[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
The Special Council Meeting on the 19th was special indeed. The Council interviewed candidates for Interim City Manager in public. I was chatting in another conference room with the candidates and didn’t watch the actual Q & A interviews until Wednesday on the City’s website.
What, me worried?
Here I was all worried that we would not find a local qualified Interim City Manager and along comes Bob Jean hero of Valdez and other situations. I looked him up of course and his record was as impressive as his interview on Tuesday evening. Problem is, we didn’t hire him.
Worried a little
We did hire James “Donny” Payne, a resident of Des Moines and former losing candidate for their City Council. Mr. Payne’s credentials pale in comparison to Mr. Jean’s; however, our new Council Majority are the “deciders” and they may have access to information, insights, etc that I don’t. With the lawsuit (Kingen), the budget, and the Port Inter Local Agreement issues I think we all might be nervous nellies right now and not to put to much pressure on our Interim City Manager, but you better be good.
Was this enough?
Seventeen questions (in public) may not be enough for this type of position but we are in a bit of a pickle staff wise. I doff my hat to all those candidates who stepped up. No one ever calls me (my company) unless there is a severe problem and they have only one question for me. Can you help us? I answer truthfully and if yes, 5 minutes later we are into it (the Non-Disclosure Agreements are always prepared in advance). It was overheard that Mr. Jean offered Mr. Payne any help if he needed it during his tenure. Now that’s a gentleman.
Trust, then verify
For our City, only the Council can make this type of emergency call (probably more to come) and we have to trust their judgment and we can become unhinged later if they hurt our home and City any further. SeaTac is overdue and deserves a lucky break. I don’t want to call off the honeymoon. I am an equal opportunity Cactus (jerk for shorthand).
My editor, Jack Mayne, called the meetings meandering. That was very nice. I couldn’t find an appropriate synonym in the dictionary just now. Maybe next column. The process was open and transparent. What was transparent to me may not be transparent to some but I would ask you watch the meeting/interviews and make your own assessments/comments.
Jury is still deliberating on the Kingen v SeaTac trial. I am dreading writing about that.