LETTER: Joel Wachtel responds to opponent’s claims made at chamber event

[EDITOR’S NOTE: The following is a Letter to the Editor, written by a Reader. It does not necessarily reflect the opinion of The SeaTac Blog nor its staff:]

On September 27, 2017, I had the pleasure of participating in an affair hosted by the Seattle Southside Chamber of Commerce and The SeaTac Blog, called “Candidates’ Night.”

Candidates’ Night participation involved filling out a questionnaire and then attending Candidates Night where candidates would get 3 minutes each to speak. My speech focused solely on a plan to make SeaTac better. My opponent, Kathryn Campbell’s speech attacked me through blatant misrepresentation. It is noted that she was the only candidate who saw fit to attack an opponent at this affair.

Here is what she said:

“There were about 12 different items that were requested of us to have something to say about in our questionnaire. These are the six things my opponent didn’t feel it was worth mentioning. He said they were not relevant issues. I’m just gonna (sic) list them for you, Public transportation, pay equity, paid family leave, education funding, higher education, and healthcare. All of which he considered immaterial.”

This is my response to that attack. The actual question under discussion was: “Please rank the key business issues below and explain your position regarding each and your level of involvement in finding solutions including how you would find the solutions, if applicable.” (Emphasis supplied.)

I immediately realized that there were six items on the presented list that the city Council of SeaTac had absolutely no jurisdiction over. That means that these items are not within the domain of the council’s authority and our vote would not have an impact on these items. So I contacted the South Seattle Chamber of Commerce and asked them how I should proceed in responding those items. They indicated that the questionnaire was generic, in that it was used for many political positions and that not all items would be applicable to every candidate. For example a candidate for Port Commissioner, Sheriff and city council would each have different items they could impact. They said that I should identify any item was not within the control of the position I was seeking. So I marked each of these items, “(Not a relevant issue for this campaign)”. My opponent has consistently focused on regional matters, like cleaning the Duwamish (which isn’t in SeaTac) and Salmon recovery (in a city that has no salmon). What gets lost in pursuing regional messages is that our citizens must always come first! It is this regional approach that was responsible for SeaTac’s dire financial straits in the past and is exactly why the residents chose to replace 4 council members in the 2015 election, an act that has jump started the financial recovery of the city!

I have a large family and I am far from indifferent about the issues facing the city. I have five grandchildren so education is of paramount importance to me. I have four daughters, so pay equity and paid family leave are both also important to me. None of the presented issues are “immaterial” to me, and these 6 items are absolutely not within city Council jurisdiction and my answer was factual and proper. Ms. Campbell’s statements are without merit.

This is my first time running for any political position and I take substantial offense when an individual intentionally misrepresents what I have written or said to pervert it for their own purpose. My opponent has chosen to put words in my mouth, in an attempt to paint me as an uncaring and indifferent candidate, but nothing could be farther from the truth. I am passionate about SeaTac and I will not let a fast-talking politician misrepresent who I am. Because I know I am better than that!

You can view both our answered questionnaires at http://www.seattlesouthsidechamber.com/candidates-night#SeaTac and you can see the Candidates Night Speech’s video below (My opponent starts at 29:31 and mine start at 26:05):

Thank you for your consideration.

Joel Wachtel

[Have an opinion or concern you’d like to share with our Readers? Please send us your Letter to the Editor via email. Include your full name, please remain civil, cite your sources and, pending our review, we’ll consider publishing it.]


7 Responses to “LETTER: Joel Wachtel responds to opponent’s claims made at chamber event”
  1. Jack Trevino says:

    I do not believe I have ever seen a worse city council member than Kathryn Campbell. Anywhere. The city would be a much better place without her on the Council.

    She even called a resident a profanity over and over again and never apologized.

    Not my website bur here is some info.


  2. Doug says:

    Councilmember Campbell has an openly contemptuous and condescending attitude towards many those she claims she represents. Many of us still wonder why she refused a seat on unquestionably the most important committee in SeaTac, the Airport Committee. A committee that is now fighting for what we as a community deserve from the Port – this being a departure from the past when Councilmember Campbell willingly acquiesced to whatever the Port (airport) demanded from us. Oh well, only she knows but I would think that fighting for SeaTac and not siding up to the Port would be a quality we would all want from our elected officials.

    • Judith Evenson says:

      Excellent letter Joel. You have my vote. I have lived in Sea Tac City long before it was Inc. as a city and actually worked on incorporating. Many thought the area should merge into Tukwila or Burien. We had lots of start up problems and some real interesting elected to on the City Council & as selected Mayor. I personally feel we should elect the Mayor of Sea Tac as well. Coucilmember Campbell lives in Bow Lake Park, as you know, and carries those votes. Those folks vote I bet 100%, as most of us Seniors do. Somehow get into the Bow Lake Park and be heard in there. I also worked at Sea Tac Airport for many many yrs. as a Flight Attendant for Northwest Airlines (now part of Delta). Good luck in the upcoming election and stay involved and be heard.

  3. chuck darielli says:

    She turned down the airport committee because she said she didn’t like the other people on the committee……wonder why she can’t fill the sidewalk committee?

  4. Doug says:

    Below is a copy of open letter to CouncilMember Campbell regarding her reprehensible grandstanding. It is a very informative read….

    Councilmember Campbell,

    I suppose I could take the time to quote the RCW’s for mobile homes and legal use of Hotel/Motel tax but why bother? You seem to be a slow learner and/or could care less what is legally viable and within the City Council’s purview (not to mention berating your fellow Councilmembers whenever you can). Using the Firs residents for your own political gain seems to be your priority. I hope it doesn’t work and they realize they are being used by you, Gregerson, Bush, etc. and you are no longer a SeaTac Councilmember after the election.

    You are helping no one and I can only hope the Firs residents survive with their credit ratings intact, a place to stay in our City, and not ireparable harm to their families.

    You (and others) apparently have no concience. See below for you own statements. Sending this to you City email makes this public record and I take nothing back in what I have said/written so don’t bother to reply. Four years of you has been more than enough. Forward as you see fit. I sure have.

    after being on the council for four years, you should know by now that hotel taxes are regulated by the state and can only be used to promote tourism. it is also interesting that you would even mention this as a possibility seven days after being informed that this is not legally allowed at the 10/24 council meeting as evidenced in the video at time mark 140:50
    [email protected]castus4-seatac+15089106541508901164887139.vod.720p.SCM_2017_10_24.m2ts.mp4

    • Earl Gipson says:


      No need not to mention my name. I wrote the letter and there was more to it.
      In addition Ms. Campbell, upon reading my letter, had the article in RealChangeNews


      changed from her original statement in the article:
      “Campbell has been a voice on the SeaTac City Council calling for support for the Firs community, even leveraging funds from a tax on hotel beds to help the homeowners. There are already 13 more hotels in the pipeline to be built, Campbell said. SeaTac doesn’t need two more, she said….”

      “Campbell has been a voice on the SeaTac City Council calling for support for the Firs community. As more hotels come online — there are 13 in the pipeline, she said — more money for tourism will flow into the city through a tax on hotel beds. That could free up other, undedicated dollars for other causes, such as the Firs residents.”

      Now that’s Real Change.