Police chief candidates
Four leading prospects have emerged in the search for Seattle's next top cop. They include previously identified Kathleen O'Toole, a former Boston police commissioner, Elk Grove (California) Chief Robert Lehner and two Arizonans: Mesa Police Chief Frank Milstead and Patrick Melvin, chief of the Salt River Pima-Maricopa Indian Community Police Department. KIRO Radio reporter Brandi Kruse broke the top four list; Mayor Ed Murray actually linked to her story in a blog post. The same post in which his chief search committee co-chairs, Ron Sims and Pramila Jayapal, said they hadn't wanted the names of any candidates to get out this early in the search process. Murray isn't expected to make a choice until mid-May.
Police reform recommendations
Seattle's Community Police Commission, created as part of the city's police reform plan, today released an initial set of 55 recommendations for creating greater police accountability. The recommendations include not allowing training to be used as a substitute for disciplinary action, setting time limits for the police chief's final decisions on any disciplinary actions against officers and for any appeals to be resolved. Those issues were front and center during the Murray administration's clunky handling of seven disciplinary actions against SPD officers: The administration overturned all seven before reinstating one in the face of media reports.
The commission will release recommendations for structural reforms later. For now, Commission leaders warned City Hall not to pick off parts of the current package without considering the whole. Obviously, they know how City Hall likes to work.
Seattle Transit initiative
4:45 p.m. A group calling itself Friends of Transit filed a ballot measure today that would raise up to $155 million in property taxes over six years to protect most bus service in Seattle from threatened Metro Transit cuts. Group leader Ben Schiendelman said, "This is the most progressive tax option we have available to us, and we should use it. Seattle residents have repeatedly shown they will approve a levy lift for the things they care about, and we know they care deeply about their buses." The measure must be reviewed by the City Clerk's Office before signature gathering begins.
A first-look analysis of voting patterns by Crosscut's Benjamin Anderstone shows that the failed countywide Proposition 1 for transit did extremely well in the city but bombed elsewhere, including on the Eastside. Metro has a draft plan to make a first round of cuts in September.
Amazon to shippers: Love us or lose us?
Amazon is making deliveries with its own trucks in San Francisco, Los Angeles and New York. It's a test — and not a total surprise: As a Wall Street Journal article notes, Jeff Bezos telegraphed the development in his annual letter to shareholders when he noted the company making its own deliveries in the United Kingdom, and promised more innovationis on the way. It's likely, says the Journal, that Amazon would continue to use UPS, FedEx and the like for some shipments, no matter how the delivery tests go. But, hey, if you spy Amazon trucks dropping off something other than groceries around town, shoot an email to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Flood at awful spot: State Archives
Workers arriving at the State Archives in Olympia on Friday found a nightmare scenario: water pouring into the main research room and offices and seeping through the floor onto hundreds of bound volumes containing paper marriage records and other materials from Southwest Washington. "Water is the worst enemy for archives and paper records," says deputy archivist Terry Badger. Fortunately, the first worker arrived early enough (7 a.m.) to avert archival disaster. “In a way, we were lucky," Badger said in a statement distributed by the Secretary of State's Office. "If the water had run all weekend, no telling how much damage it would have done.”
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