After accounting for projects saved from the guillotine, the Seattle City Council had an awkward moment at its press briefing on the 2010 budget when council budget chair Jean Godden trumpeted her sacrifice of 10 days pay—and the 10 days pay of her staff—as a voluntary two-week furlough. Standing next to a bubblegum sow of a piggy bank, Godden was making a particularly generous gesture in the downtown library, which barely got back its funding. But what about the other council members, asked Seattle Times reporter Emily Heffter—would they also return some of their salary?
“I would not want to put them on the spot like that,” Godden deflected, but if someone wanted to ask the council members, who were in a phalanx behind her, they could ask them. “I think she just asked them,” I said. Someone else shouted from the back. A long, very silent pause among the people reading and checking out books was broken when City Council Member Jan Drago stormed the podium, took the mic from Godden, and her voice echoed across the floor, “Council Members McIver and I are not taking a furlough, and I think it’s time to wrap it up.” But the new budget also raises the city's revenue, Council Member Sally Clark pointed out after the press briefing. They restored funding to two parking enforcement officers that Nickels proposed cutting, added five more parking patrol officers—for a total of seven more meter maids next year—and increased the penalty for parking tickets by $4 a pop.
Monday, November 16, 2009
Voluntary furlough for Seattle Council? --"it’s time to wrap it (press conference) up."
Dominic Holden (SLOG):