The Cactus Speaks: Forschler, enough already!

[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

Forschler, enough already!

I was going to write about Councilmember Anderson and ethics – mutually exclusive words – and how we finally got half the Code of Ethics passed at Tuesday’s (July 26) Council meeting. However, politically brain dead Councilmember Forschler’s last minute resolution in new business for an elected mayor now takes center stage.

Forschler trashes elected mayor possibility
Many of us in the City of SeaTac want an elected mayor and it just barely loses when on the ballot (nine votes in 2009 and 200 in 2011). Now we have so many issues on the table it is not feasible to change our government structure at this juncture.

For Forschler to present a resolution to place the elected mayor on the ballot is like Satan promoting the Ten Commandments. He’s a poster child for not having one and any possibly that he would run would kill it. He screwed up the un-elected mayor position so bad, as long as he sits on the Council an elected mayor structure probably has no chance on the ballot and he made sure on Tuesday. With a vote of 6 to 1 (duh) the resolution was rightly rejected.

Councilmember Anderson found this an opening to lie his butt off repeatedly (nothing to see here). He claimed it took thousands of signatures to place it on the ballot. Since I ran the last two efforts I called B.S. at the meeting. It takes 15 percent of the last general election turnout. This amounted to 390 signatures in 2009 and ~ 500 in 2011. He also implied that four Councilmembers could pass it when they can only put it on the ballot. His fill rate of #2 far exceeds his height of 6’10”. But I digress.

Forschler shows a pattern of incompetence. His uninvited visit to the Des Moines City Council to chastise them in their own house for utility taxes was absurd. He wasn’t even sworn in yet and he was making enemies.

Forschler was trusted to find a local Interim City Manager (Donny Payne) and the Forschler Four went along. What transpired next was beyond the pale. Mr. Payne was thrown into a hostile environment, handled it poorly, and was forced out by un-PC behavior. Mr. Payne may not have been ready for this and say what you want to but they just don’t hand out Bronze Stars to anyone in the US Army as Mr. Payne had earned. Result: Mr Payne’s reputation is possibly forever damaged, Forschler takes no responsibility (hides), and finally steps down from the un-elected Mayor position.

Mr. Forschler invites highly controversial figure Matt Shea (Rep-Spokane) to speak against accepting CDBG grants. First, Mr. Shea needs to mind his own damn business and second, come up with better arguments or at least seemed prepared. What a fiasco that was with the defeated incumbents and their minions filling the Council Chambers for the show. The incumbents owe Mr. Forshler a check. He did them far more good than their own losing campaigns.

The Forschler Four touted in the 2015 election has become the Forschler One. He has alienated his supporters, fellow Councilmembers, and anyone else he has touched or associated with.

Since I recommended Mr. Forschler for the Council in a column in 2015 I have to conclude I made a mistake. I have known him for almost a decade and either he has changed dramatically or I never really knew him. In his current state, he is no longer suited for the SeaTac Council nor deserving of the trust myself and others have placed in him.

If he doesn’t keep his mouth closed more often, I only have to wonder how much more damage he can do in his three and a half years remaining on the Council. In a few months he has destroyed the political capital others have built over a decade.

Bad apple still left on the Council
Glib and tall Councilmember Tony Anderson may be, ethical he is not and oh, let me count the ways. That will have to wait till next column. You can thank hapless/clueless Councilmember Forschler for that.

One last thing
Councilmember Campbell still looking for volunteers for her Sidewalk Committee. Anyone? Stop laughing. Everyone in SeaTac but Ms. Campbell will get the joke.

And of course the Cactus song selection:

I couldn’t find one I liked for this column so here is tune my parents liked (think I was an aspiring five-year-old with a good memory).

Gene Pitney – (The Man Who Shot) Liberty Valance-1962



11 Responses to “The Cactus Speaks: Forschler, enough already!”
  1. Longtime SeaTac Resident says:

    Why is it some SeaTac residents and property owners and Councilmember Forschler are continually trying to destroy our City? I really have to question their motives. What is it they want? Those top donors that contributed heavily to the Forschler Four campaign, wanted something in return, that is painfully obvious. The continual support by some for an inept and highly inexperienced choice for a city manager of Donny Payne still boggles my mind. Thank goodness we have seven councilmembers for balance on issues for the good of ALL us citizens instead of an out of control mayor! We are seeing the influences this year time and time again of positions taken by Forschler in the interest of his top financial campaign contributors. I agree with Earl that we got a taste of what it would be like when Forschler was the chosen mayor for the first few months of the year. Frightening – Running his own agenda! It’s becoming more apparent that Forschler acts alone and that’s disrespectful to the rest of the council and the citizens.
    I don’t really care by what margin the change in form of government was defeated, it failed more than just two times over the last 20 years! The good people of SeaTac have spoken! We understand the benefits of having seven councilmembers with equal say represent our wishes.
    Also, those few voices can also keep their opinions to themselves and stop blaming the staff for council policies and decisions!
    The “city” is not a machine or a corporation. We, the people who live here and do business here, ARE the City. Can we please stop making ourselves look bad? City Council, please rise above the fray of the frequent, but same few voices, with their own interests in mind. Lead with dignity, true transparency, and set policies that serve us ALL, NOT special interests.

    • Vicki Lockwood says:

      Thank you long time city resident … I agree with you 100% and I am comfortable using my real name when I say so. I, too, have lived in SeaTac a long time ~ but I won’t be the 3rd anonymous poster.

