Remember when Bellevue developer Kemper Freeman said McGinn "doesn't have a clue how to run a city" and essentially accused McGinn of attempting to gut Seattle business with one big hairy paw by raising parking rates downtown?

Today, McGinn responds: "I wouldn't take advice on how to be run city from a guy who opposes light rail over I-90 and into Bellevue," he said by phone from Philadelphia. "People come to Seattle to shop because we’re a great city not because we have free parking. In fact, we get 50 percent of morning and evening commutes by other modes than cars. There’s no way we can serve downtown employment, retail, or service providers by auto alone. That’s why we’re a big city."

But when I ask McGinn if he considers Bellevue to be a big city, he sidesteps. "You show me a place with cheap, free parking, it’s not walkable or economically successful," he says. "If we can raise the rates and collect more dollars—if we act like a business, as conservatives like Freeman are asking us politicians to do all the time—we have the money to support police, fire department, the parks department, our library system, and other things. If we do those things well, if we have funding for the arts, that’s what attracts people to our downtown—a safe place with good parks and vibrant sidewalks and walkability. Those are the things that attract people to a city."