By Michael Sarko
– The Capitol Hill Times –
Perhaps we spoke (or wrote) too soon. Just days after Seattle City Council began murmuring about placing strict regulations on the Seattle Police Department’s use of surveillance drones, the bots were already back in their boxes. Mayor McGinn and the SPD announced the indefinite shelving of the drone program in Seattle. The controversial surveillance tools will be returned to the vendor some time this year.
On Wednesday the Seattle Ethics and Elections Commission will join City Council and a slew of organizational guests to host a panel about public campaign finance. The concept, which is gaining steam in Seattle, opens government funds to political campaigns instead of asking campaigns to rely solely on private donations. This can take the form of party subsidies or, in a move already favored by the City for arts projects, a matching fund system. The Public Campaign Finance panel will take place this Wednesday at 6 p.m. at the downtown branch of the Seattle Public Library.
Preservation-minded as always, the Capitol Hill community has managed to get the Melrose Building and the Pinevue Apartment Hotel on the docket for official landmark status. At a meeting on Feb. 20 at the Seattle Municipal Tower, the Landmarks Preservation Board will be taking public comments and considerations for the two properties to be nominated as Seattle landmarks, protecting them from demolition in this age of booming real estate development around the city. The Board asks that all written comments be received by the end of the business day on Feb. 19 at Seattle Landmarks Preservation Board, Seattle Dept. of Neighborhoods, P.O. Box 94649, Seattle WA, 98124-464.