Officials and Guests in Attendance
The entire committee was present, although Councilmember Balducci was excused some time in the middle of the proceedings. Guests present for public comment: Shawn Kelly (Mayor of Maple Valley), Nina Gregory, Rob Karlinsey (City Manager of Kenmore), Jeff Levy (Resident of Downtown Seattle), Candace Cochuke (not sure spelling of the last name), Heather Kelly for LWVSKC, Nancy Kirk (Burien Resident), and Sakaru Remmu for BLM Seattle KC. Officials for the 1st Proposed Ordinance: Nick Bowman (Council Staff), Patti Cole Tindal (Undersheriff), Karan Gill (Council Relations Director). Officials for 2nd Proposed Ordinance: Nick Bowman (Council Staff), Deb Flewelling (Government Relations and Outreach Manager, E 9-11 Program Office), and Ben Breier (E-911 Program Office). And finally officials for the 3rd Proposed Ordinance: Clifton Curry (Council Staff).
All government officials were prepared, attentive, and courteous. All were respectful of the guests for public comment. Those who spoke had well thought out questions and were respectful of the guest officials.
Accessing the Meeting and Materials
I believe the meeting started on time or only a couple minutes after the starting time. I was able to observe the whole meeting. I was able to get a copy of the agenda before the meeting. The meeting was very easily accessible. It can be found as a link for the livestream on the King County Law and Justice Committee's website.
Summary of Discussion
The agenda was followed and all proposed ordinances were discussed.
Shawn Kelly (Mayor of Maple Valley): Discussing the oversight committee and representation of the contract cities (coming from a contract city of Maple Valley). Request to add 2 more positions on the advisory committee to add representation for contract cities.
Nina Gregory: Speaking in support of the proposed advisory committee to find a new county sheriff. Support for families who have lost loved ones to deadly force.
Rob Karlinsey: City Manager for Kenmore, Part of Police Oversight Committee. Support for the oversight committee and for representation in the advisory committee.
Jeff Levy: Resident of Downtown Seattle. Support for the advisory committee.
Candace Cochuke: Support for the advisory committee, including people who are representative of the community and have lived experience with current systems.
Heather Kelly: Support from the League of Women Voters for the advisory committee, endorsement for the reforms. Reduce or eliminate barriers for people serving on the committee.
Nancy Kick: Burien resident and part of group on police accountability and criminal justice reform. Give adequate time to make well-reasoned choices, support the oversight committee’s work. Select people with lived experience in the current systems, representative of BIPOC populations.
Sakara Remmu: Testifying on behalf of BLM Seattle KC, supporting the advisory committee to select, appoint, and confirm the new sheriff. Support for community oversight, demand a higher standard of community safety and oversight, especially with law enforcement. Encourage consideration of the representation of impacted families with this ordinance.
Approving the minutes of February 2nd 2021: All approved.
Proposed Ordinance No. 2021-0113: Establishing an advisory committee to engage community stakeholders regarding selection, appointment, and confirmation of the chief officer for the department of public safety and matters pertaining to the department safety. Sponsors: Mr. Zahilay
Mr. Zahilay: wants to take action on this ordinance and have it expedited as the council needs it soon for the election of a new sheriff. Connection to Charter Amendments 5 and 6.
Nick Bowman (Council Staff): The ordinance establishes a public safety advisory committee, containing people with expertise in police and criminal justice reform and increased representation of impacted communities. Appointing instead of electing the KC sheriff through the establishment of the advisory committee. 13 members representing the Sheriff's office service area.
Responsibilities: connection to the impacted communities as well as the stakeholder cities/communities, soliciting input from experts on fields relevant, interviewing candidates provided by the executive, providing a report.
Hear from and work with stakeholder communities, on both appointing a new sheriff as well as creating further equity/representation.
Question, Ms. Lambert: Question about compensation for the advisory committee. Concerns about contract cities and keeping people who are in partnership with the committee happy. Who’s going to chair this committee? Concern with the advisory committee appointing their own chair.
Response: About 35% of budget comes from contract cities, 58% with transit services (not from cities themselves). Committee will establish their own chair and their own rules.
Question, Mr. Dunn: What is the population of the contract cities and population of other incorporated areas?
Response: Around 500 thousand. Correction to 300 thousand inside and about 250 thousand outside by Mr. Dembowski and Undersheriff Cole Tindall.
Question, Mr. Dembowski: Question about compensation and staff support for the committee, as well as the barriers to serve. Language to at least authorize compensation before the ordinance moves on?
Response: Language for compensation would need to occur in the ordinance.
Mr. Dunn, Amendment 1: Expand advisory committee, adding two members. Recognizing a huge amount of budget is coming from the contract cities, gives them representation.
Motion to Move Ordinance and to Move Amendment 1:
Mr. Zahilay: Not supportive of Amendment 1 in that cities have already agreed on the setup, want to emphasize the community representatives (would make it more half community and have government voices, not as equitable witH Amendment 1). Elevate the community voices where the current system makes people feel unsafe.
Mr. Dunn: Need for district representation, many of the contract cities rejected getting rid of elected sheriff. Worries about starting to lose contract cities for KC Sheriff’s Office.
Ms. Lambert: Very concerned about similar ideas as Mr. Dunn, wants to keep contract cities happy. Not government people, these are elected officials that represent the citizens -> they would bring the voice of their people as they are accountable for their people (reasoning for Amendment 1).
