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Monday, January 23, 2006

Nickels on Licata

Posted by on January 23 at 16:36 PM

What a condescending statement from Nickels on Nick Licata.

The Team Nickels press release says:

“Congratulations to Councilmember Licata on his election as the new city council president,” Nickels said. “Nick and I have worked together for four years on many important issues, including public safety and civil rights. The people of Seattle will find in him a strong advocate of the arts and open space. I know that he will serve the city council well as president.”

Worked together? Mainly, Nickels has accused Licata of being “anti-jobs” for consistently truth-squading Nickels’s South Lake Union agenda.

Uh, “arts and open space” …sure.

But here’s hoping Licata challenges Nickels right off the bat on the fire levy funding fiasco. Licata should call on Nickels to rein in the project. It’s currently 40%, or $67million over-budget. And we all know how outraged Mayor Gridlock gets when things go over budget. Uggh, what a hypocrite the mayor is.

Licata voted the wrong way last week when the council approved the first bit of levy spending, but let’s hope, now that he’s a cocky council president, he’ll take it to Team Hypocrisy.

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"arts and open space".

Fucking great. Two things we already have way too much of. I don't want arts or open space; I want CITY AMENITIES. Like real transit. But I can't have that, so I get to have the world's stupidest sculpture park instead.

What do you want him to say in the press release..."I think Nick Licata is an asshole?" Come on, everyone knew he was supporting Godden. He did what was required by protocol.

Just pointing out how condescending it was. "Public space and arts." It's notably cringing.

It's like when Dean got the reins of the DNC and the Evan Bayhs of the world congratulated Dean for his good work as a fiscal conservative as Gov. of Vermont.

I didn't think he'd criticize Nick as an asshole. But his faint praise hinted at the stories to come. I love it.

Is it possible to be cynical, naive and stupid all at once? That's Josh.

Josh, please give us one more screed about the Monorail. Your finest hour.

I think (hope) that the "The people of Seattle will find in him a strong advocate of the arts and open space" reference made in the Mayor's statement might be a result of not knowing what issue-focus Nick's going to have this year.

Typically the prez takes a "light" committee because the presidential workload is by its nature heavy. Nevertheless, Nick's plan is to continue to chair public safety, civil rights, and arts.

This is great news. There actually may be some hope for this overpriced and overhyped town.
I hope Nick puts a burr up Hizzoner's fat ass everytime he can - and I don't mean that literally. But who knows what Hizzoner is into, really. (Tim, can you get the saddle ready?)

Hey Fnarf--open space and transit are not mutually exclusive. And it does a dis-service to both of them to pit them against each other. Plus, the bulk of the funding for the sculpture park comes from private funds, whereas transit will come from public funds (whenever the local politicos summon up the balls required to get something done). Making statements that indicate we're choosing one over the other is about as annoying as when folks against the monorail claimed it was taking money away from the Viaduct.

I wouldn't say condescending. Bullshit, certainly. And as stated, Nickels, having to issue a public response to the selection, is pretty much cornered in a position where he has to make concrete positive commentary. To infer a sense of camraderie, even when little exists between the two, is his only course of action, or the rift between the two will be blown far out of proportion by the media.

"Open space" is anti-civic space. Civic space is buildings and streets and sidewalks and shops and stoops and mailboxes and phone booths and newspaper boxes and bus shelters and garbage cans and alleyways; places where people meet accidentally in the course of moving around their day. Parks are sometimes a useful amenity in small doses but far more often are dead spaces where no one with any purpose in life ever goes. Parks are life-sucking crime magnets. Parks are also an easy cop-out for city governments that have too much time on their hands and no idea what to do with it -- because very little of what makes a city interesting on the ground can come from city government.

Public art ditto. Especially in a city like this one where public art can only get approved if it is nasty, ugly, poorly made and flimsy.

The sculpture park is a classic example of both and is going to be little more than a homeless encampment and dog shit collector. Ordinary citizens will not want to go in it, and the space will be wasted, right smack in the middle of an area that needs activity, not just for itself but for the surrounding area. Parks kill street life.

It's not a question of parks taking away money from transit, it's a question of what cities should be focusing their attention on. Government should be providing leadership in FAVOR of civic life, not away from it. Transit is just one example. And no, the South Lake Union streetcar is not transit, any more than the waterfront trolley or old monorail were.

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