The Cactus Speaks: SeaTac Council – Transparency Redefined

[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 different opinions and views of SeaTac residents. Those interested can e-mail us at [email protected].]

by Earl Gipson

In the Council Study Session on Tuesday (July 28), the word ‘transparency’ was replaced in Webster’s with ‘we are behind this rock over here and we have guns in case you try to peek around it.’”

Council Committee meetings all will be private affairs.

In a proposal to change the Council Administrative Procedures the citizens of SeaTac will be permanently locked out of committee meetings (unless we kick a few people off the Council).

These committee meetings are being cleverly disguised as “Council workgroups” to blatantly bypass the OPMA (Open Public Meetings Act) and keep the public from knowing what some Councilmembers are actually doing.

Arguing for the citizens, Councilmember Fernald quoted the law that these meetings should all be open to the public. Un-elected Mayor Gregerson cut her off and continued to treat Fernald like something she found under her shoe (just like the rest of us).

We searched asylums for our 2011 Council election and some running for re-election is what we got.

Councilmember Campbell asked City Attorney Mary Mirante Bartolo, “is this what we have been doing all along?”

The short answer is yes. They break the rules then change them to cover their backside just in case we notice.

In Council Comments, Councilmember Ladenburg said the changes made the city more transparent, zebras don’t have stripes, and he’s number 1. He is actually full of number 2. I made up the part about the zebra and number 1. Had to find a way to get to the punch line.

Transparency the old fashioned way
Councilmember Tony Anderson was transparent. He wasn’t there again. Is he even on the Council anymore? Probably shouldn’t be. Someone on a phone line kept saying stuff and interjecting their opinion into the meeting. I think it was Donald Trump.

Why would incumbents do this before an election?

I have a couple of theories.

One, there is something in the background they need to hide very badly.

Two, they want off the Council before they jump off something.

Unfortunately there’s more.
In other Council Administrative procedural changes, it is proposed that our math-impaired city manager has approval of spending $1 million without Council discussion, where it is $50,000 now (and was $25,000 before the asylum escapees got elected).

Hard to believe
I have been writing this column for two years now and keep thinking there will be nothing to write about when viewing some of the agendas beforehand. No matter how bland it looks on the surface, this majority Council delivers on comedy, drama, and “so stupid its funny” stuff. All it needs is a magic show on the side (clowns we have) and there should be a packed house every meeting.

Hope to see you there sometime. Right now, it is my favorite reality show. Don’t forget to vote on or before this Tuesday, August 4th, and perhaps sanity will return to the running of our city.


6 Responses to “The Cactus Speaks: SeaTac Council – Transparency Redefined”
  1. Vicki Lockwood says:

    Absolutely unreal! Apparently the “keep my REAL agenda a secret while I pull the wool over your eyes” method of operation for the Council Majority that was bought and paid for by the Progressive Party and unions in our previous SeaTac elections is no longer the marching orders for these folks. Perhaps they no longer feel the need to ‘pull the wool over our eyes’ because they believe voters are not paying attention. Their sole marching orders now appear to be truncated to simply ‘keep everything a secret’. Please, SeaTac voters … let these arrogant incumbents know that you are paying attention by not voting them back in to office.

    • Vicki Lockwood says:

      p.s. Sally Andrews is the “new kid on the block” embraced by these arrogant incumbents … no need to wonder how she will operate if elected.

  2. jellybean says:




  3. Mike Condon says:

    This reeks of real trouble for the community,how can we as community members ,help to improve the city of SeaTac??? If we are to be kept in the dark!! Let me guess, we are supposed to trust the council?? The same majority that shoved s 6% tax on utilities down your throat, the same ones that do not want to have the citizens, have a opportunity to speak at council meetings.Or are chastised by council member Kathyrn Campbell for speaking your mind, this city should be a model for other cities to respect and try to be like. Yet it is a city that is divided by a council that is hell bent on taking away your rights as a American. This needs to stop, when the community stands up and takes notice. Changes can happen. Change is good, this change is necessary!!!!

  4. seatac says:

    “city manager has approval of spending $1 million without Council discussion, where it is $50,000 now (and was $25,000 before…”

    this extra $1million is what is being generated EVERY MONTH since the utility tax has been implemented starting january of 2015. now we won’t know how it’s being spent until after the fact.

    so they are planning to:
    1. hold private meetings behind closed doors on how to spend the money
    2. spend the money without citizen’s knowledge nor approval

    where is the government transparency and accountability in seatac?

  5. Ron Bensley, Jr. says:

    Sandy and I no longer live in Seatac, though we were citizens there for many years. We are concerned that the poor policy decisions of the current Seatac Council will set a bad precedent for other King County suburban cities, particularly the serious reduction in transparency and accountability to the general public.

    As a Highline High School graduate who grew up in unincorporated south King County in and near what is now the City of Seatac, I cannot fathom why the majority of the elected officials want to “push the limits” to conceal their decision making from citizens. What kind of “easter eggs” are being hatched in closed-door sessions, in violation of the Open Public Meetings Act?