The Cactus Speaks: SeaTac starts the New Year with a Bang

[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

The New Year started off with a bang (actually a few of them) in the City of SeaTac…

BANG #1:

SeaTac Prop #1 (giving 63 percent raises and benefits to hospitality, transportation, and other “easy to replace your butt or we would pay you more” jobs) now needs to be implemented and businesses audited at SeaTac taxpayer’s expense. That only applies to the taxpayers that will be left so if you are planning to move or relocate your business stop worrying, the pain is temporary.

The cost of this groundbreaking (should have used Bertha, at least it got stuck) local legislation was $1.8 million dollars in campaign spending with the unions outspending business (self defense) 2 ½ to 1. With 6003 SeaTac voters voting on the ballot measure (source-King County Elections) that’s ~ $363 per vote! That’s a state record that seemed to be ignored by the “main stream” media. Makes Costco look like amateurs.

SeaTac voter rolls increased by 1838 new registered voters 6 months prior to the ballot election. That’s the first voter registration increase since 2001 and a whopping increase it was. Speculating, this was either imported voters or voters who realized that living within your means is no longer necessary. Just vote yourself a raise. Congress does it.

To no surprise to most of us, Judge Darvas said, you can’t do it to the Port of Seattle. SeaTac has no jurisdiction over that government entity. Sooo, since the unions excluded themselves from the legislation and it does not apply to the Port everyone spent 1.8 million dollars to give ~ 900 people a 63 percent raise for doing the same “high skilled” job and not the 6200 employees that was targeted by the unions. Congratulations all around.

BANG #2:

Stay with me here. This is SeaTac politics at its best. Our (perhaps yours, anyway) King County Council Member Julia Patterson retires (sort of; hubby and daughter still work for the City). State legislator Dave Upthegrief (did I spell that wrong?) is the darling to replace Patterson on the King County Council (it pays more) and he wins.

Now the King County Council must appoint someone to fill Upthegrief’s (I did it again) remaining term in the legislature. The 33rd district Precinct Officers (PCO’s) gather and deliberate (I guess that’s what they do) and come up with two names to submit to the County Council for appointment. They are Ms. Albertson of Kent City Council and Ms. Gregerson of SeaTac City Council. Despite the PCO’s heavy endorsement of Ms. Albertson, County Council appoints Ms. Gregerson. Did I mention Ms. Gregerson is Julia Patterson’s next door neighbor and fellow Angle Lake Shore Club member?

The County Council has never gone against the PCO’s top recommendation before in my recollection. Has Ms. Patterson really retired or found a different way to wield power? Personally I think she should be satisfied with the damage already done to South King County.

BANG #3:

Did I save the best/worse for last? You make the call. In Tuesday’s SeaTac Special Council meeting for swearing in new/re-elected Council members, they also SELECT an Un-elected Mayor and Deputy Mayor.

Side note: The position of Mayor will NEVER be considered elected by myself/others until it appears on a ballot. 7 Council members does not an election make nor is the mayor of our City its executive. Overpaid (questionably competent) and non-resident City Managers are the executives in our form of government. No skin in the game as some of us would say.

Anyway, back to our story. Ms. Gregerson, by a 5 to 2 vote, is now the new un-elected Mayor and former un-elected Mayor Tony Anderson is now the Deputy Mayor (no other nominations). So basically Gregerson and Anderson just switched positions. I know frequent commenter Michael Kovacs might construe that statement a tad differently or is at least snickering.

Ms. Gregerson now holds two paid elected offices (Upthegrief’s unfinished term) and got a $2K annual raise now that she is SeaTac’s un-elected Mayor. As with Julia Patterson did she or does she really ever represent the Citizens of SeaTac? My opinion would be no. Political climbers is the only polite way to say what I am really thinking and looking around at the deterioration of our City.

The only thing missing from the Council ceremonies on Tuesday were red signs and raised fists from our electeds, excluding of course Terry Anderson and Pam Fernald.

If you got this far, thank you for listening and a not so Happy New Year!


8 Responses to “The Cactus Speaks: SeaTac starts the New Year with a Bang”
  1. Vicki Lockwood says:

    Remember the term “carpetbagger” from your old history lessons? Carpetbaggers were insidious outsiders with questionable objectives who meddled in local politics. They politically manipulated and controlled local governments for varying periods for their own financial and power gains.

