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    Archive for 'Councilmember Burgess'

    Some Good News About State Prisons

    The following article was sent out in my City View Newsletter, which you can sign up to receive here. The state’s Department of Corrections (DOC) has been in the news a lot recently because of the data errors over prisoner…

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    Real Police Response Time Figures by Precinct

    The Council’s public safety committee was briefed yesterday on police department response times to high priority 911 calls. It was refreshingly transparent and candid. The briefing was prompted by an article in The Seattle Times on January 2 that contrasted…

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    Seattle’s Clean Water Supply

    I’ve been reading about the city of Flint, Michigan, where local, state, and federal government agencies utterly failed to protect its population from lead in its water supply. When that city switched its water supply to the Flint River, it…

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    The Confusion Surrounding Encampments

    Once again, our city is struggling with how to best respond to the very real crisis of unsheltered people living outdoors in unauthorized encampments. The “One Night Count” on January 29, an annual survey of the homeless population, is sure…

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    Maintaining the Rental Housing Market: Regulating Short Term Rentals

    Left unchecked, there is concern that online rental platforms, like Airbnb and VRBO, just might provide enough financial incentives to cause homeowners to switch long-term rentals to short-term vacation rentals. The number of short-term rentals available through these platforms has…

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    City to Celebrate Martin Luther King, Jr. with ‘Unity’ Events

    FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: 1/13/2016

    City to Celebrate Martin Luther King, Jr. with ‘Unity’ Events

    Mayor, Council and Community to Celebrate MLK with Workshops, Musical Performances

    SEATTLE – Mayor Ed Murray, Council President Bruce A. Harrell and members of the Seattle City Council, along with community leaders, and City employees, invite the public to celebrate Dr. King’s legacy, and to live out his vision, by participating in the second annual Martin Luther King Day Celebration at Seattle City Hall.

    Thursday’s all-day event will include exhibits, workshops, remarks from the Mayor, Councilmembers and the City Attorney, as well as a reading by the City’s first-ever Civic Poet, and musical performances.

    The event is free and the public is welcome to attend.

    WHAT: Martin Luther King, Jr. ‘Unity’ Events

    WHEN:  7:15 a.m. – 2:00 p.m. (NOTE: A complete schedule of events is available ONLINE)

    Selected highlights include:

    • 8:30 – 10:55 a.m. Workshop Presenters -Former Assistant Superintendent Erin Jones and Gerald Hankerson, NAACP Director 
    • 11:15 a.m. Walter Kilgore Memorial Color Guard – US National Anthem / Black National Anthem Medley presented by Pat Wright, Seattle’s First Lady of Gospel
    • Remarks by Honorary Chair Mayor Edward Murray, Council President Bruce A. Harrell, Councilmember Tim Burgess, City Attorney Pete Holmes and Former Assistant Superintendent Erin Jones
    • Emcee Isiah Anderson,CaptainJohn Hayes (Seattle Police Department), and featuring the City’s Civic Poet Claudia Castro Luna
    • Key Note Speaker – Director Stephan Blanford, Seattle Public Schools
    • Introduction of Musical Guest Josephine Howell

    The celebration will close with music by Gabriel Teodros, D.J. Sureal.

    WHERE: City Hall, 600 4th Avenue, Seattle, WA

    WHO: Elected officials, community leaders and the public

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    Seattle City Council meetings are cablecast live on Seattle Channel 21, HD Channels 321 Comcast, 721 Wave and on the City Council’s website. Copies of legislation, Council meeting calendar, and archives of news releases can be found on the City Council website. Follow the Council on Twitter,Facebook and on Flickr.

    [View in Council Newsroom]

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    Sustainable Retirement Plan Saves Taxpayers $200 Million Over 30 Years

    The City Council unanimously approved legislation yesterday afternoon that will lead to a new defined benefit retirement plan for City employees. The plan is expected to save the City $200 million over the next 30 years. This new retirement plan…

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    Council Approves Sustainable City Employee Pension Program, Saves Taxpayers $200 Million Over 30 Years

    FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: 1/11/2016

    Council Approves Sustainable City Employee Pension Program, Saves Taxpayers $200 Million Over 30 Years

    SEATTLE – Council unanimously approved legislation today that will lead to a new defined benefit retirement plan for City employees expected to save the City $200 million over the next 30 years. The legislation, Council Bill 118604, implements a new collective bargaining agreement with four City labor unions that includes the new pension program alongside salary adjustments and other changes.

    The retirement plan, called Seattle City Employees’ Retirement System (SCERS) II, will be available for new employees hired on and after January 1, 2017.  The new retirement system benefits better align with other public agencies in the Puget Sound region and were developed collaboratively with City labor unions.

    “This new retirement plan is a win-win-win,” said Councilmember Tim Burgess, Chair of the City’s Retirement Board. “We’ve managed to retain a defined benefit pension system, which will help attract top talent to City agencies. Employees will contribute less from their salary, which means more money in their pockets now. And, over time, the City will save hundreds of millions of taxpayer dollars.”

    Following the 2008 recession, the City’s retirement system faced financial challenges after experiencing a 26.8% loss. In 2011, a City Council-sponsored report defined the challenges facing the system and offered alternatives to ensure the future sustainability of the system.

    “We will maintain a strong defined benefit plan for our retirees, while ensuring that our pension system will be sustainable over the long term,” said Mayor Ed Murray. “City employees’ commitment to public service means they often make far less than they would in the private sector. We reached agreement with our union partners to generate substantial savings for the taxpayer, while also compensating our employees with a stable pension for their lifetime of work.”

    The plan approved today is structured similarly to the current retirement plan, SCERS I, and will still provide an adequate retirement benefit to employees. Both employees and the City will contribute less to the program.  Currently the City and its employees contribute 15.8% of payroll to fund the benefits earned during the year.  In the new plan the contribution will drop to 11.9% of payroll.

    “We’re saving money, ensuring a healthy retirement system going forward, and providing competitive benefits for our employees,” added Councilmember Burgess. “I’m grateful for the collaborative effort by the Mayor, Council and the City’s labor unions to reach this outcome.”

    [View in Council Newsroom]

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    2016 Inauguration Remarks

    This week I was honored to be sworn in for a third term to the Seattle City Council. You can watch my speech here, or read my speech below: Thank you, Joleen, Elisabeth and Katharine. I’d also like to recognize…

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    Superior Court Upholds Gun Violence Tax

    This afternoon King County Superior Court Judge Palmer Robinson issued an order upholding the City’s gun violence tax. A copy of the ruling is available here. We established the gun violence tax as a legitimate and appropriate way to raise…

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