Mayor Murray gave a hearty thanks to Seattle City Council for unanimously approving a Seattle Park District proposal. A Seattle Park District would fund Seattle parks through tax dollars, reducing the need for a levy, but those opposed to it point out that a park district reduces accountability and voter control over how that money is spent – leaving all of the say to the same City Council members who support it.
Metropolitan King County Council’s Transportation, Economy and Environment Committee announced that is will host a series of evening meetings in May to consider the legislation from County Executive to reduce Metro Transit bus services that will start in September. These meetings are an opportunity for the public to learn how it will be impacted and provide an opportunity to provide the council with input. Each evening meeting will include an open house staffed by Metro to provide specific details about the changes and answer questions. In Seattle, the special meeting for public comment is scheduled for May 13 at the Ruth Fisher Boardroom in Union Station (401 South Jackson Street). Open house begins at 5:30 p.m., and public testimony follows promptly at 6 p.m.
Washington Sate was denied its request to extend the state’s Elementary and Secondary Education Act waiver. Congressmen Jim McDermott made the statement on Friday, “I am very disappointed in the Department of Education’s decision not to extend Washington State’s ESEA waiver. In light of this disappointing news, it’s a good time to remind everyone of the facts: Washington State has made great gains over the last few years in education. Washington State possesses a new, cutting edge principal and teacher evaluation system. Washington students’ composite SAT score was the fourth highest in the country. The number of students taking the SAT in Washington is over 55 percent (of those eligible) – the second highest number in the west. And, Washington’s students scored in the top five percent for fourth and eighth grade reading and math scores on the National Assessment of Educational Progress – ‘the nation’s report card.’ In light of these achievements – and many more – I find the Department of Education’s decision today exceedingly shortsighted.”
On Earth Day this year, Mayor Murray released “Moving the Needle,” an environmental progress report on 35 of Seattle’s environmental goals, including goals related to buildings and energy, transportation and land use, food, waste, water, trees and green space, and climate change. On May 5, Councilmember Mike O’Brien, former Councilmember Peter Steinbrueck, and Joel Sisolak of the Capitol Hill EcoDistrict will facilitate a sustainability conversation with the community, alongside the mayor and staff of the Office of Sustainability & Environment. This Community Climate Forum will take place at Seattle City Hall (600 4th Avenue), from 5 to 7 p.m.