News Jan 22, 2024 at 5:43 pm

Loud Suckling and Lapping Sounds Heard from Council Chambers 

I haven’t seen this level of public humiliation since pledge week. Shitty Screenshot from Seattle Channel

Comments

3

Calling these people "conservative" is pretty lazy. Sara Nelson is terrible, but "conservative" is a label that will not stick. Maybe try "corporate lackey" or "tech bro messiah" or something else more descriptive.

4

Well the conservatives have total control of city government now what are they gonna do with it? Can't wait to see how they're gonna fill 450 cop positions and completely clear public spaces of tents all without addressing the revenue shortfall, but now that Sawant is gone nothing should stop them right?

5

@5 you’re right except it will take at least the rest of this decade to undone the damage wrought by the last decade of progressive policy making. At best you’ll fill 50 positions on SPD a year and that’s only IF you can stop the bleeding. That alone is 9 years to get up to needed staffing. The last council presided over record revenue and choose to spend it all. Now when the inevitable check has come due it becomes austerity to acknowledge the obvious mismanagement. It’s a clown show but we’ve taken the first step and I expect TS and the activists in the city will do everything in their power to undermine the will of the people (we voted for this after all) but thankfully their power diminishes by the day. I’m sure her continued personal attacks and juvenile posts will have no bearing on Hannah’s ability to access city officials in the future lol

6

@5 what are you talking about about the new council says they can accomplish all their goals without any new revenue streams. Just gotta audit the budget to find and eradicate all the wasteful spending. And why should it take 9 years to staff up SPD now that city government is committed to showing cops appreciation when the whole reason we had so much attrition was because of the "defund" rhetoric?

7

@5 - Who needs access to city officials when you can just write whatever you want about them?

8

it's not even the end of january but this will hands-down win most butthurt stranger piece of the year.
my god.

9

The performance collective that is Hannah "Han-Han" Krieg is getting pretty tiresome at this point. A one-trick pony.

10

While the Stranger’s ongoing epic juvenile butthurt over elections having consequences continues to amuse and delight those of us who suffered needlessly under policies and politicians the Stranger had supported, the Stranger’s total dedication to message discipline also shows they’ve learned absolutely nothing from all of their losses:

“Unhoused people and their allies argue that sweeps do little more than push people from corner to corner…”

They provide little to no evidence in support of this, no matter how many times they say it.

“These disruptions destabilize already vulnerable people and may contribute to the deaths of homeless people in King County, 415 of whom died last year.”

Or maybe homeless persons just keep on dying of drug overdoses at a hugely disproportionate rate:

“Last year [2022], roughly 715 people died of fentanyl overdoses countywide, a record, before the death toll continued to rise to over 1,050 this year [2023].”

[…]

‘The King County Medical Examiner’s Office classified about a quarter of those who died from all types of overdoses this year as “living in a location not meant for human habitation or emergency shelter,” like encampments, cars and outdoors.’

(https://www.seattletimes.com/seattle-news/king-countys-2023-fentanyl-deaths-top-1050-surpassing-record/)

11

To think I used to consider Josh Feit and Erica C. Barnett the bottom of the barrel. This is garbage, Hannah. Pure garbage. Your byline is now on my "scroll past and don't bother" list, along with Mudede.

13

@6 I know you are being facetious and are not that ignorant. The reason SPD has had higher than usual attrition is in large part to the toxic environment created by the last council and the activists in the city. The new council can change this but it won't happen overnight just as the toxic rot that consumed the last council didn't happen overnight. The first step is to negotiate a new contract with SPOG that is fair and creates a system of accountability on both sides. Previously when you had a council go into negotiations with public statements that all police are racist murderers it made the negotiations much more difficult than needed. There is also a real bottleneck is hiring new officers. SPD only has a few slots in the academy every year (I can't find the number but its not 450) so hiring and training officers will take time. Those are just the facts. Progressives like yourself will continually point out the new council is failing because they can't fix these things instantaneously but those of us fighting the good fight will continue to state the facts and remind people of the real harm progressive policies have caused and the road back to recovery.

