Pete Holmes on Nightlife, City Attorney Firings, and More

We caught up with City Attorney Pete Holmes at the South Seattle Crime Prevention Council meeting last week and grilled him for a few minutes about his plans for nightlife in Seattle, and reaction to an angry farewell letter sent out by a former city prosecutor who was let go last month.

Nightlife was a hot topic during the runup to the election, and Holmes says it’s still “on the front burner” in his office. With all of the support Holmes received from the nightlife industry, it appears, unsurprisingly, that Holmes is taking a hard look at some of the city’s more draconian policies, which date back to the Mark Sidran era.

While Sidran was city attorney, his office forced so-called Good Neighbor Agreements on a number of bars and nightclubs around the city, which required club owners to hire flocks of security staffers, put restrictions on patrons’ clothing and types of music they played, and effectively made club owners responsible for problems within a certain radius of their clubs.

Under Tom Carr, the city continued to use GNAs to bully the nightlife industry and business owners in Seattle. Holmes, however, seems to have a different take on the GNAs, saying an agreement “where one party forces it down the others throat is not an agreement.” Holmes didn’t say whether the city would stop using the GNAs altogether or call off the agreements it has in place.

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Have questions for City Attorney Pete Holmes? Come to PubliCola’s after-hours event at Town Hall this Thursday, where Josh and Erica will be interviewing Holmes and giving you the chance to ask him all your burning questions.