The Mayor Spies?
Seattle City Council members may have been freaked out to learn that city department directors are required to fill out a weekly report for the mayor and include descriptions of all "Council Contacts"--basically a summary of all interactions with council members that may give the mayor a heads-up on council strategy and thinking.
For example, the September 20 weekly report from Seattle Parks and Recreation Director Dewey Potter relays this bit of info: "Peter Steinbrueck seemed unpersuaded that the authority to set hours rests with me, and he seems to be interested in getting involved in setting field hours." Likewise, in a weekly report from the Department of Neighborhoods, Yvonne Sanchez reports: "Licata asked Deirdre Grace, NE Neighborhood Development Manager, to provide him with names of community members she has worked with on issues related to the University Village expansion. It seems he is preparing legislation that could require... a commercial master plan."
Hardly nefarious, the reports seem like smart organizing on the part of the mayor. However, there are a few bizarre, almost Stasi-esque items, like this October 4 report from Office of Arts & Cultural Affairs Director Michael Killoren: "Ran into Council Member Conlin at the opening of 'Copenhagen' at Seattle Rep on Monday night, exchanged pleasantries." JOSH FEIT
Controversial Monorail Board Appointment
Joel Horn conspiracy theorists are buzzing over the recent nomination by the Seattle Popular Monorail Authority (SPMA) of Nick Hanauer to its board. It seems Hanauer--Downtown Seattle Association board member, venture capitalist, monorail campaign contributor, and Horn cohort in such past political campaigns as the Commons effort--was a Shoreline resident until late January. To qualify for Seattle's SPMA board, Hanauer switched his voter registration from a $2.7 million home in the Highlands (a Shoreline gated community) to the Madison Park condo he co-owns with his brother. AMY JENNIGES
P-I Staffers Turned Loose
Seattle Post-Intelligencer Publisher Roger Oglesby abruptly called a full staff meeting on Friday, February 7. Though he told staffers he understood their concern over his silence in the wake of Seattle Times Publisher Frank Blethen's recent Seattle Weekly interview, he said the looming prospect of his legal battle with the Times made it unwise for him to defend the P-I publicly. However, he added, he had no problem with staffers acting on their own initiative to counter Blethen's claims. SANDEEP KAUSHIK