This is my serious face.
  • This is my serious face.
At a press conference this morning, Mayor Mike McGinn restated his commitment to veto the Seattle City Council's draft agreement for a deep bore tunnel that puts residents at risk for paying cost overruns. "I was pretty clear last year when I said the council shouldn’t enter into such an agreement and I would veto such an agreement," said McGinn. "That remains true today. The agreement still does not protect us from cost overruns."

The council is expected to vote on three tunnel agreements with the state—pertaining to right of way and utility relocation—next Monday. McGinn acknowledged that the council has the power (and likely the votes) to override his veto. Seemingly throwing a hail Mary out to council members, he said, "They have the chance to change their minds and reconsider what they’re doing."

It's unclear what the mayor's plan of action is beyond next Monday's vote. When pressed on working with legislators to remove cost overrun language in state laws that require Seattle to pay overruns, McGinn said, "Seattle legislators have indicated they wouldn’t even introduce such legislation."

McGinn still doesn't have the support of Olympia. He doesn't have support from Seattle's council—but he indicated that Seattle voters might be on his side. "The public is asking for a role in this," he said. If that's the case, it seems that—lacking official support—McGinn would be aligning himself with anti-tunnel candidates in this year's city council races (over half the council is up for re-election this year). But no. McGinn said, "That's not my job. The public needs to make that call."

"I don't think the tunnel is a good use of money under any circumstances," McGinn added. "I’ve supported the 1-5 transit surface option. I still believe that’s a prudent approach. It was signed off by chamber of commerce, King County labor council before the backroom deal was cut on the tunnel."