• Neighbors file petition to oust Seattle councilmember over homeless crisis

    By: KIRO 7 News Staff

    Updated:

    SEATTLE - Pushback continues against some Seattle City councilmembers and their approach to the homeless crisis.

    People at the Ballard Commons say they've been trying to get City Hall's attention.

    KIRO 7 was there when there was a sweep of homeless tents a few months ago. It’s is a spot where people say they have seen open drug use and an uptick in property crime.

    Friday morning, a petition being circulated is telling councilmember Mike O'Brien to pay attention, otherwise he could be voted out. It currently has more than 1,500 signatures.

    KIRO 7 talked to a Ballard couple Marty McOmber and his wife, Deborah Bach, about their petition.

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    They say public frustration about the homeless problem has mounted over years.

    They blame O'Brien and the council for opening parks, public streets and spaces to camping, as well as what they call the city's hands-off approach to those who reject services.

    Some of that frustration mounted two nights ago at a public meeting where shouting took precedence,  and McOmber and Bach said they're fed up.

    "Right now, we just don't believe that what they’re doing is having an impact. It’s severe, as you can see,” said McOmber.

    Crime in the neighborhood around the Ballard Commons has doubled over the past five years and that doesn’t include incidents around other parts of the area and city.     

    This year, the city is expected to spend about $70 million on the homeless crisis.

     A regional approach with King County is underway.   

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