THE CACTUS SPEAKS: ‘Please do it in private, not at a Council Meeting…’

[EDITOR’S NOTE: This column by Earl Gipson is a view of SeaTac city government. It does not necessarily reflect the views of The SeaTac Blog nor its staff. We are seeking additional regular columnists to reflect opinions and views of SeaTac residents. Those interested can e-mail us at [email protected].]

by Earl Gipson

Hello SeaTac Citizens and fellow Cacti…

Lets start off with a note about the Planning Commission meeting Tuesday before last that didn’t happen. As I arrived I found there was to be no Planning Commission meeting, as they had no quorum. This is the first time since I have been going (since 2008) that this has happened. Other meetings have been officially canceled (no agenda items, etc.) but this had a Public Hearing scheduled to boot. I am hoping this is just a one time occurrence/coincidence and that it is not related to the Council’s/un-elected Mayor’s ignoring their recommendations.

Moving on to yesterday’s Study Session it appears the City is continuing land speculation with our tax dollars. Some of you may recall the City purchased SeaTac Center late 2009 (City is being sued for that little maneuver). So in the spirit of “in for a penny in for a pound”, the City is now contemplating purchasing 2 adjacent parcels. One of these is the property that has the Pancake Chef on it and the other the 152nd St “triangle” that merges Military Rd. and International.

Here is my problem with all of these purchases by the City. These properties are commercial, income producing properties but the revenues are not being set aside to repay the City funds used for the purchase nor are the revenues being set aside for infrastructure improvements when these properties are re-developed. The income that they produce is being weaseled into the General Fund and used to pay recurring costs (salaries, etc.). This means our budget is being balanced on unsustainable (hate that word) revenues and draining our Capital Investment Funds at the same time.

Next we have yesterday’s ye olde Council Meeting. The Council approved having Public comments at Study Sessions and in the places in the Council Agenda that count. Council Member Bush stated Public comments should not be used to promote a political agenda or personal/petty issues (and he appeared not to like my poems or musical accompaniments either). Well if that’s the case perhaps we should eliminate Council comments at the end of the meetings. I see nothing but self-promoting political agendas from some Council members during their comments. Anyway, it’s a win for us SeaTac Citizens so come on down and speak your peace!

By the way in that same Agenda Bill the Council Meetings are moved from 6:00 PM to 6:30 PM. Study Sessions will remain starting at 4:00 PM. So there you have my Public Service announcement.

In what thought (in my sick mind) was a humorous note was when Councilman Ladenburg asked for un-elected Mayor Anderson’s signature on a highly flattering and biased article in the Highline Times. I can somewhat understand having one’s lips on another’s backside but please do it in private not at a Council Meeting, thank you very much.

One more side note: in Council Comments Council Member Forschler politely criticized the proposed appointees of the Community Building Committee stating that the majority lived outside the City and some applicants (SeaTac residents) were not even interviewed. Council Member Gregerson replied that members were chosen for broad background, ability to work together (probably know each other), and ethnic diversity (in our alleged color blind society statements like those don’t help).


One Response to “THE CACTUS SPEAKS: ‘Please do it in private, not at a Council Meeting…’”
  1. Vicki Lockwood says:

    Thanks, Earl, for another attempt to keep our citizens informed about the happenings of our governing body. I realize your “report” is not meant to be the official minutes of the meetings, but I would like to add kudos to the citizen who spoke at this Council Meeting to once again re-iterate the obvious conflicts between what our citizens advised for the Riverton Heights property and what became the “official” recommendations for that property. Why does our City ask for Citizen involvement and input and then ignore the results? I don’t blame the citizens on the Planning Commission for not attending the last Planning Commission meeting. Why bother? They donated years of their time to the Planning Commission only to have their ideas thrown out in a matter of minutes by our Peer-Appointed Mayor.

    Apparently our Mutual Admiration Society of the Council Majority doesn’t like the input they’ve been receiving from our citizens who are involved, who want to make a difference, who are willing to give of their time. So now they’ve pulled another trick out of their hat in an attempt to get the “right” input. They are recruiting and hand-picking those allowed to give input, and there is no residency requirement for those chosen. After more than a year we now have a new SeaTac Community Building Committee. Four of the nine members do not live in our City. This is in spite of the fact that more than enough residents of our City applied to this Committee. Guess the “choosers” didn’t like some of the applicants who reside here so they went shopping and recruiting for their like-minded friends outside our city. By the way, many resident applicants never even received an acknowledgement of their application or an interview. The “choosers” must see themselves as omniscient as they decided without even giving these folks an opportunity.

    I am not questioning the expertise that these outsiders may bring to such a group, but use them as consultants, advisors and mentors. But not as voting members of how to build our community! Ms. Gregerson and Mr. Ladenburg indicated that there are no lines or right side of the street when it comes to community and so these non-residents are appropriate inclusions. I remind them that we became a City because we wanted more control over our community than we had when we were merely a part of the county. As a City, there are definite boundaries and borders. You either live in our City or you don’t. It appears that their hand-picked committee will be a Southwest Suburban Cities Human Services Committee parading under a different name. If this committee is NOT a SeaTac committee, then it should be not be under the umbrella of “SeaTac”.

    I believe the majority of our Council Members have forgotten who elected them. They are NOT Southwest Suburban City representatives, they are NOT King County representatives, they are SeaTac representatives. What’s wrong with asking them to do the job we elected them to do?