2006 Seattle Elections
General Elections Voters' Guide
Chrtr Am 6-Meeting Location in Emergency - Ballot Title
The city council has proposed an amendment to Article IV Section 6 of the city charter concerning council meeting locations in case of an emergency or disaster.
This amendment would change the charter to allow the city council to meet at locations other than its regular meeting place when permitted by state law in the event of an emergency or disaster.
Should this charter amendment be
1. The proposal
This amendment would allow the city council to meet in alternate locations in the event of certain emergencies or disasters.
2. The charter as it currently exists
Article IV Section 6 of the city charter governs city council meetings. That section states among other things that regular council meetings must be held only at the council's regular meeting place. The council has adopted rules establishing its regular meeting place as City Hall. The charter currently has no provisions that explicitly allow alternate meeting locations for regular council meetings.
State law, however, allows a city council to meet in locations other than its regular meeting place under certain circumstances. For example, the state Open Public Meetings Act allows a city council to meet at an alternate location if there is need for quick action to deal with an emergency. The state Continuity of Government Act allows a city council to meet at emergency temporary locations if a natural disaster, attack or imminent attack makes it inexpedient to conduct meetings at the regular meeting place.
3. The effect of this amendment if approved
Article IV Section 6 of the charter would be amended to allow the city council to meet in locations other than its regular meeting place when permitted by state law in the event of an emergency or disaster.
The city council has passed a resolution, which will take effect only if the voters approve this charter amendment. The resolution provides that regular meetings of the full council are normally to be held at City Hall, but would allow regular council meetings at another location if necessary to deal with an emergency; or if an emergency, disaster, attack or imminent attack makes it imprudent, inexpedient or impossible to meet at City Hall.