Emily Heffter at the Seattle Times has the story on the council striking back at Mayor McGinn for promising to veto the aggressive-solicitation bill passed on Monday, asking in a letter (.pdf) what he will do about public safety:
The mayor said on KUOW this week that the police department was holding off hiring 20 budgeted officers because of a budget shortfall. In the interview on the "Weekday" program, the mayor said the city may not be able to afford a planned 20 officers next year, either.
The council's strongly worded letter says:
"We are troubled by the halt in hiring net new officers and that this decision was made without consulting the Council," the letter says. "We request that you direct the Chief of Police to proceed with the hiring necessary to keep the city on track to achieve a net increase of 20 patrol officers this year." [...]
"The council can't have it both ways," the mayor said. "They can't pass an unsustainable budget, spend down the rainy day fund, hand out business tax breaks ... and then say, you know, come up with dollars ... We are cleaning up the mess that they created."
These questions are well and good—how do we increase public safety and keep hiring police when the city doesn't have the dough?—and the mayor and council need to answer them. But framing this around of the aggressive-solicitation bill, which the council does in its letter, doesn't help find solutions. That bill was bad policy, no question, from unfounded claims in the legislation to serious ramifications for due process (to say nothing of it being potentially unconstitutional). The council points out that the bill was presented as part of a five-point plan. They can ditch the one bad point. And, hey, four good points out of five is nothing to sneeze at.