  2. Kathie Brave says:

    One of your best Earl.
    When I moved to McMicken Heights 42 years ago this was a nice little area. Maybe lower middle class. A good place to raise my 4 kids and eventually a grandkid. Now I am so disgusted with what has happened to us.
    I saw no need to become a city from day one but that happened. Now I know why I didn’t want this. I can’t move as the value of my house has decreased by half in just 4 years. (Dang, I should have sold in 2006) We now have a group of people who are just like our federal government. Take over, do what you want, give, give and give more to the poor that we keep moving in here who can’t take care of themselves. (I feel sorry for them but we can’t take them all. Oh, I guess some think we can.)
    Just like the federal govn’t the citizens have no say over what goes on. 4 people, and now it will be 5, decide everything that must go on here. I still don’t understand why the voting for a mayor didn’t pass? Are we all that stupid? Apparently so.
    About a year or more ago, I decided I needed to practice what I preach, started attending meetings and doing what I could. I think I’m about finished. It has done no good what so ever! I am beating my head against a very hard brick wall. When we have a gang of (now) 5 who will make all the decisions for us, do what they want, when they want, it’s time for me to spend my energy elsewhere where I can (maybe) do some good. I am tired of stressing over all of this. It’s bad enough I stress over the entire country, so will think about volunteering where I can help.
    I knew what was going to happen Tues. night but was still disgusted at it all. Many of us really wanted to get up and boo but that would have done no good.
    So very sad but I guess when you have low information voters this is what you get.
    The entire vote this last election was very suspect. Way too many new voters and surely wonder how many were even legal to vote? Way too many voters who only voted for one thing on the ballot. This has already backfired on them and will only get worse.
    I am sorry for what we have become and will become. Pray for us, we need it

    • Hmm says:

      Kathie, you are a very bitter woman. You are calling the majority of SeaTac voters uninformed and stupid for not voting for the mayor for of govt, the prop 1 and ur choice of council member not getting re elected. Dont go to council meetings cause your voice doesnt matter, your negative with the rest of the “crew” you hang out with. I wish that you would say something positive about the city, since you cant, I would hope that you could keep quiet

      • Michael T Kovacs says:

        Too bad “Hmm” cant use real name. They all hide behind the curtain of evil. Hmm Hmm Hmm Hmm Hmm Hmm

  3. Dan Decker says:

    Do You Know the City of SeaTac is a Rental Agency?
    Who is keeping an eye on how the money in SeaTac is spent? Do you really know? Your City Manager only gets the letter grade “C” by your City Council. Why does the City Council pay big buck for such low performance? Think about this every City Agency is contracted out to contract out means to rent out.
    Think about this:
    1. Your Police Department is rented from King County at twice the cost of a in house police department. Your mayor is a King County Cop.
    2. Your Fire Department is now rented from the City of Kent. This rental agreement cost several million of extra dollars. You get to pay this SeaTac Citizens.
    3. Your Prosecutors Office is also a rental. They only care about their promotion not your safety.
    4. Your Water Department all four or five of them are under rental agreement with the City. You get to pay extra for your water and the City will not tell me or you what is in the water.
    5. Your streets are even under a rental agreement to repair. The cost of street repair is cheap they say. They sure got us fooled. Do, they?
    Looking at this list, why does the City of SeaTac exist? Because the people get to pay twice the Tax to live in the New Town of SeaTac. Look at the list the City owns nothing and the people get to pay big money to be renters. Yes you rent all your agencies and own nothing. How Lucky could you be to have Tony Anderson for Mayor and his Angle Lake friends on the council.

    • Michael T Kovacs says:


      The current unelected mayor is Mia Gregerson and deputy unelected mayor is now Port of Seattle Top Cop Tony Anderson. Gregerson is serving on the City of SeaTac Council as a member and now 33rd legislative district representative in Olympia. She should give up one or both since she is inadequate to serve. The only reason she is holding onto SeaTac because she will loose when running for election to the legislature in 2014. Top Cop Anderson we all know is record of failure and ethics violations and charges of derelict of duty charges, plus needing a fix. and

      Its fun to watch Omaha Sternberg and other party members canibilize each other as 33rd Democrats.

  4. Dan Decker says:

    Michael, thank you for the correction. From what I see the dirt is in SeaTac City Hall. Is it now in Olympia, too? Again thank you for the heads-up.

    • Michael T Kovacs says:

      Dan, its in Olympia now like a virus. Hopfully house will be cleaned in November 2014 election. You are welcome. Like your posts, they are great.