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Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Council Member Burgess Says Interbay Jail Site “Makes the Most Sense” and Other Notes From Georgetown’s Community Council Meeting

posted by on July 22 at 10:00 AM

Last night, City Council Member Tim Burgess showed up for a Q&A session at the Georgetown Community Council’s monthly meeting. It didn’t take long for someone to bring up the city’s four proposed jail sites, two of which aren’t far from Georgetown.

Recently, the city’s been working towards building a regional jail, and Burgess told the crowd that the proposed Interbay site—not far from Burgess’s home on Queen Anne— “makes the most sense,” because it has the space and transportation access needed for a regional facility. “That’d be the [site] I’d put it at,” Burgess said.

Council members have been fairly mum on the city’s jail siting plans, and Burgess’s support of the Interbay site is kind of a big deal. Not only is Burgess actively involved in the jail siting as the chair of the council’s Public Safety Committee, but he appears to support putting the jail right between two fairly affluent neighborhoods—Queen Anne and Magnolia—rather than on Aurora or in Southwest Seattle.

Neighbors in Queen Anne and Magnolia have been surprisingly quiet about the Interbay site, but that could quickly change if the city starts making moves to build a regional jail in their backyard.

After Burgess took off, I ordered a beer and settled in for a short, heated debate about a neighborhood rock sculpture. Then, someone talked about radon venting, injecting sugar into Georgetown’s toxic soil and “aquatard.”

The meeting was over in about an hour and twenty minutes and Georgetown should be commended for keeping their council meetings short and sweet, and for holding them at what appears to be a kick ass Mexican restaurant. I only had chips and salsa, but I’ll be back soon.

So, to the rest of Seattle’s community councils: I’ve got a challenge for you. If you can find a way to hold your meetings at a restaurant, bar, 7-11 parking lot—really, anywhere with beer—and can keep the meeting to less than two hours, you’ll buy yourself a slog post*.

Don’t think your creek cleanups and community walks get enough press attention? Want me to Live Slog your neighborhood garage sale? Now’s your chance.

*(Within reason.)

RSS icon Comments


Thanks Jonah - I want to hear a report on the Mexican Restaurant, too. And, if it does kick ass, you better provide its name.

Posted by MEC | July 22, 2008 10:07 AM

I believe it was the Coliman restaurant. I'll follow up soon. I promise.

Posted by Jonah S | July 22, 2008 10:18 AM

And don't forget recipes - and see if they have a good Belgian Beer like you can find at Bottleworks.

Posted by Will in Seattle | July 22, 2008 10:51 AM

Who gives a shit about a good slog post?

Posted by Andrew | July 22, 2008 11:22 AM

Yes, the restaurant is indeed Coliman on Carleton and East Marginal. It's worth a trip just for the salsa!

And since I am the one who raised my hand to ask for an update about the jail siting, I wanted to pipe in.

To be fair to Councilmember Burgess, prior to mentioning anything about the four sites within city limits, he did say that he felt a regional solution was the best answer. A regional solution was best as far as economic and equity issues. That was his preference, first and foremost.

And how can you beat a meeting that talks about rock sculptures and slurry walls?

-kathy, georgetown

Posted by Kathy | July 22, 2008 11:23 AM

I suspect they were discussing aquitards.

"Aquatards" would be politically incorrect ... as well as Darwinially disadvantaged.

Posted by RonK, Seattle | July 22, 2008 11:46 AM

Slurry walls are sexy. Jails not so much. But, let's not be too hard on Councilmember Burgess. First he rode his scooter to Gtown - and did so while wearing his suit and tie. Second, and most importantly, he stressed that a regional solution is best and doubted it would go in downtown Bellevue. And really, all Burgess stated was that the Interbay site best met all of the techinical requirements for a regional facility. By no means, as we all know, does the site meet any of the political requirements. Political requirements, as it appears time and time again, are best met in the areas of lower income levels.

The question really is: should Seattle be home to a regional jail since we already are home to the County's level-3 sex offender housing facility?

Posted by Holly | July 22, 2008 11:48 AM

@7 - what, you want to site it in the most logical location, on Mercer Island?

Posted by Will in Seattle | July 22, 2008 12:20 PM

you mean the interbay site, across the street from a kindergarten? awesome!

Posted by holz | July 22, 2008 12:49 PM

@3 - Hey Will, just head down the street to the nice folks at Full Throttle Bottles. Not quite Bottleworks, but a nice selection nonetheless...

Posted by Beer Beer Beer Beer Beer Beer Beer | July 22, 2008 1:57 PM

#9: How about the produce section of the new Whole Foods?

Posted by Lock Down On Aisle 3 | July 22, 2008 1:59 PM

Good shit. Only Seattle would plop a jail down on near waterfront property (on two sides) wedged between two of its most affluent "in city" neighborhoods, next to a Whole Foods , a kindergarten, a pea patch, a driving range and sports fields (an area that could easily be developed into a major asset for all that downtown density we're all working for.)

If anything should be located on cheap, out of town property (think Carnation) its a jail. The people who "live" there won't even be able to benefit from its extravagant location.

Is this really the greatest possible use of that land?

(My head just exploded.)

Posted by You_Gotta_Be_Kidding_Me | July 22, 2008 2:21 PM

They need to co-locate the jail with a brewery.

Why bother torturing when you know they can't have beer?

Posted by Will in Seattle | July 22, 2008 2:37 PM

Just claim that it will incorporate (post) modern sustainable design, and a few solar panels, and people will be begging for a jail in their neighborhood; even if it means knocking down a landmark or even an old lady's house. I mean, you're not against "sustainability" right?

Posted by tpn | July 22, 2008 5:45 PM

The very last opportunity to comment on the preposterous jail proposal will be on Wednesday, July 30, from 6 to 9 p.m. at the Seattle Center Exhibition Hall, located at 225 Mercer Street – focus: Interbay site. Everyone welcome to come and tell the City that they should spend the money on crime prevention instead of seven acres of concrete. This isn't rocket science, just common sense. We have way too many people incarcerated now, we don't need more. And if it's decided to build a jail to accomodate King County's needs anyway, it should be out in the sticks, not in any Seattle community. And if it is in Seattle it should be a high-rise building on a single city block DOWNTOWN! There are new high-rise jails in Everett, Portland, Los Angeles, Chicago, Sacramento, among other places. The city didn't even study the possibility of a multi-story jail before launching this effort to blight some community with this proposed sprawling monstrosity. (That they haven't even got a cost figure for, but you can bet it will be behind schedule and over budget).
This can still be avoided if King County's Ron Sims and Seattle's Greg Nichols stop pointing fingers at each other and start really cooperating on a cost-effective aproach that will eliminate the need for any new jails.
This proposal stinks!
Tell them to start over!

Posted by Catch22 | July 27, 2008 6:16 PM

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