Mental Lapse

Also: Movement on the affordable-housing fee to be charged downtown developers.

Mental Health Care

For the past two years, this paper has been documenting problems in Washington's public mental-health system, to the consternation of state officials. They may want to consider getting mad instead at the nation's leading mental-health advocacy group, the National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI). On Wednesday, March 1, NAMI released grades for each state's mental-health system. Washington gets a D because, in NAMI's view, the state has refused to properly fund mental services, has a shortage of psychiatric hospital beds, has poor patient support, and lacks strong leadership at the Mental Health Division of the state Department of Social and Health Services, among other shortcomings. It's almost like we wrote it ourselves. PHILIP DAWDY

King County Sheriff's Office

In our ever-vigilant search for irony, we ran into a whopper when Randy Revelle, a state lobbyist for the hospital industry and former King County executive, was appointed to head a citizen's panel looking into disciplinary problems at the King County Sheriff's Office. Revelle has been very public about having bipolar disorder, and it's interesting that he'll be overseeing the review of a department that in 2004 fired Deputy Angela Holland for having bipolar disorder, even though she'd had no on-the-job foul-ups as a result (see "Good Cop, Sad Cop," March 30, 2005). In an interview last year, Revelle said he was outraged by the firing, a disciplinary action that was doubly questionable in light of other deputies openly violating department policies and being allowed to stay on the job (see the Seattle Post-Intelligencer's unending "Conduct Unbecoming" series). Revelle and KCSO did not respond to requests for comment. PHILIP DAWDY

City Hall

Since last summer, the office of Mayor Greg Nickels has insisted that a proposed $10-per-square-foot fee for affordable housing was carved in stone. City Council member Peter Steinbrueck countered with $20 per square foot, hoping to raise as much as $200 million to keep downtown and the Denny Triangle from turning into complete yuppieville. Now Steinbrueck says he's been negotiating with Nickels' office on the fee and other code changes and says he is hopeful that the mayor will support the $20 feeā€”the first sign of a softening on Nickels' part. A public hearing before the City Council is scheduled Tuesday, March 7, at 5:30 p.m. PHILIP DAWDY

 
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