Mr. Dembowski: There isn’t a resident voice for all the contract cities, including the Muckleshoot tribe, currently in the advisory committee. Wants to really get the input from the communities from the oversight committee. Advisory committee isn't the exclusive list that is going to be listened to (in the representation on the committee), extending public meetings and discourse/engagement with contract cities and communities. Stick with the original proposal.
Vote on Amendment 1:
Aye: Dunn and Lambert .
No: Balducci, Dembowski, Kohl-Welles and Zahilay (Chair).
Amendment 1 fails on the vote.
Vote on the Ordinance:
Aye: Balducci, Dembowski, Kohl-Welles, Lambert and Zahilay (Chair).
Proposed Ordinance is approved.
Patti Cole Tindal (Undersheriff)
Karan Gill (Council Relations Director)
Proposed Ordinance No. 2020-0170:
Authorizing the King County executive to enter into and implement an interlocal agreement, under chapter 39.34 RCW, with the Bothell Police Department, the city of Seattle, the city of Redmond, the Enumclaw Police Department, the King County sheriff’s office, the Issaquah Police Department, NORCOM, the Port of Seattle, the University of Washington Police Department, Valley Communications Center and the Washington State Patrol, relating to the countywide enhanced 911 emergency communications system. Sponsors: Mr. Zahilay.
Nick Bowman (Council Staff): Agreement on enhanced system for 911 between county and these groups. Partnership between county and independent PSAPs (public safety answering points).
Discussion of the history of 911 services and strategic plans.
E911 Strategic plan to address challenges: Recommends new regional structure, 10 year technology plan, 10 year financial plan. New formal agreement between county and PSAPs.
Proposed Ordinance: product of several years of negotiations, can be terminated by any PSAP or county with informed action. County will fund and provide 911 systems, the counties will adopt procedures and practices to follow the strategic plan for systems. Accessibility to all PSAP facilities to make sure systems are working.
Amendment 1: revise ILA template, technical and language consistency changes. Addressing funding and reimbursement
Question, Ms. Lambert: Why don’t changes come back to the committee?
Response: It's just how the ordinance was transmitted and what the groups agreed upon.
Question, Mr. Dembowski: Anything that facilitates the development of the service provisions for public safety?
Motion to Move Ordinance and Approve Amendment 1.
Vote on Amendment 1:
Aye: Dembowski, Dunn, Kohl-Welles, Lambert, and Zahilay (Chair).
Vote on Ordinance:
Aye: Demobowski, Dunn, Kohl-Welles, Lambert, and Zahilay (Chair).
Proposed Ordinance is approved.
Deb Flewelling (Government Relations and Outreach Manager, E 9-11 Program Office) and Ben Breier (E-911 Program Office):
Response to Ms. Lambert: Because of the strategic plan’s setup, it will include an annual report to the committee.
Response to Mr. Dembowski: added provisions in the document with collaborative group to add language that Mr. Dembowski is speaking about. Be able to react to state level legislation. At any time the council could engage and work with the groups in the agreement.
Proposed Ordinance No. 2020-0201:
Creating the offense of obtaining information or disrupting video teleconferences of recovery, mental health, and behavioral health support groups without authorization; adding a new chapter to K.C.C. Title 12 and prescribing civil liability and criminal penalties. Sponsors: Mr. Dunn.
Clifton Curry (Council Staff): The ordinance defines teleconferencing, extends to audio and similar groups (even two people with only audio). All individuals need to consent in the teleconferencing call for ordinance not to apply.
Legal Section of the Ordinance: Violation of the chapter would be a gross misdemeanor, the sheriff would enforce the chapter. Includes provision on civil suits for damages, filing for damages in relation to illegally obtained information.
Proposed Amendment by Mr. Dembowski: Remove criminal sanctions and criminal enforcement provisions.
Mr. Dunn: Since the pandemic has begun, there has been increased mental health and substance abuse issues (as well as increased relapses). Connects to the value of these meetings/support groups that are now available online, how they are even more valuable now for people that are struggling.
Continue to hear complaints including violations to people’s personal privacy rights. -> Need to create protections for these groups online. Privacy is critical for recovery.
Appropriate to keep the ordinance as civil liability, not necessary to have a criminal penalty.
Mr. Dembowski: Thanking Mr. Dunn for his work and his courage in using his experience to discuss and emphasize these issues. Appreciate willingness to focus on civil liability and removing criminal penalties (Amendment 1).
Emphasized statistics Mr. Dunn presented.
Mr Zahilay: Question about whether Amendment 1 would eliminate criminal penalties. Still stated fine associated with this?
Response by Mr. Curry: No fine associated with the amendment.
Move Ordinance and Amendment 1.
Vote on Amendment 1:
Aye: All in favor.
No: none opposed.
Vote on Ordinance:
Aye: Dembowski, Lambert, Kohl-Welles, Dunn, and Zahilay (Chair).
Proposed Ordinance is approved.
Closing statements by Mr. Dunn: Importance of working to protect the sanctity of people in recovery, continue to establish the reasonable expectation of privacy. Thank the committee for their work on this issue.
Minor clarifications on the advertising side of the last ordinance by Mr. Curry, moved to priority of upcoming meetings. Minor clarifications by Mr. Bowman as well.
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