(see also Capitol Hill Seattle blog report on April meeting)
East District Council
Seattle Public Library – Capitol Hill Branchi
425 Harvard Avenue
April 8, 2013
5:45 pm – 7:45 pm
Andrew Taylor, Miller Park
Janis Maloney, Madison Park Bus. Association
John Akamatsu, Capitol Hill Comm. Council
Anita Bowers, Montlake Community Council
Elaine King, Montlake Community Council
Kristen O’Donnell, Yesler Terrace Community Council
Erin Abu-Rish, Capitol Hill Community Council
Janice Tufte, Interfaith Taskforce on Homelessness
Gene Brandzel, Madison Park Community Council
Ron Williams, Seattle Action Network
Alex and Clara Stockton, Capitol Hill residents
Christine Brushwood, Capitol Hill resident
Tim Sage, Seattle Cop Block
Ryan Hobson, Capitol Hill resident
Art Himmelman, Jefferson Terrace resident
Dennis Bejin, Jefferson Terrace resident
Jennifer, Anatoly and Mikhai Chermoshnyak, Capitol Hill residents
Gina Biber, The Capitol Hill Times
Monique Ming Laven, KIRO 7
Staff: Karen Ko, Neighborhood District Coordinator
The meeting was called to order by Andrew Taylor at 5:50pm.
The first item on the agenda, “Park Legacy Plan” was removed as the Representatives from the Seattle Parks Board of Commissioners were not present. A handout titled Love Your Parks was distributed.
The minutes from the March 11th East DistrictCouncil meeting were approved.
Andrew Taylor introduced the next item on the agenda, “A Conversation with the East Precinct”. Captain Ron Wilson, Lt. Matt Allen, Operations, and Sgt. Casey Sundin, CPT, Community Police Team. They introduced themselves and the purpose of their attending this meeting.
Captain Wilson stated that the East Precinct has 126 sworn Officers. At any given time up to a third of them are on leave, etc. There are three full operations “watches” plus a bike team.
The boundaries of the East Precinct are, roughly, I-5 to Lake Washington and the ship canal to Atlantic Street.
Early last year the Seattle Police Department and the Mayor launched the “Safe Communities Initiative” – a mechanism to engage the community (city-wide) in conversation to identify issues and actions the Police can implement to create safer communities. Five Precinct-wide forums were held last year inviting all community members to attend through small group discussions with SPD officers at the table, people came up with lists of “problem areas” they wanted to see addressed. At these forums, delegates were selected to attend a focus group later whose job it would be to come up with some next steps – an action plan. Delegates from the East Precinct met in March, completing the second big piece of the Initiative. A report with all of those action steps, and ideas should be coming out in May.
The 23rd Avenue Action Plan is an effort, led by the Department of Planning and Development, to reinvigorate area improvements such as lighting, sidewalks etc. The first community meeting is next Saturday at the Garfield Community Center. All neighbors are encouraged to attend. More information can be found on the City of Seattle website, under the Department of Planning and Development – 23rd Avenue Action Plan.
CPT: addresses incurring problems in an area, e.g. multiple 911 calls.
East Precinct Advisory Council meets monthly on the 4th Thursday of the month.
Question: How many Seattle Police Officers live within the city?
Answer: I don’t know. Although SPD hopes to find recruits who live in the communities, they cannot make it a requirement. The Assistant City Attorney, Matthew York, is now assigned to the East Precinct to facilitate solutions to various problems, e.g. , abatement of a business that is the nexus of issues of disturbance.
Question: Is crime increasing in our area?
Answer: You can go online and find mapping of neighborhood crimes. It also indicates types of crimes and trends. All calls to police are triaged and prioritized for response.
Answer to Question regarding panhandling: Panhandling is not a crime unless intimidation is in play, creating “pedestrian interference”. The problem on Capitol Hill was discussed in particular as it seems to have increased.
Crisis diversion center many be able to refer mentally ill or substance abusers to City Services. There was a question: Must there be a crime to be committed? The answer was, 911 is not just for emergencies. Call and you will be triaged.
Question: What jurisdiction do you have over clubs?
Answer: It is a lengthy process, but call 911 immediately. The Washington State Liquor Control Board is involved as are the noise issues. How did the permit get issued? It then goes to a review. They must show a nexus between the club and the issues that arise.
Question: The 12th Yesler Terrace Hookah Bars, how long does it take to abate a nuisance.
Round Robin of Neighborhoods
Madison Park: Jim Erickson said there is talk of establishing an East Capitol Hill Neighborhood Council.
There are plans to rebuild Meany High School.
Yesler Terrace: Has 2 arterial streets closed for 2 months due to streetcar construction. They worked with CM Tom Rasmusson to get one reopened.
Jefferson Terrace stated the Chief knows of their problems.
There is also a concern about BRT scheduled to run on Madison. While planning 10 new apartment towers in an area while eliminating parking for businesses located on Madison.
Melrose Promenade received a ‘small and simple’ grant to hire a consultant and hold public input meetings.
Montlake: Montlake Elementary School has been declared an historic structure. The 520 pontoons are continuing to crack and we just learned that an off ramp of the 520 is planned for Lake Washington Blvd. The infamous ‘ramps to nowhere’ in the Arboretum are being removed.
Jim Erickson gave a report on the City Neighborhood Council with a handout with the agenda for the meeting he attended. He feels we should support their agenda as they seem to have a fresh perspective.
A question was raised about “The Federation”, a group formed many years ago. Jeannie Hale is the current Chair. Not much is known of their agendas or influence.
Karen Ko distributed material from PACE, People’s Academy for Community Engagement. The 2013-14 Session is Starting. Emerging leaders, or community people who are interested are encouraged to apply.
The meeting was adjourned at 7:40pm.
Anita Bowers, Secretary