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Seattle lawmakers approve of hiring more staff for themselves

City of Seattle
Map of Seattle's Seven Districts

A majority of Seattle City council members voted in favor of the legislation and said it will help them meet an increased workload now that most council members represent geographic districts.

Lisa Herbold is one of lawmakers who voted in favor of the change.

Herbold: "My staff are now expected to be experts in parks issues, when those issues are related to District One. A lot of work in transportation as you might imagine, as it relates to West Seattle and South Park, transportation issues. So we're really doing triage to get the public good issues on many many more issues."

Herbold was joined by just about all of her council colleagues except for Tim Burgess.

Burgess: "I certainly understand my colleagues' desire to have an increased level of service to constituents. But I question whether their additional staff member is needed to do that work."

Burgess referred to a 2014 study that found that other cities of similar size have about three fulltime legislative aides.

That was the maximum number allowed in Seattle before the council approved of the change. And Burgess says the increase will probably add up to about half a million dollars and he questions whether it's worth the cost.

The legislation still needs to be approved by the Seattle Mayor Ed Murray.

Year started with KUOW: 1998.