14

Hannah Hannah Hannah - your racist and biased diatribes are amusing because they are always the same. Please just move away.

15

"Council President Sara Nelson’s conservative majority"

The current Seattle City Council is among the most liberal city governments in the country.

16

Is The Stranger paying this writer? I hope not. This article reads like FOX news of the left. The conservative city council?? Conservative? Are you freaking serious? What world do you occupy where our city council is conservative? Maybe you were so busy blocking the freeway that you didn’t notice half the country is trying to put a dictator in office. And you waste reading space with this drivel.
Congratulations Hannah. You did it. You hit a new low, even for The Stranger. String together a rant consisting of fabricated outrage, whine about how the other side is at fault for all the problems, don’t actually engage in any realistic analysis of the situation, and assume the uninformed snap their fingers in agreement. Check.

17

@13 "The new council can change this but it won't happen overnight just as the toxic rot that consumed the last council didn't happen overnight"

The SPD staffing crisis started in 2020. Bruce was Council President until 2020. Are you saying the toxicity that led to the staffing crisis took root on his watch?

18

@17 no, Bruce was not on the council when they voted to defund the police. Bruce left the council in early 2020 when his term was up after choosing not to run in the 2019 election. The council voted to defund the police in August 2020 under then president Lorena Gonzales watch with Morales representing D2.

19

Whatever happens in this instance, going forward the council should pass a law disqualifying anyone who appeared on the ballot in the most recent election and lost from being subsequently appointed to a seat. Otherwise there's too much potential for favor-trading and other unethical behavior during elections. I'm not suggesting Tanya Woo is or was a party to any such thing -- only that the possibility exists and ought to be mooted before this situation comes up again. Hopefully both sides can agree on at least that much.

20

@18 Like I wrote he was President until 2020. My question for you is: was the staffing crisis an overnight reaction to the "defund" rhetoric, in which case the new Council should be able to reverse course overnight, or was it the result of long-developing "toxic rot" that must necessarily have started under Bruce's leadership in which case he and his hand picked Council should not be expected to fix anything?

21

@21 it took time to develop of course meaning Bruce was there during its growth. I don’t agree he was part of it. He was one of 9 voices and did his part to counter the growing cancer however it seems he stepped aside when he realized he couldn’t do anything to stop it and waited until the inevitable collapse to return and look to help the city get back to actual governance over activism. Regardless if you agree with that or not the other fact remains that the academy can only train so many new officers a year so even if they could hire 450 all at once it will still take years to get them through the training.

22

@21 "Bruce ... did his part to counter the growing cancer however it seems he stepped aside when he realized he couldn’t do anything to stop it and waited until the inevitable collapse to return and look to help the city get back to actual governance over activism"

Nice superhero origin story fanfic. Maybe it was too much to expect a reality based answer to my question.

23

@23 it’s not like your coming at this from an unbiased viewpoint. Seems pretty clear you are one of those who will be lobbing grenades that things aren’t better by March ala the rest of TS writers. Bruce isn’t perfect but he has been a vastly better Mayor than Murray or Durkin and if we had to choose between him and Gonzales again right now he’d probably win with a bigger percentage.

24

@20: Harrell left the Council in early January 2020; the Council’s “defund” rhetoric started in June. (June comes months after January.) Their “defund” rhetoric never really stopped, so it’s been going on for years, not “overnight.” It’s not reasonable to expect years of hostility toward the police from the Council to be fixed overnight, no matter how many times you dishonestly claim otherwise.

As we discussed in a previous thread, the City Attorney’s office spent much of the prior half-decade (2015-2020) simply throwing away most of the work the SPD performed on criminal complaints. So between having their work chronically devalued by the City Attorney, then having the (note: Harrell-free) Council say half of them weren’t wanted, the police started leaving.

It took many years of bad policy to get Seattle here; it will take many years of better policy for Seattle to recover. Whine all you want, none of that will change, and everyone will be free to note your total lack of help given to Seattle’s recovery.

