City Mayor Nickels’s Secret Agenda
posted by December 6 at 14:36 PMon
As Nancy Drew reports in the paper that comes out today (not online yet, alas), the mayor’s office, unlike the city council, doesn’t have to hold public meetings. That means that Nickels’s annual retreats, unlike the council’s, are not open to the public (or reporters). When we called to find out where the retreat was being held, the receptionist responded suspiciously, “Why do you need that information?” Then she explicitly refused to confirm or deny that a retreat was even taking place. (A hot tipper had already informed us that the mayor and 30 members of his staff were headed on an all-expenses-paid trip to the Suquamish Clearwater Resort and Casino on the Kitsap Peninsula for two days, but we wanted to confirm.)
Washington State Open Public Records Act to the rescue! Within less than a day of filling a records request with the mayor’s public information officer, we got a copy of the retreat agenda. Among the priorities: Understanding Seattle’s urban agenda; discussing the city’s leadership role in addressing global and local challenges; and rekindling “our dedication to public leadership and service.” Might we suggest adding a little transparency to that agenda?