What Everyone Who Runs City Hall Secretly Thinks

What a Year Stalking Our Local Leaders Taught Me About the Way They Exercise Power


Another woman leaving the Stranger?!
Nice piece of fiction.

Seattle's leaders don't think.

At all.
Best of luck in the real world, Anna. It's not always as much fun, but it's almost never as miserable.
Shoot, I guess this confirms the rumors. Thanks for this, hope your successor on this beat absorbs it and appreciates the resilient good humor it took to amass this wisdom.

Successor. Shit. Worst case, someone Ansel-y. Best case, someone MInardian or Madriddish.
I wonder how much of the wait is inexperience with running a civil service office, and how much it is that she is probably one of the few councilors normal people, with all of their normal problems that get ignored, know.
geez. good riddance.

her analysis of City Hall is just as bad as her review of old LPs...
Maaaan. I was just thinking about the many Stranger writers I miss, but was cheering myself with the fact that you were a newish writer who seemed to be going from strength to strength. Anyway, best of luck!
What the hell is going on at The Stranger for everyone to be jumping ship?
Geez. @strangerslog, you're not actually Apple or Microsoft, and the continued silence on the mass exodus is increasingly bizarre. It's high time Frizzelle or Keck or "I love New York" Dan Savage addressed the issue—is it a conflict between editorial and advertisers, the overall business model, all just an awkward coincidence, what? Are you getting ready to sell or just fold your tent?

The chemistry between a publication/website and its adherents is a fragile thing and needs occasional strokes or nurturing or honesty, whether you realize it or not.
You'll be missed, Anna, you were great. And I think your City Hall profiles are spot on. Best of luck.
Kshama Sawant running for prez?
Best of luck Anna, and I loved your column!!
I liked your City Hall coverage and always enjoyed "Never Heard of 'em." I'll miss your writing.

And I want to add my voice to the chorus of what the fuck, Stranger? Why all the departures?
Bah one less good reporter left, I guess this means more old man paul articles.....
Good luck, Anna. Glad you are getting out of that cesspool called City Hall.
Spot on! I hope the Stranger will have enough sense to find someone else who is a quick enough study to call it on City Hall. Love the brevity and accuracy of this piece.
Really great characterization of councilmembers and staff. You got the human side. Agreeing with rob! about the Strangrr not drawing out the mystery. Finally, to the commenting readership: could you stop saying "spot on"? Are you British? No, I didn't think so.
Anna dear, I am happy for you, but sad for us. Your city government reporting was probably the best in the area. You were uniquely able to separate the wheat from the chaff, and I appreciate that.
It's possible that for Index LLC management, he cost and space of hard news like City Hall reporting can always and probably will be taken up by advertisement of fresh new condos for even higher population density, nice shiny studios starting at $400K which the advertisers could afford. And advertisers appear to be directing content anyway.
Absolutely wonderful story and right on descriptions, but I do have to add a little of what I visualize when I see Mike O'Brien, whether in action or not. I see a charmer, kind of a mixture of the old TV series Dennis The Menace and Mayberry's Opie Taylor.
This was a really good article, perhaps one of the best I've read here.

Good luck with your future plans.
.. Anna - I too, regularly attend meetings, and your candid reviews could not be more spot on. I've made note of a few of your unique points.

Anthony Vincent
didn't you hear ? They're considering moving their offices.... even off the Hill. Probably a really good time to shop around to see if you can sell off an alternative fishwrap for more than the SeattleTimes's operation.

@23 Yeah, I'm getting a would the last one out please turn off the lights vibe.
What the fuck is going on over at the stranger? Turnover is ridiculous lately, and the Slog is 50% filler nonsense.
I came here to make almost the exact same comment as @24: would the last news reporter to leave The Stranger please turn out the lights.

But, hey, maybe we won't notice if only The Stranger can throw in a few more music and other lifestyle pieces, photograph and interview more oddballs on the street, perv over more bartenders, and give more space for Mudede to contemplate his navel. Sure beats serving the community through journalism!
Yeah, wow, suck. I think it speaks volumes that I thoroughly enjoy your pieces, even while (as a Portlander) having very little vested interest in what you're covering. Also, what rob! said, of course.

Seems to be something of a disrepect to the readership to not address this issue, as well as to all the changes in the slog. The absence of the weekend news pieces is gonna be even more striking once we're all hunkered indoors for months of cold, nasty weather.

Good luck, Anna! And say hi to that wonderful chap Sam Bellomio for me next time you see him...
Good luck with your new endeavor, Anna! & I agree with @9 all the way.
Like Keck told the CHS blog, loud mouth opinions are a dime a dozen. That shows what little respect he had for such great reporters as Holden, Goldy, and Minard.

Good luck in your new endeavours.
Nice work, Tim K.

The Stranger is now officially (unless you count jerking off about bands nobody cares about and more overpriced stupid hipster restaurants) content-free.

Once upon a time you guys had way more cred than Fairview Fanny (not that hard, but a good counter-establishment accomplishment).

Couldn't take the heat could you...too fucking bad for us readers, right?
R.I.P. Slog. What the hell happened?
Yeah, what IS going on over there? Rats fleeing the sinking ship.
We could see the slide happening in the months before Goldy left, when Slog posts started getting replaced by Stranger articles.

I liked Anna's work; best of luck to her.
Now that the female feminists' numbers are dwindling, maybe we can get more reports from Trent Moorman about sexually harassing women at their places of work.
Personally I hope this means we will be hearing more about Nipper's record collection.

Bye Anna! As a fellow TCS Dragon, always enjoyed seeing your posts.
Hey, maybe the Grande Plan is to make Charles Muede the new Holden/Goldy/Minard.

Joining the crowd in wishing you well Anna and really mourning the death by myriad cuts of Slog.
Anna--Your comment on O'Brien indicates that you have not learned much about Seattle's (or San Francisco's) urban political economy. First you say "his values line up exactly with where Seattle should be heading over the next few years." You mean like when he was listening to Roger Valdez until he wasn't? Or do you mean like after he realized how crappy City land use planning, policy decisions, and implementation are when "a bunch of insane old white homeowners" started to unload on him? Or do you think it might be when he starts making better connections between his social justice values and land use, like trying to increase Vulcan's cost of doing business (i.e., pay for at least a smidgeon of the gentrification it causes)? Can you even articulate what O'Brien's values are?
"No true Seattleite," sayeth Toby!
Bye Anna, don't be afraid to come back with a guest article some time.

Who are you guys kidding The Stranger has been going to shit ever since they got rid of the second fold and added color.
Hah. Anyone else not surprised in the least that Sawant's staff is the least diverse? Just a bunch of white upper class hipsters in Che shirts drinking PBR while thinking they're the fucking "proletariat masses".
Kuow has become crap. Slog is becoming crap. I blame gentrification.
News we can use. Thanks, Anna.
Just want to second what @9 and @14 said.

Seattle's only newspaper will soon have no actual news or political content outside of biennial Frank Chopp endorsements.
So is the paper going to keep being backfilled by dumbasses like Herz and rambling academics?
Great article. However, all the "y-alls" really made me angry. I can't imagine a phrase less PNW-ish and spoken mostly by people who are on the nadir of everything Seattle. Say it three times, and George W. Bush or Rick Perry will probably appear on your screen.
This piece was nothing but puerile, ad hominem snark attacks with no real content. Too bad Anna can't pass on anything of substance having covered City Council all this time. Stranger, do you always hire juvenile high school kids as your writers? Truly, you think this is what passes for journalism?