Slog - The Stranger's Blog

Line Out

The Music Blog

« In Rare Non-Broadway-Related N... | Tacoma's Pigs Are Better Than ... »

Wednesday, March 22, 2006

Re: Ben Noble

Posted by on March 22 at 16:45 PM

Picking a new director for the city council’s central staff gave council a chance to put a savvy politico in the slot. For example, over at the County Council, they have a chief of staff whose main role is political rather than policy oriented. And so: The King County Council often routs County Executive Ron Sims, just like they did last week in the office move debate.

At the city, part of the reason Team Ceis runs circles around the city council is because council’s policy wing is so zoomed in on policy wonkery that they get out-foxed by the mayor’s political machine, which tends to focus on the bigger political picture instead of the righteousness of the details. This is because the council’s central staff chief is usually more a policy-head than a politics-head.

In picking Ben Noble, the wonkiest (smartest?) guy I’ve ever met (guarantee Noble got 1600 on his SATs—or at least 800 on the math portion), it may appear that Council President Nick Licata and crew blew an opportunity—opting for wonkery over Machiavelli(y).

Think again!

Noble’s a double threat. The guy isn’t only smart as hell, but he’s also a subtle political operator.

Nice choice.

P.s. To my smartest (and best) friend Tom N. It’s true. Ben’s as good as you at the math. Plus, (just like you) he can explain it to math dyslexics like me.

CommentsRSS icon

Another reason (and the main one, if you ask me) why the Mayor's office runs circles around the Council is because no one on the City Council has any previous elected experience - so none of them know how to react to an agressive Executive hint - screw with his budget - it works every time).

We have nine people right now whose only experience as electeds is being on Seattle City Council - and they've all been learing from other people in the same situation for over 30 years. It's totally messed up and dysfunctional.

This leads to a Council that is reactive instead of proactive - and it's harder to get things done when you're always in a defensive mode working against someone else's agenda.

Ben is great, but he is not a political force. All the more reason to bring in someone like Tim Ceis (not Tim, but a politico like him) to show our dufus council how to act like smart political operators, instead of constantly getting bitch slapped by the mayor, corporations, or ___(fill in the blank with your favorite whacked interest group).

Comments Closed

In order to combat spam, we are no longer accepting comments on this post (or any post more than 45 days old).