The Cactus Speaks: An Election, a Lie, and a Lawsuit

[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

These are the things SeaTac was subjected to in this past week.

The Election
As we may now all know, the Council majority will change January 12 when the 4 new Council members are sworn in.

Sadly Terry Anderson will no longer be on our Council but as for the rest of the Councilmembers, many SeaTac citizens and businesses are pinching themselves to make sure it isn’t a dream.

Even with all the PAC money the incumbents received, in political percentages, it wasn’t even close. With the thanks to the SeaTacBlog and the NextDoor social network the Citizens are now paying attention and have taken action to remedy a decline in our city and budgetary management.

Nothing will change overnight but we are on our way. I do not expect the new Council majority to agree on everything (nor should they) but I am comfortable they have SeaTac’s well being in mind and not political ladder climbing/personal agendas. Power does bad things to good people so we must all stay vigilant.

Still always disappointed in voter turnout. We managed a meager 30 percent – but that was par with the entire election in King County.

The Lie
While Councilmember Gregerson lost the SeaTac election, the blatant lie in her last campaign mailing did not go unnoticed. She still holds an elected/paid seat in our legislative district.

The details of the lie can be found in a previous SeaTacBlog letter to the editor (here). I was there at the Council meetings/s, as was many other witnesses (its on video, too) when Councilmember Fernald spearheaded the cleanup of North SeaTac Park. For Ms. Gregerson to take credit for it in her mailing after she voted against it and called it a pet project illuminates her character.

In next year’s election when Ms. Gregerson is up for reelection for her House seat I hope the voters keep this in mind. If the 33rd Democrats cannot find a better candidate to put forward they may very well lose their very slim majority in the State House.

I have been against Councilmembers Skyping in or calling into Council meetings but I am willing to make an exception for Ms. Gregerson. We have two more Council meetings before the new members are sworn in and it would be nice if she does not step foot in our Council chambers again. It galls many of us.

The Lawsuit
In Kingen v City of SeaTac, the city is being sued for $18 million dollars in damages regarding the city’s purchase of SeaTac Center in December 09 (154th and International Blvd). The jury trial started Nov. 2, 1015. It will be a long/complicated trial (six weeks), years in the making, and will be revealing in how our city has dealt with its citizens and businesses for the past decade plus. I will be in attendance as time permits but will withhold my opinion for now. What I have seen so far brings up bad memories of my dealings with the city years ago. More on that if I have the stomach for it.

Other City Stuff ….

Abandoned/nuisance property abatement
In the Council Study Session on Tuesday, abatement of abandoned/neglected/bank owned properties were discussed and the Staff has asked for $48,000 in additional funds to secure and clean up (abatement) of these properties to cure/prevent current and ongoing deterioration.

The City would be “fronting” the money that would be returned when the property is sold, refinanced, or otherwise changes hands via liens and fines legally attached to the property.

Where the returned funds go was not addressed. As the money is returned it should replenish the abatement funding and not disappear down the dark hole called the City General Fund. The returned funds should be set aside for future abatements so that we always have a process, tracking, and adequate money to address future abatements. The Council did not talk about this and they darn sure should have.

Community Garden
The Community Garden at Riverton issue was again front and center in the RCM meeting presentations. The insistence of the Council majority in placing a Community Garden/Pea Patch on the Riverton Heights property still astounds me. This was vetted in detail years ago during the Riverton Heights meetings (here ) meetings and soundly rejected even with Delphi manipulation. NO SALE.

What did the current Council majority and our Parks Director, Kit Ledbetter do? They kept holding meetings/surveys until they got the results they wanted and insisting this thing is located on the Riverton Heights property and the community wanted it. B.S. Mr. Ledbetter is retiring next year. Goodbye. Don’t let the screen door hit your ass on the way out (just follow the ousted Council incumbents and their trail of lies).

Till next time.

– Cactus


4 Responses to “The Cactus Speaks: An Election, a Lie, and a Lawsuit”
  1. Mike Condon says:

    It is time for a new beginning in SeaTac, let the community and business’s come together. Working with the council and city hall, to improve our community!! Let’s have open discussions about concerns, bring back the coffee chats to get people involved! Do not hide behind closed doors, making back room deals.
    As we look to bring a local Kiwanis Club to build on the momentum of this election, Helping children in the community, with a Key Club for High Schools, a Circle K club for college students. Then for elementary students K-Kids ,Builders Club for middle school. We are looking for members to make this happen, we currently have 10 members and need 15 to start the SeaTac Kiwanis. If you are interested in building a stronger community for the children. Please stop by Mike’s Community Cup for more information!!

  2. Vicki Lockwood says:

    Thanks, Earl, for once again sharing some of what sits between the lines and has been the unspoken catalyst for some of the decisions that our now our history,. And thank you Mike for sharing some of the enthusiasm o the hope that exists for our future. I look forward to our new journey and chosen path!

  3. jellybean says:

    Earl- This may help answer the question of the Community Garden. Thanks to Kathryn Campbell for posting this information on Nextdoor:
    INTERNATIONAL RESCUE COMMUNITY- Through a network of staff members and volunteers we provide access to the tools of self-reliance: housing, job placement and employment skills, clothing, medical attention, education, English-language classes and community orientation. Each resettlement office serves as a free, one-stop center for refugees’ needs during their pivotal first months in the U.S.
    *****Through community gardening, nutrition education and small-business farming, the IRC’s New Roots program is giving hundreds of refugee farmers the tools and training they need to grow healthy and affordable food and become self-sufficient