and affirms the important role of public employee whistleblowers. The most important part of the bill moves the investigation of retaliation claims from the Mayor’s office to the independent Seattle Ethics and... [Full Post]
Posted: December 4th, 2013 under Councilmember Burgess.
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: 12/4/2013
Council committee strengthens City whistleblower code
Legislation encourages whistleblowing, enhances protections from retaliation
SEATTLE – The City Council’s Government Performance and Finance Committee voted unanimously this morning to pass legislation that encourages and affirms the important role of public employee whistleblowers. The bill expands the definition of whistleblowers and moves the investigation of retaliation claims from the Mayor’s office to the independent Seattle Ethics and Elections Commission (SEEC).
"Public service is a high calling and we must hold ourselves to high standards," said Councilmember Tim Burgess, chair of the committee and former Ethics and Elections Commission Chair. "By clarifying employee rights, responsibilities and protections, we allow City employees to proudly serve the public interest without fear of retaliation."
Last updated in 1994, the current whistleblower code directs an employee to report retaliation to the Mayor’s office, which can then ask the employee’s department—often the original alleged retaliator—to investigate. Shifting the investigatory responsibilities to the independent SEEC strengthens confidentiality protections and the integrity of the investigation.
"This bill represents a significant step to protect public servants who report improper government action," said Bill Sherman, Chair of the Ethics and Elections Commission. "It will result in a more effective City government and a better workplace."
The legislation changes the definition of a whistleblower to include employees who are perceived to have reported improper governmental activity. It also gives protection from retaliation if they try to report improper action first within their departments rather than the SEEC.
Furthermore, the legislation expands the remedies available to employees should they prove retaliation, including emotional distress damages of up to $20,000. Employees who have submitted a timely and sufficient complaint to the SEEC may also file a civil action in court should their position as a whistleblower lead them to not trust the City’s administrative process.
The legislation will be considered for final adoption by the Full Council on Monday, December 9.
[View in Council Newsroom]
Posted: December 4th, 2013 under Councilmember Burgess, News Releases.
The following article was sent out in my City View Newsletter, which you can sign up to receive here. Yesterday afternoon the Council unanimously approved the City’s 2014 budget. Many changes lay ahead for your City government (a new mayor,... [Full Post]
Posted: November 26th, 2013 under Councilmember Burgess.
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: 11/25/2013
Councilmember Tim Burgess
Councilmember Burgess' statement on final passage of 2014 budget
SEATTLE - City Councilmember Tim Burgess, chair of the Council's Budget Committee, issued the following statement tod... [Full Post]
Posted: November 25th, 2013 under Councilmember Burgess, News Releases.
Tags: Budget, Burgess
After taking input from residents around the city, the Council’s Budget Committee recommended late yesterday a City budget package for 2014. We prioritized funding for enhanced public safety and improved management of the Police Department, early education services for our... [Full Post]
Posted: November 19th, 2013 under Councilmember Burgess.
A new public opinion poll released yesterday shows very strong support for a publicly funded, voluntary preschool program for Seattle’s three and four year olds. I believe this confirms Seattle’s compassionate commitment to children and universal high-quality education. The poll... [Full Post]
Posted: October 22nd, 2013 under Councilmember Burgess.
As we move through October, the Council continues its diligent review of the Mayor’s proposed 2014 City budget. Next week we will meet to hear from the Council’s central staff analysts who will identify issues in various department budgets for... [Full Post]
Posted: October 18th, 2013 under Councilmember Burgess.
I joined Councilmembers Bruce Harrell and Jean Godden on the October edition of the Seattle Channel's City Inside/Out. The video premieres tonight at 7:30 p.m., but is available online now: [Full Post]
Posted: October 8th, 2013 under Councilmember Burgess.
A quick nod to the University of Washington, which was just ranked the 25th best university in the world by the (London) Times Higher Education. The rankings also affirmed the university's leadership in the fields of health and science. With... [Full Post]
Posted: October 3rd, 2013 under Councilmember Burgess.
October means it's city budget time. The City Council will hold two public hearings this month to receive comments and concerns about the proposed 2014 City budget. The Council received the Mayor’s 2014 budget proposal last week and we have... [Full Post]
Posted: October 1st, 2013 under Councilmember Burgess.