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    The Daily Troll: Police chief names leak out. One recipe for police reform. Seattle transit plan filed.

    Amazon to deliver more than groceries. Water and State Archives: a bad combination.

    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 editor@crosscut.com.

    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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    Posted Sat, Apr 26, 7:59 a.m. Inappropriate

    Does anyone associated with this "Seattle property tax for county buses" initiative read Crosscut?

    Let's identify the lawyers who drafted it and reviewed it before it was filed. That matters. Just look at all of Eyman's initiatives with the constitutional flaws.

    Of course, maybe my assumption that these bus fanboys used lawyers is incorrect.

    Is this initiative just a DIY job? Maybe it is nothing but the scribblings of dilettantes -- lawyer wannabes who want lots of late-night buses to haul them around.


    Posted Mon, Apr 28, 9:30 a.m. Inappropriate

    I am curious about how this would work, myself. The city itself would levy a property tax that would put $25.8 million a year into a county department's budget. Would that money only be used on routes that serve the city itself, or would it just be a contribution to Metro's general budget that they could use however they see fit? Does it target particular routes/schedules to save?


    Posted Mon, Apr 28, 9:54 a.m. Inappropriate

    Here's how it works – you can see what would happen by trying to figure out what happens to all the Seattle-only property tax revenue that already is funneled to King County: it disappears, and is used for countywide administrative expenses.

    Seattle already pays big money to King County, supposedly for more bus service:

    Seattle already buys about 45,000 hours of bus service from Metro using revenues generated by the Bridging the Gap property-tax levy, approved by voters in 2006, the group said.


    Now, talisker, try to identify on Seattle's website how much it paid every year since 2006 for that “additional” bus service. Good luck. Then try to identify on the county's website any information about what amounts were received from Seattle, and what the county did with those amounts.

    Think you can find any kind of paper trail demonstrating that only Seattle residents benefited from additional bus service? Try it, and post the links you find. Hint: this scheme of the city taxing property owners to give revenue to the county is a taxpayer ripoff.


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