In the Hall

I Like Mike


Agreed. Perfectly put.
Some interesting points Erica. Though I don't think Michael is delusional in thinking that the mayor taking responsibility is a panacea for our education system, its about accountability.

I think that's why Arne Duncan, President Obama's Secretary of Education announced this tuesday that he wanted to work with Mayor's all over the country to make the transition to Mayoral control of education systems…

In his words ""Part of the reason urban education has struggled historically is you haven't had that leadership from the top,"

I also don't think McGinn is under any delusions that he can just fiat more buses into existence, I've seen nothing from he record, whether the hard fought Parks Levy campaign, or Roads and Transits that falls into the category of "armchair bashing". Buses are an issue of funding priority. In Michael's words "...with more than $2 billion the city has secured from the state to replace The Alaskan Way Viaduct, its clear the money is available, it's just spent on the wrong things"
Aside from the fact that Metro bus service and the school district are both beyond the jurisdiction of Seattle Mayor's Office, exactly what skills or background does McGinn possess that indicate that he could make improvements with either.

No more beefy mayors, I say.

Not only is the broadband point not particularly relevant, it's also not particularly feasible. Cities that have tried to set up municipal networks in the past (SF, Pittsburgh) have been bogged down by the financial demands of network providers. It turns out, in this case, it's better left to the private sector. Maybe set up something for lower-income neighborhoods. But in a place like Cap Hill or even the CD, finding a wifi hotspot is as easy as stepping out your front door.
I thought by "ban the words 'overcrowded buses' from our vocabulary" he meant coming to see an overcrowded bus as on the way to being a good thing, provided you put more buses on those routes to make sure they don't get TOO crowded.
I have to disagree with a few of your points, Erica. First off, as Brett pointed out above, the U.S. Secretary of Education just came out with an identical recommendation. I think that merits a rethinking of your criticism.

Second, I was also off put originally by McGinn's broadband platform. But I've thought it through, and I think it's actually the most intelligent and progressive of his ideas. Think about it. As Jonathan Golob points out today on the SLOG (…), we need to be making sure that we will be competitive with Boeing/Microsoft start fading. Establishing a fiber optic broadband system (which almost every other city except Seattle has or is getting since Qwest is being a lazy ass here) is vital for our economic competitive edge. It will also facilitate health services, disaster response, city services, etc. This is forward thinking and it's needed.

More than anything, I'm liking that McGinn is talking like a mayor. He's talking like someone who understands the values of setting priorities. Even if Metro isn't under his mandate, the mayor's agenda can influence how the bus system is treated.
I agree with you on this Erika. Didn't the city already try to do this a few years ago? I think they took it to the legislature and it didn't make it out of committee. Would be interesting to look into.

I think public safety should have made it into his top priorities, which is something the office already has control over.

All your points are somewhat flawed.

Please consider the Nickels platform when he ran against Schell and Sidran in 2001. It included BRT on Aurora and more help for the Seattle Schools. Transit and schools have always been large parts of the Nickels platforms.

Many Seattle candidates pledge to help the schools. We tax ourselves to help the schools. A large part of the effort has to be in Olympia over funding, not on the school board at all.

If Seattle brought about better transit, that would help the schools, as they shift high school students off yellow buses.

Perhaps the parks department could help with school field maintenance and all schools could become neighborhod parks.

Seattle has much to do with transit flow, as they control signal timing, lane space, curb space. Seattle will spend $1.5 million of Bridging the Gap funds per year buying additional service. Perhaps McGinn would do more. Seattle councilmembers sit on the Regional Transit committee. The mayor chairs the ST Board.

McGinn criticized the deep bore selection. This is consistent with his 2007 stance on Roads and Transit. Nickels supported the 2007 measure. $2.8 billion is a lot to spend on a highway bypass. It means that WSDOT has no funds for the other projects being discussed during the AWV process. Nickels has pledged to pay for about $1 billion in AWV related projects, so taxes will be raised by either one. The question is what the revenue is spent on.

Tacoma did broad band. Perhaps it would help with economic development.
All of this should raise the question of why McGinn doesn't move to the 43rd (if he doesn't live there already) and try to primary Frank Chopp, which is a far more important and useful method of accomplishing his otherwise laudable goals.

Seattleites aren't paying enough attention to what is happening in Olympia. That's where the future of the city and the region will be decided.