City Della Opponent Offers “Apology”
posted by August 22 at 13:12 PMon
Seattle Times reporter David Postman reports on a press release from city council candidate Tim Burgess this morning. Burgess issued a press release today correcting his earlier statement that his opponent, incumbent David Della, had voted against Council Member Peter Steinbrueck’s proposal to increase the police force by 250 officers. The error: There was never a vote on Steinbrueck’s proposal.
But I think Postman makes an error as well. He writes:
It’s rare to see a politician issue such a clear-cut apology as Burgess did. The press release he issued this morning includes no shot at Della, doesn’t blame it on poor staff work or rely on any of the other usual tricks for a political apology.
Huh? Postman’s being a little naive, I think. Burgess’s “apology” is a total shot at Della. Burgess’s apology states:
“I apologize for the mistake,” Burgess said. “I had erroneously thought that Councilmember Peter Steinbrueck’s proposal to significantly increase police staffing due to the extreme shortfall had actually gone to a vote, but it had not. Peter’s colleagues did not support his proposal and it was not brought forward for a vote. I regret the error.”
Sounds like a shot at Della to me. Indeed, I just talked to Burgess and asked him if this was a critique of Della.
“It is a critique of Della,” he said. “I don’t believe he has provided the leadership we need.” Burgess said Della’s lack of support for Steinbrueck’s proposal was wrong-headed. “Other than Peter, there is no strong advocate on the council for more policing. David Della claims to have taken this vote and that vote for increasing police, but by the end of this year, we will have fewer officers than we did last year.”
Steinbrueck had proposed funding 250 more officers. Burgess tells me he wants about 220 new officers. Asked how he would fund that addition, Burgess didn’t offer specifics, but said we would have to make sacrifices in the budget.
Burgess points out that there were more officers on the force when he was an officer in 1970 than there are now: 1,300 vs. about 1,200 now.
As the general election campaign starts, Burgess is clearly staking out his issue. Given the recent run of shootings in Seattle, it seems like a wise political move.
I talked to both Steinbrueck’s office and Della’s office (amazing because Della’s office has refused to talk to us for four years) and it wasn’t clear where Della was on Steinbrueck’s proposal. Although, Steinbrueck’s office did say there was “no support” for it.