The Cactus Speaks: Change of City Leadership

[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

Our rocky political year has come to a close but not without fanfare and the outgoing majority Council trying to lay a dead Christmas carcass at the doorstep of the incoming Councilmembers (and the city’s citizens). It was so hard to let go of their power they fought to hold on to the last even after being trounced in the election. We all know that power does bad things to previously good people. It was again just demonstrated.

Many of us are not cut out to be Councilmembers nor have the temperament to sit on the dais, looking out over the audience, and be polite to sometimes inane banter. I, for one, do not and would be instantly disruptive in saying so and can barely sit still now while in the audience. Like Dirty Harry said, “A man’s got to know his limitations.”

Have we chosen wisely?
I think we have chosen wisely and the new CM’s will earn the trust of those who didn’t vote for them. They all have varied views and with a few fits and starts the city will turn away from our historical paradigm of personal agendas to the city’s business at hand. A couple of personal agendas are remaining but that can wait till the 2017 election unless they go away on their own (we can only hope). We all must remain vigilant in the meantime.

Honest, timely, and transparent information from staff allows like decisions from the Council

This has been a problem in the past and those tedious Power Point presentations from staff lose their effect when the Council sees them for the first time in a Study Session. The Council must decide on the spot whether to move something forward while they could have questions and comments prepared in advance. These questions now seemingly pop into the Councilmembers head. Some pop faster than others and there have been indications that only some CM’s were privy to the information in advance. Many of us do pay attention and are not imagining things.

A glimmer of support for outgoing Council?
Citizen John Lucas spoke in support of the outgoing Council and its Interlocal Agreement (ILA) decision at the last Council meeting. I can empathize with Mr. Lucas. I thought the same thing years ago only to find out how Citizens (myself included) and our businesses were consistently treated badly (understatement) by Councilmembers and some members of the Staff. After digging out various sharp instruments from my back, the smiling faces and polite words meant nothing. The worst Staff offenders have been gone a couple years; however, Cutts remains (for now).

New Years Resolutions
One of my resolutions is to continue to press for a City Wide Code of Ethics (a real one, not Gregerson’s bad joke). I hope that one of yours is to vote in every election you are eligible to. The 36 percent turnout in November still bothers me and I wish I could communicate how important your vote really is. The malaise of the electorate seems to only get worse nationwide.

In Closing
My best wishes to the new CM’s and a special thanks to the SeaTacBlog and my Citizen advisors. Without Senior Writer Jack Mayne and Editor Scott Schaefer the Cactus column would not exist nor would my writing be as polite. I am rather crude at times and need all the constant filters I can get. J

Happy New Year and may the Force be with you!


4 Responses to “The Cactus Speaks: Change of City Leadership”
  1. Mike Condon says:

    Thanks Earl, as a small business owner in SeaTac I appreciated your column, I to hope the new C.M. work to make this city the shining star it can be. Happy New Year, and let’s go filet a salmon!!

  2. Vicki Lockwood says:

    And may the force be with you, Earl! Thank you for sharing your opinions via this column. I have enjoyed your perspective and wisdom.

  3. Sojie says:

    Just curious -what’s your connection to the Cassan family, Earl?