25

@24 why should it take years? The city voted out the City Attorney and Council who hurt their feelings shouldn't that have solved the problem? Or if not what in your opinion needs to be done to lure more recruits to SPD? Surely there's some metric we can use to judge these people's efforts to keep their campaign promises

26

@25: “why should it take years?”

See comments, above, on how long it takes to hire and integrate new SPD officers.

“Surely there's some metric we can use to judge these people's efforts to keep their campaign promises”

No one has said otherwise. Instead of proposing those metrics, you’ve been twisting facts about Harrell and complaining nothing’s been fixed in the few weeks since voters ended the Council’s left-wing majority.

Police response times and clearance rates are two metrics we could use. Again, those took years to decline to their current levels, and so may take years to improve.

27

@26 "Police response times and clearance rates are two metrics we could use"

Those have both been explicitly linked to staffing. The current regime has identified staffing as THE problem and campaigned on getting up to 1400 sworn officers. What net increase in sworn officers should we expect in year one, 50? How about after three years?

28

@27 staffing is absolutely the biggest driver in some of those metrics, the other being lack of accountability at all levels (city, county, state) however as has been stated several times now to fix the staffing you have to start to repair the damage done by the last 10 years of progressive rule. The anti public safety, cops are all racist diatribes can't be erased overnight. Start by putting a fair contract in place with the union, create a true working partnership with SPD instead of demonizing them at every opportunity and then we'll see recruitment pick up.
Even doing all this though you still have the bottleneck with the academy. I'm not sure what the hiring goals should be but it will start slow and hopefully by year 3/4 start to ramp up to the 50-75 range. There's a lot of work to be done and the one thing I'm fairly certain about is TS and their activists friends will do everything they can to undermine that effort.

29

@28 What exactly was done during the "10 years of progressive rule" (for a bulk of which the current Mayor was Council President) that led to reduced staffing, because if it was just "diatribes" and "demonizing" the cops that SHOULD be an overnight fix now the people responsible have been viewed out or resigned. Also what in your opinion was unfair about past SPOG contracts (from a police perspective) that should be changed to attract recruits? Surely you can't be arguing there was too much oversight

You and tensorna insisting this will take years to fix, without any real basis, just comes across as a preemptive excuse for when the new Council accomplishes nothing.

30

@29: ‘What exactly was done during the "10 years of progressive rule"…’

Sigh.

As I’ve already mentioned in this thread. Seattle’s previous City Attorney compiled an enormous backlog of cases his Office then never prosecuted. Some of the results:

“…Seattle police churn thousands of misdemeanor case referrals every year, only to see them declined, delayed or dismissed. Prolific offenders know they are unlikely to be held accountable, even when arrested. Police know that most of their hard work is discarded.”

[…]

‘“The main problem that I have is the lack of prosecution that results from the hard work that we do as a department. It is beyond frustrating to put hours of work into a case to find that they either dismissed the charges or gave them a very easy plea deal. Many of these cases involve dangerous felons which we as officers put ourselves in danger to apprehend.”
— Seattle Police officer, quoted in Final Report of Seattle Police Retention and Recruitment Workgroup, August 2019’

‘Frustration with situations like these is one of the factors that has led to growing morale issues among Seattle police. According to the Seattle Police Department, Seattle had a net loss of 41 officers in 2018
despite robust efforts to hire new officers and retain existing officers. The bulk of the officers who left were mid-career individuals who departed to other police departments in the Seattle area. Chief Carmen Best described the police exodus as a “crisis” and stated: “Officers need to hear that the work they do is valued. We are the highest paid agency in the state, but it’s not the money, and it’s not the work hours, it’s really being supported. Officers need to feel that – with the tough job that they are doing – that city leaders want them here and want them doing the job..” (Footnote: Interview on King 5 News, August 2019.)’

