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Seattle City Councilwomen confronted in SODO over proposed employee head tax

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Several exchanges between two Seattle City Councilwomen and the public underscore the growing divide with voters as the city council attempts to pass an employee head tax on businesses in the city grossing $20 million a year or more. (photo: KVI Staff)

Frustrated Seattle residents shared their concerns with two Seattle City Councilmembers about the homeless crisis and a proposed $75 million employee head tax on the biggest companies in town after a week of vivid confrontations around the city.

The audio posted here is a long excerpt from the SODO Business Improvement Area (BIA) meeting with City Councilmembers Lisa Herbold and Lorena Gonzalez.

For KVI.com, we pulled this portion of the forum so you can hear the concerns and demands of people in Seattle who feel that the tens of millions of dollars the city is already spending on homelessness are not being spent wisely.

At the 11:00 minute mark in this audio excerpt we posted, a vocal synagogue leader in North Seattle, Ari Hoffman, addresses the two city council members to alert them to the on-going filth and crime problems around cemeteries due to illegal homeless campers in tents and RVs. Herbold responded to Hoffman's complaints and concerns--with Gonzalez quietly by her side--saying, "We (the city council) don't run the city. We don't run the departments. We don't control how fast (the city's agencies) processes permits." Herbold added, "We don't tell the police department which laws to enforce."

Herbold's concluding comment led to audible groans from the town hall crowd gathered in SODO. The joint answer from the council women would seem to be a clear example of passing the buck on the homelessness issue that has been continually plaguing Seattle.

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