Seattle, Meet Your Chamber of Commerce Candidates for City Council

Comments

1

Tim Burgess is not a "former Mayor." His short tenure as interim Mayor came about due to a fluke occurrence. He is a former Councilmember.

2

@1:

A mayor by any other name...is still a mayor, interim or no. He had the office and the authority that comes with it.

3

I voted for two of them, since I've known them a long time, Alex Pedersen and Heidi Wills.

Mayors only have the authority suburban car owners grant them, @2.

5

@2 is right on! He was appointed by a legit process and could do all the things any elected Mayor could do. Not sure why COMTE needs to out an asterisk there. @3 is a far too obscure reference to I don’t know what.

6

Here you go:

https://www.seattle.gov/cityarchives/seattle-facts/city-officials/mayors/mayors-1948-present

Any questions?

Alex Pedersen and Heidi Wills have no idea who you are, Will.

7

I live in District 6 and will vote for Sergio Garcia. Based on their answers during the debate Fathi, Massa, and Lisbin are all my second tier.

Wills just seems too much of the same thing we've always had. She's really good at seeking and promoting her endorsements, not so good at laying out her plans to fix our problems.

8

I live in District 6 and I'm voting for Fathi. As a doctor and an executive for one of the Obama care exchanges he has hands on experience working with health care issues that impact low income individuals. He's also lived in Seattle all his life. Sergio has been in Seattle for under two years now.

9

@8

I didn't know Health Care was one of the issues in the purview of the Seattle City Council. Seems like that is something for the State Legislature or the United States Congress to tackle.

I'd like a city council that cared a little less about national economic issues and a little more about local infrastructure issues.

City Councils take out the trash, they pave the roads, the dispose of the sewage, they enforce the laws. Providing Single Payer Health care is not possible for the Seattle City Council, so I don't really care what a city council candidate's views on health care are.

City councils are responsible for all the boring stuff. Building a sewage tunnel in Fremont along the ship canal, fixing the potholes, plowing when it snows, putting out fires, arresting criminals, and picking up the trash.

When I look for a Senator, a representative, or a legislator I look for vision and dreams.
When I look for a council member I look for competence, tenacity, and most importantly, an understanding of what their job entails.

No city council will solve climate change. No city council will be able to eliminate income inequality. They can however transport the sewage, pave the roads, and enforce the laws.

10

@9 Well said.

11

Well, "Stranger," we've met your choices (lookin' at you, Commissar Sawant). And we all know how that's turned out.

12

@9—"No city council will solve climate change. No city council will be able to eliminate income inequality."

Nobody can "solve" climate change. However, all local governments are on the front line of adapting to the inevitable. Seattle is poor at data gathering to help the Council and Mayor determine how to adapt, and is poor at implementing actions. Instead, we promote growth, because 'jobs' and because 'vibrancy' (whatever the F that means).

A city council can certainly help people deal with the negative impacts of income (and wealth) inequality. Minimum wage and other labor laws help. In Seattle we cater to the wealthy and high income except when pressured hard by poor and low income people.

All the basics you mention are needed (sewage, roads, etc.), but it is not enough.

13

@12
All the basics I mention are indeed needed, even essential. And they are not being taking care of. Let's get a city council that can handle the basic duties of a city governance, before asking them to branch out into non-essential areas.
The nine current members behave like the essential duties of city management are beneath them. They are ideologues without any competence in management, leadership, or oversight.

14

@13—Land use planning and policy is not "non-essential." It, like water, sewer, public safety, and fire, is one of the core responsibilities of local government. The allocation of authority over land use between local and higher levels of government has been a major area of political and policy debate for a long time. In the U.S., the basic authority, modified by civil rights and other considerations, remains at the lowest level.

You might consider labor relations to be non-essential, but the low wage earners who keep the economy functioning for the better off (serving their sandwiches and lattes, cleaning their office toilets, etc.) will disagree. If the higher levels of government won't protect their interests, it's the responsibility of local government to do so as much as possible.

You are conflating the incompetence of (most of) the current council with your definition of "essential responsibilities." Not logical.

15

@13
You're right, Land Use Planning is one of the essential elements of municipal governance, and another area where the current members of the City Council have proven completely incompetent. On that they are in good company, Seattle should have been re-zoned 20 or 30 years ago, so there's decades of incompetence on that one.

Let's talk about competence.
From Merriam-Webster, Definition of incompetent
1 : not legally qualified, 2 : inadequate to or unsuitable for a particular purpose, 3a : lacking the qualities needed for effective action, b : unable to function properly

For a City Council Member not being able to provide oversight over a city sewage agency that let's a canal project go $147,000,000 over budget is incompetence.

For a City Council Member not being able to provide oversight over a city utility that saw a smart meter program go $17,400,000 over budget is incompetence.

For a City Council Member not being able to provide oversight over a city transportation department that let a street car project go $100,000,000 over budget is incompetence.

That's just a start of how the current City Council's inability to deal with their essential job functions has cost this city.

Imagine if the city had an extra $264,000,000 dollars to deal with other issues, that effect those low-wage earners you champion. That's some real money, and real progress could be made. And that's just a drop in the bucket of this council's fiscal irresponsibility.

You said I was "conflating the incompetence of (most of) the current council."

I'm curious which city council member you think is competent. From my view, not one of them comes close.

16

@15 "I'm curious which city council member you think is competent. From my view, not one of them comes close."

You did not quote accurately what I said about your "conflating" error; you omitted the part about how you define incompetence based on a selection of items which are not under the direct control of the council, let alone of each individual member. You continue the logical error by tossing out a series of budget items and blaming all 9 current CMs for every one of them. Some of them were not even on the Council when the Ship Canal project because part of a Clean Water Act settlement agreement. (CWA litigation consent decrees were entered in July 2013; City/County joint project agreement was signed October 2015.)

You sound like an anti-government ranter when you make arguments by specific examples without any reference to the underlying policies being promoted. Do you think the City should have continued to allow storm water run off to pollute the Ship Canal and Puget Sound? Yes, underestimating the cost of major engineering projects is a big problem. It's also pretty universal; there's a large body of work on the topic. But your assumption that if we simply had "more competent" council members we'd currently have an extra 1/4 billion bucks to spend is absurd.

I continue to challenge your logic to lump all 9 CMs into a generalized category that "not one of them comes close" to competence. It depends on what your goals are. If the goal is to serve the forces of neoliberalism and unmitigated growth, Rob Johnson was highly competent. If your goal is to promote market urbanism—increase capacity and profit margins for developers—while causing racist and classist impacts of displacement, Rob Johnson was highly competent. He functioned very well as the chair of the land use committee to further these objectives. Most of the rest of the Council did go along with him (and Mayor Durkan) to adopt a highly flawed MHA ordinance. However, not all of them were equally complicit ("incompetent"). Herbold for one fought hard to reduce the displacement impacts and continues to do so within the constraints of a Council that has largely drunk the neoliberal coolaid. So, even by your definition, she is less distant from competence than the rest.

Everything isn't about cost overruns. I know from your aside about "re-zoning" you will disagree with my position on zoning, but that's the point; the policies each CM supports and how well they implement them are more important and within their purview. Their ability to conduct oversight of the Mayor once they adopt the City budget is limited.