The Seattle City Council unanimously approved a raft of additions to Mayor Ed Murray's budget proposal today, but not before some wrangling over the minimum wage, homeless encampments, and shelter beds for homeless women, thanks to some conservative positions taken up by Council Member Sally Clark.

Early on, Clark spoke out against raising the minimum wage for city employees to $15 next year. Kshama Sawant had proposed budgeting more than $1 million to fund the wage bump, which, despite an executive order from Mayor Murray signaling his intent to raise city workers' wages earlier this year, was nowhere to be found in the mayor's budget proposal.

Clark did not try to remove Sawant's proposal from the council's budget package. But she did note an objection to the idea, because, she said, "Cherry-picking a particular subject away from the bargaining table [with city employees unions] sets a really difficult precedent."

"This is something everyone wants, which is to have them earn $15... And we have a schedule to do that," she continued, echoing the rhetoric of Murray, who lobbied the council against the proposal this week.

Sawant offered a rejoinder, saying that the unions themselves have been pushing for this wage increase. But it was Council Member Bruce Harrell, sitting next to Clark, who turned on his gravitas-machine to great effect: "We're trying to show leadership here. We're trying to put our values and money where our mouth is... to be a leader on income inequality. So we're going to take our own employees and accelerate the minimum wage. I'm ready to move on."

And move on they did.

Afterward, I asked Clark what she was trying to accomplish with her comments. "The City of Seattle has had a great history of staying and adhering to collective bargaining," she said. "I just want to be aware of that." Make of that what you will.

Clark did, however, actually propose striking two budget amendments and replacing them with new ones that would have postponed funding for women's shelter beds and homeless encampments ($120,000 and $100,000, respectively) by at least a month.

She failed to convince the council on either front, though, with several members arguing that because winter is already happening (and shelter occupancy rates are up as a result of cold temperatures), the funds—not a lot of money, by the way, out of a nearly $2 billion budget—needed to be available as soon as possible.

Seven- and six-member majorities voted to keep the amendments in place, overruling Clark, Tim Burgess, and on the women's shelter funding, Jean Godden.

"This is the first time the city has set aside any dollars for transitional encampments," said Sawant, who also cosponsored both of the homelessness amendments. "It outlines the basic things that the encampment needs. It's a very humane thing to do, to provide the funding for homeless encampments... I feel like this is what we came here for: to actually organize a fight against income inequality."

The vote "definitely paves the way" for a council majority to support legislation that's expected from Nick Licata, who ran the budget process this year, to legalize homeless encampments on public land, Sawant said. We'll have more budget coverage before Monday, November 24, when the council takes a final vote to approve the budget package.