[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
I guess you could call this a summary of the Council meeting (Jan. 24) and the various meetings I attended this past month.
‘Global to Local’ gets local lesson
I attended the Administration and Finance Committee meeting where Global to Local (G2L) funding was discussed (Jan. 5). Adam Taylor, the executive director of G2L, interrupted, bordered on obnoxious, and was argumentative in the meeting.
Councilmember Campbell (not a committee member) continued that attitude in support of G2L. There are times to be obnoxious, rude, and argumentative (I should know) but when you are “asking” for discretionary money it is not really a good idea.
Further, paying “volunteers” justified by G2L saying the cultures are not familiar with volunteerism is not exactly going to teach that concept. G2L called it a stipend. What B.S. and the political overtones were obvious to some that attended meetings of G2L. Web site (here)
G2L non-funding was justified and they should continue to be un-funded until they become more professional (learn some manners and stop paying “volunteers).” No one is buying that ‘stipend’ concept. There are other organizations out there that do something for people besides promoting their own agenda and could use the money that almost went to G2L.
Conflict of Interest
Our Human Services Manager, Colleen Brandt-Schluter seems to have a conflict of interest in serving as a director still is as of this writing of South King Council of Human Services. We not only pay them an annual membership fee, we provide additional funding via a human services contract. We don’t need the implication of impropriety whether it is true or not.
When I read the South King Council of Human Services website methinks they have political aspirations and that direct human services may be secondary. Read this. Opinion?
Councilmember Kwon could not even find them at first. Initially he found their contact information was a P.O. Box, then it was an abandoned property, and now they seem to have a home. No red flags from our trusted Committee? Well our Council decided not to fund them for 2017.
Ms. Brandt-Schluter should know better. Not the first time ethics has been an issue as the PDC fined her, and the now 33rd district State Representative Mia Gregerson (former SeaTac un-elected mayor), for using city facilities for political purposes. Brandt Schluter: here; Gregerson: here. This was a long time ago for the 2009 elected mayor proposition (it was investigated in 2013) and we all forgot about it, however, this should have been a lesson learned. Apparently not and the PDC audio testimony was even worse but I threw that out long time ago. If anyone has it, please put it in the comments. Thanks.
Human Services vetting process needs vetting
All applications for Human Services are screened for completeness, etc by Ms. Brandt Schluter before they are presented to the Human Services Advisory Committee and the Committee’s vetting process goes from there.
How did she miss licensing issues, duplication of services, and possible political bias (see above)? I don’t have that answer and only she can provide a response.
We budget 1.5 percent of our General Fund to Human Services annually (~ $525K). This does not include the compensation for Ms. Brandt Schluter (now at $129K annually) and is in addition to the 1.5 percent. It has been this way since I can remember but I do not know if this was the Council’s intent at the time to ignore administrative overhead.
Para Los Niños unique approach to ESL
What was lost in the kafuffle was PLN’s approach to teaching entire families English. The licensing issue was cured but what got my attention was the family concept of teaching English. This seems so logical and, providing its success, perhaps we can use this model for other languages/cultures. We need to know more but at first glance I like this concept and the direct impact is obvious.
The Boat Show, the Boat Show the great SeaTac Boat Show (sing along)
Our contracted fire services, Puget Sound Regional Fire Authority (formerly the Kent Regional Fire Authority) has a rescue boat the City of SeaTac purchased in 2008 when it was SeaTac Fire and Rescue. The logic being we have a lake, we need a boat. Made sense at the time (I wasn’t really paying attention).
The Fire Authority requested at the Study Session (Jan. 24) that the speed limit restrictions be lifted on Angle Lake twice a month for training, practice, and/or firefighter recreation (made that last one up). The City Council compromised and agreed to once a month.
It was also stated our rescue boat is stationed at Fire Station No. 45 approximaely two miles away and was primarily used for “recovery” (as in bodies) and was not close enough to save anyone. Also it was stated the law says that if you own a piece of equipment that you must train on it and they have been using Lake Meridian (Kent) and Lake Washington.
Do we need this boat? Will a canoe do the trick for our purposes? Keep in mind the boat is not stored at the lake but must be trailered there and launched so the delay involved in any response will be a recovery mission and not a life-saving endeavor.
Cactus Song Selection
This is just a nice song. The City where Lukas Graham came from is interesting. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Freetown_Christiania
7 Years-Lukas Graham: