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Lynnwood approves police body-worn camera fees and $70,000 in chamber upgrades

LYNNWOOD, Wash., April 12, 2022 – Lynnwood City Council approved fees for record disclosure of police body-worn camera footage, amended its municipal code relating to business licenses, and approved up to $70,000 in ARPA funds toward Council Chambers upgrades in Monday’s Business Meeting on April 12.

After a brief public comment section, Councilwoman Shannon Sessions began the meeting by reading a proclamation recognizing Arbor Day in the city of Lynnwood.

In 1872, J. Sterling Morton, politician and horticulturist, proposed to the Nebraska Board of Agriculture that a special day be dedicated to planting trees. This day, Arbor Day, is observed in the state of Washington on the second Wednesday of April when residents plant trees in order to reduce the erosion of topsoil by wind and water, cut heating and cooling costs, moderate the temperature, clean the air, produce oxygen and provide habitat for wildlife.

In recognition of this day Lynnwood City Council will plant 15 native trees at Scriber Lake Park tomorrow, Wednesday, April 13, at 9:00 a.m.

Consent agenda

During the consent agenda, the council approved Dale Clark to the History and Heritage Board, position 3, for a term expiring December 31, 2024. Council also approved the 2022 tourism fund 101 budget adjustment of $100,040 for fiscal year 2022.

Amendment to municipal code regarding business licenses

Proceeding to Business Item one, an ordinance to adopt amendments to LMC titles 3 and 5 regarding Lynnwood business licensing, Council Vice President Jim Smith moved the ordinance, 34-12, amending sections 3.104.050 and chapters 5.04 and 5.06 of the Lynnwood municipal code regarding the city’s required business licensing, toward discussion, seconded by Councilwoman Sessions.

The City partnered with the Washington State Department of Revenue Business License (BLS) on November 14, 2019 to receive business license applications, renewals and fees for General Business Licenses and Home Occupation Licenses. The BLS provides standards services for all jurisdictions and does not process applications or fees. Staff has identified amendments to the LMC to better align the City’s processes to BLS, eliminate fees assessed outside of the BLS, and provide clarification on licensing requirements.

At the April 4, 2022, Work Session, Council received a briefing regarding the proposed amendments and were suggested to adopt the proposed updates to LMC Titles 3 and 5 related to business licensing at Monday’s meeting.

Councilman Patrick Decker moved to amend the amendment to clarify that businesses would not stack misdemeanor charges according to consecutive days of violation reading: “any person who engages in or carries out a business without having obtained a business license when required to do so shall be guilty in violation of this chapter.”

Councilman Decker’s motion to amend was seconded by Councilwoman Julieta Altamirano-Crosby and passed unanimously.

The original motion, as amended, passed unanimously following its amendment.

Police body-worn camera record fee

George Hurst then moved to approve ordinance 34-13 adopting amendments to LMC Title 3 relating to fees charged by the city for redactions in police body-worn camera video disclosure, as discussed in previous meetings. Hurst’s motion was seconded by Councilwoman Sessions.

In January of 2022 the Lynnwood PD implemented a Body Worn Camera (BWC) program. Officers within the Bureau of Field Operations, as well as members of the city’s Community Health and Safety Section, wear body cameras and capture recordings that are public records and subject to the Washington State Public Records Act (PRA), Revised Code of Washington (RCW) 42.56.

As explained by the Chief of Police during a presentation to council on March 15, the cost and work involved in reviewing and redacting audio and/or video can be substantive, and the Lynnwood Police Department is proposing the imposition of a fee for certain requestors for the reasonable costs of redacting audio/video footage prior to disclosure to support this work.

There was no discussion by council and the motion passed unanimously.

Proposed changes to council rules

Council previously discussed an amendment to council rules that would allow, yet limit, council members to attend meetings virtually up to three times a year, excluding executive sessions. The number of allowed virtual attendances has been debated but was, at President Hurst’s request, discussed at council’s business meeting Monday.

Council Vice President Smith motioned to table the vote on council rules, seconded by Councilman Patrick Decker. The motion to table passed 5-2 with council members Joshua Binda and Shannon Sessions voting no.

Approving ARPA funds for council chamber upgrades

During New Business, Council President George Hurst motioned to approve upgrades to council chambers using no more than $70,000 of American Rescue Plan Act funds given the rapidly increasing supply chain shortages involved with IT equipment.

“We just need to move forward because the court did talk about if there was a failure with their existing equipment that the municipal court could not function,” Council President Hurst said. “I think this is similar to what we did with the IT upgrades to our chambers and we know what the supply chain has caused on that.”

Councilwoman Sessions agreed with the Council President’s points adding “we must move this immediately”. The motion passed unanimously.

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