Does Mayor Mike McGinn—who’s clashed with the city council over his proposal to replace the seawall—realistically think the council will put a measure asking for money on a ballot in two months?
“I think it is unlikely that we will see it on the ballot on May 18,” says the mayor. Earlier today, he sent the city council a letter and an ordinance (the ordinance, detailing the financing, is in this .pdf) and letter asking to put the $243 million bond measure on a special election ballot in May. “If they want to make a counter proposal for another month or a proposal to alter the financing program,” McGinn says, “we are okay with that.”
However, McGinn reiterates that the seawall should be approved by putting a bond measure before voters—not by following the city council’s proposals for increasing parking taxes and license fees, or by creating a localized taxing district.
“We already have issues with trying to maintain streets, funding the bike plan, and filling pot holes," he says. "If we use [those funding mechanisms] for the seawall it will be harder to fund other needs of the city in a significant budget deficit.”
McGinn also is opposed to the First Avenue streetcar.
His thinking: “We have to put the streetcar expansion on hold so that we can have a discussion about light rail expansion and local transit. Rather than making a financial commitment to one streetcar downtown, we need to discuss what we want the entire transit system to look like.”
And then he warns, laughing, “We will be asking for public input.”
What’s the council plan to do about the seawall? I'll update when I hear back from City Council President Richard Conlin.