By Alia Sinclair

Here’s what happened at Tuesday night’s (March 14, 2023) SeaTac City Council meeting:

Public Comments

One commenter expressed concern over the hiring of new city employees seemingly without regard to the budget. The commenter referenced an article he had recently read in the New York Times that stated America’s IQ seems to be falling generally, and suggested perhaps this is the reason the City is making such choices. A second commenter urged the council to hold a town hall style meeting before the vote on the new renter’s protections ordinance takes place, claiming that landlords and renters need to be able to speak to each other and add their input before a decision is made by the council. 

New City Employee

City Manager Carl Cole introduced the newest City employee, Renisha Kone, Finance & Systems Administrative Assistant. Kone was warmly welcomed by the council and is eager to continue the great work she is doing. 

Unexcused Absence For Councilmember

Councilmember Peter Kwon put forth a motion to not excuse the absence of councilmember Takele Gobena, citing his frequent absences and lack of participation in council matters, occasionally resulting in the council being unable to move forward with certain items. The motion was seconded by Mayor Simpson and put to a vote. The motion passed unanimously. 

Budget Amendment Passes

The council passed an ordinance amending the City’s 2023-2024 Biennial Budget to contract the services of Hans Van Dusen for solid waste consulting services. The purpose of this partnership is to allow the City of SeaTac to do due diligence in their search for a waste collection provider. The City currently has a contract with Recology King County that will expire May 31s,t 2025.  SeaTac will be viewing Requests for Proposals (RFPs) from other vendors under the guidance of Van Dusen. The consulting services contract will not exceed $45,000 with a $5,000 contingency. There are currently sufficient funds in the Solid Waste Fund to allow for increased expenditure on professional consulting services.  

City to Purchase Nine New Streetlights

Consulting services was not the only change to the budget that took place Tuesday night. The council also voted to purchase nine new streetlights to be placed near the Polaris development on the northwest corner of South 154th Street and International Boulevard. Councilmember Kwon says he hopes that the city light improvements will help to create a uniform design and sense of place throughout the city. The estimated cost is $90,000 and will not impact current and future projects due to the presence of currently unallocated resources available in the Street Fund. 

Watch the replay of the City Council Meeting here.

Alia Sinclair is a writer residing in SeaTac. She is passionate about the arts and connecting people through the written word. She is the founder and editor-in-chief of Patchwork Mosaic, a magazine for creatives.