News Five to Four Revisited
Erica C. Barnett is on vacation. Sooooo, today, I got to revisit my FivetoFour days—that is, the days when I did a City Hall column, and had to go down to city hall all the time.
Here’s what I got at city hall today:
Best Quote: “They’re thugs!” —Council Member Peter Steinbrueck on the K.C. detectives who arrested the Critical Mass bikers last Friday. “Let us take care of our own business.”
Hottest Issue: It’s a toss up between Peter Steinbrueck’s proposal to make city dept. heads get reconfirmed by council (Jan Drago says she’s for it…except in the cases of the police chief and the fire chief) & Nickels’s proposal to lower ethics standards for boards and commissions so that members only have to disclose potential conflicts of interest… as opposed to recusing themselves. A crew of Nickels staffers—including legal counsel Regina Labelle— was on the floor lobbying council members on the issue.
What do people think about the big Ron Sims proposal for the North lot? It’s about time!
Biggest change since I last haunted the floor: Team Nickels has a council liason (AKA lobbyist) that council actually likes. Her name is Emelie East, and one fawning council aide—an aide for a council member who detests Team Nickels—described East as “absolutely charming…I wanted to go out to coffee with her immediately.”
Festering Issue: Council President Nick Licata’s outright campaigning for I-91, the anti-Sonics subsidy initiative. “If he spent as much time being council president as he did on this…” Council Member Drago groused, handing me a Yes on I-91 mailer she got with Licata’s face plastered on it.
Proof that These People Lead the Most Boring Lives in the World: The outright giddiness caused in one office by the irony that longtime U.W. antagonist Matt Fox had written a letter to the city earlier in the week siding with the U.W. against a 520 expansion proposal (the Pacific Street Interchange proposal) that would disrupt the campus.
Erica! Please get back here!