      We have many good employees, some excellent employees and a few mediocre employees at City Hall. They pretty much mirror what you’d find in any successful company’s workforce. So please, let’s quit tearing our staff apart and causing those excellent and good folks to flee. Let’s get behind our staff and support them as they do their job. That’s what they’ve been doing all along .

      It’s been the Coucnil’s direction in the past that created the vision for our workers. If the boss wants you to build a sailboat then you build a sailboat or quit working there. That’s exactly what they’ve been doing. It’s vital for the boss to create the proper vision and then those with the expertise will implement. If the vision is impossible or impractical, the staff may provide some feedback about what is possible, but then once again it’s the Council’s job to recreate a new or revised vision. If the Council’s vision is possible and it’s not being implemented then it’s up to the Council to replace the City Manager.

      As citizens, it’s not our job to evaluate the Staff ~ it’s our job to evaluate the Council and vote according to the performance appraisal we give them.

  2. Another Longtime Sea Tac Resident says:

    So let me see if I get this right. At least 5 of the Council Members are in favor of an elected Mayor form of government (with probably 2 of them salivating at the thought of running for the position) and it is rejected because a council member they “don’t like” (are we in 2nd Grade?) brought it up for a vote. Grow up- If something makes sense and is a win for the city, act like grown ups and professionally address it. Oh, and they might not want to “do it now” because their plates are too full and it might cause a little controversy. Here’s another admonition- Grow a pair!!! You were not elected to sit back and avoid the tough issues. Sure they are going to ruffle a few feathers. That is what you are there to do. In fact, the feathers you would ruffle mean you are on the right track. Start Governing!!!

  3. C. Carswell says:

    I’ve noticed Mr. Gipson has mercurial tastes. He publicly prides himself
    on not being PC, speaking his mind; yet when the interim city manager
    wasn’t PC enough for the City Staff, Gipson says he “handled it poorly.” I
    wonder how Gipson himself would have done in that malignant environment?
    Likely the same or worse.

    Gipson always claims to be a good judge of character, then viciously
    attacks those whom he had previously adjudicated as “OK.” Those who he
    adjudicated as “not OK,” (the ones you’d think he would be attacking) get
    forewarned about his next attack, allowing them to prepare their defense.
    Meanwhile, the Council seems paralyzed (including the Panjandrum Pam
    Fernald), making no headway with their agenda, because “there are too many
    issues on the table.” Mr. Gipson agrees apparently, so I ask, who exactly
    is “brain dead?”

    From my knothole, at least Forschler was trying to do what he said he
    would do. While that may not be what some of you want because you disagree
    with their conservative platform, it is EXACTLY what the majority of us
    who voted for the “Forschler Four” expect. I would say many of the same
    folks who voted for the Forschler Four also voted for Panjandrum Pam too,
    and we hope she gets over herself and gets back on board. This internecine
    warfare on the majority council is so unhealthy.

    Puzzlingly, Mr. Gipson and his boss Jack Mayne, are up-in-arms about CM
    Kwon and Forschler’s testimony to the Des Moines city council last year,
    while they were still private citizens. It was Kwon/Forschler’s 1st
    Amendment right to do so. This is seen by Messrs Gipson/Mayne as
    blasphemous for some reason. I watched that video here after the kerfuffle
    to see what they were talking about. Des Moines Council was about to pass
    a disastrous ordinance, jacking up Utility Taxes the same way SeaTac did
    (Des Moines is absolutely starving for $ evidently). In my opinion,
    Kwon/Forschler were being good REGIONAL citizens, with Forschler giving
    his important perspective on the situation due to his many years as a
    sewer & water guy. As rankled as the Des Moines council apparently was
    about it, they NEEDED to hear it.

    In the end, their ordinance was not enacted (because the utilities were
    going to collectively sue the city) and Des Moines has been quietly
    revising their franchise agreements with the utilities, saving the
    residents of Des Moines a ton of money. Forchler should be commended for
    being outspoken and despite what Gipson says, is far from incompetent.
    Indeed quite the opposite, much to the chagrin of his opposition
    apparently. Forschler is perfectly suited for the SeaTac City Council,
    especially now. I say keep it up Rick Forschler, don’t let these Broadway
    critics get you down.

  4. C.T. Stapher says:

    Sometimes it is okay to just admit you messed up and move on. Councilmember Forschler and his league of demagogues seem completely unable to do so. They have to be right on every single point and and anyone that disagrees with them, friend or foe, on any part of any issue is becomes the enemy.

  5. Just saying says:

    It would be nice to hear positive things about the Council….. There’s got to be something. I get tired of reading about the constant negativity that this column produces.

    Happy thoughts to you all!

  6. chuck darielli says:

    I find both side of this debate very interesting but I take away alot more faith in the people that aren’t afraid to use their real name.

    • Vicki Lockwood says:

      So don’t be fooled by some of the names of the posters. Do you really think “See Cars Well” or “.SeaTac Stapher” are coincidental with “C. Carswell” and “C.T. (as in SeaTac) Staffer”???????

  7. Vicki Lockwood says:

    Chuck, looks like you and me and Earl are the only real names here.

    • Just saying says:

      Who really cares if someone is using their real name or a fake one. It certainly doesn’t take away from their opinion. Big high five to you for being so real. Stupid crap!

  8. Abe says:

    “Frightening – [Forschler] Running his own agenda.”

    How naïve. You think Councilmembers Campbell or Fernald are not running their own agendas? You think that politicians don’t take into account the opinions of their donors?

    And yes, put me in that camp of those who think the city manager got railroaded out of City Hall by staff who didn’t like the new council’s version of “change.” More and more facts come out weekly proving me right too.