(https://downtownseattle.org/files/advocacy/System-Failure-Part-2-Declines-Delays-and-Dismissals-Sept-2019.pdf)

So that’s what happened in the years before the Council adopted anti-police rhetoric in 2020. Then-Chief Best’s quote from 2019 now sounds very prescient: “Officers need to feel that – with the tough job that they are doing – that city leaders want them here and want them doing the job.” Told in no uncertain terms by city leaders (the Council) that the police were NOT wanted in Seattle, that the Council did NOT want half of them doing the job, they heard the Council’s clear message, and started leaving en masse.

“…insisting this will take years to fix, without any real basis,”

If you have any doubt how long it will take Seattle to hire police officers to replace those who have since heeded the very clear message the City Council sent them in 2020, please read the Stranger over the past year. The Stranger has been adamant the City cannot hire sufficient numbers of police quickly — if it can even hire them at all, ever.

31

@30 Sigh. As I've already mentioned, that City Attorney is gone so why would cops still be concerned about their work being devalued? Wasn't fixing that the whole point of electing a law & order Republican?

"If you have any doubt how long it will take Seattle to hire police officers to replace those who [took their ball and went home]..." I don't have any doubt it will nearly impossible to staff up to 1400 any time soon, but that's what the current Council campaigned on, so I would think it's reasonable for voters to expect them to do so. You and D13 seem to have zero expectations for them which is honestly pretty sad.

32

@31: “As I've already mentioned, that City Attorney is gone so why would cops still be concerned about their work being devalued?”

Uh, you understand how time works, right? After years of having their work thrown away for no apparent reason, those employees were then told by the board of directors that half of those employees were unwanted anyway. So the employees started leaving. That was in 2020. The new City Attorney wasn’t elected until 2021. So the employees who actually cared about their work had already begun departing.

Now, in 2022, the new City Attorney started cleaning up the mess the old City Attorney had left her. It was a huge mess, and it took her and her staff a long time to fix. Meanwhile, the “defund” rhetoric just kept flowing from the Council (and the Stranger). So employees continued to leave.

In November 2023, voters removed most of the remaining “defund” Council Members. There replacements started taking office this month. Therefore, this month (January 2024, in case you need help on that) is the first time any of those employees could reasonably assume their workplace conditions might improve.

This mess was many years in the making, under the previous “progressive” City Attorney and previous Council. It may well take years to fix. Now, once you provide quotes from current City Council Members from when they were candidates, promising a quick and easy fix, then you’ll have something to complain about. Right now, it looks a lot like you’re just fudging dates, in order to deflect blame from ex-office-holding “Progressives.”

33

@32 "Now, in 2022, the new City Attorney started cleaning up the mess ... Meanwhile, the “defund” rhetoric just kept flowing from the Council (and the Stranger). So employees continued to leave."

So wait it wasn't really the City Attorney it was in fact the "rhetoric?" You're all over the place

34

@33: Do you not understand an event can have multiple contributing causes?

Oh, and where are the campaign quotes, showing the current Council Members promised to hire 1,400 new SPD officers “any time soon”?

35

@34 seven comments ago I asked "What net increase in sworn officers should we expect in year one, 50? How about after three years?"

I'm giving space for incremental change but you and D13 can't even say what would be a short term sign of progress. Like I said you seem to have zero expectations for this new Council and that's sad.

36

@35: And more recently than that, you wrote, "to staff [SPD] up to 1400 any time soon, but that's what the current Council campaigned on," so how about quotes and citations to campaign statements made by current Council Members to that effect? Or do you just not have any evidence to support this claim?

Staffing up SPD will be a long and slow process, because between the former City Attorney wasting years throwing most of their work away, and the recently-departed City Council wasting years telling them to go away, many officers did indeed depart over the past few years. I've already given two metrics, neither of them numbers of SPD officers, which can provide lagging indicators of SPD strength. We can decide if the current Council and Mayor have succeeded based on those numbers.

Just because you gave free passes to large and obvious failures over the past years does not mean the rest of us will do so in future.

37

@36 so your position is response time and clearance rate might improve just because cops are happier now the mean people have been voted out? Are they children? Anyway I see you're never going to answer what I thought was a pretty simple question so I'll just leave it alone


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