Judy Nicastro got renter's rights issues added to the city council's 2003 state legislative agenda (which was passed on October 28). But not without a battle: Nicastro, for a third year, wanted Olympia to give Seattle flexibility in setting landlord-tenant laws--and unfortunately, council members Richard Conlin and Peter Steinbrueck fought her on it. "I was frustrated," Nicastro says. "It's an issue that council members continue to pick on." AMY JENNIGES
Council Passes Pro-Business Resolution
On Monday, November 4, the Seattle City Council passed a resolution that kisses the booty of business. Based on economic strategies drawn up at the 2002 Leadership Conference in Vancouver, BC--an annual business powwow organized by the Seattle chamber of commerce and attended by Seattle leaders--the pro-business resolution states that, among other things, Seattle will support the University of Washington's biomedical and bioscience research in South Lake Union, maintain a relationship with Boeing, and in addition work to "streamline land use permitting... and other requirements that impact small and start-up businesses."
Only lefty council members Judy Nicastro and Nick Licata voted "nay." Both had qualms about the resolution's open-ended wording to aid enterprise. Licata reminded his colleagues that the city still has to adhere to environmental and zoning standards, so as to avoid negative impacts. "We need to be clear that we're not there to do what [businesses] need, no matter what," Licata said. SEAN REID
Wills Rumor Mill
A November 3 posting on the fashionably disdainful website SeattleSucks.com, written anonymously, regurgitates rumors that have been dogging Seattle City Council Member Heidi Wills for a year now. The lengthy e-mail claims Wills and former P-I city hall reporter Kery Murakami were having an affair. The Stranger followed these allegations last summer, and determined they were bunk. However, here they are again--with new "revelations" about Wills' alleged trysts with big-time donors.
One honestly has to wonder if rumors like this would persist if Wills weren't an attractive young female politician. JOSH FEIT
Seattle Times Protests Licata Proposal
In a letter to city council members on Friday, October 25, The Seattle Times expressed its "concern" with Seattle City Council Member Nick Licata's latest proposal. The ordinance would require that developers applying for permits on a parcel of land present a comprehensive outline of their larger development plans ["Full Disclosure," Amy Jenniges, Oct 24]. The goal, Licata aide Lisa Herbold says, is to give neighbors a clearer idea of the impact of projects. Currently, developers can avoid such reporting by applying for permits parcel by parcel. Herbold says that the ordinance would help curb unrestrained redevelopment efforts in South Lake Union (where the Times and local entrepreneur Paul Allen hold property).
The Times' business office isn't keen about the idea. "The permitting process in Seattle is already notoriously slow, unpredictable, and costly," a letter signed by Times director of external affairs Jill Mackie argues. The paper has not weighed in on the ordinance editorially. SEAN REID
In Other News