Today, everybody in City Hall is understandably preoccupied with news that the city has reached a tentative agreement with the Department of Justice to reform the Seattle Police Department before the dreaded settle-or-we-sue-your-asses July 31 deadline.

City council members are said to be in meetings with federal mediators throughout the afternoon to hash out "minor details" of the agreement, we hear. In the meantime, it's interesting to note how city insiders interpret McGinn's dance with the feds, and how he's handled that dance publicly. One city hall staffer I spoke with praised McGinn (off the record, of course) and his staff for keeping their traps so tightly shut about the ongoing negotiations, the argument being that McGinn has handled the negotiations responsibly, behind closed doors, instead of turning it into a media circus pitting Seattle against the feds.

"Our job isn't to give you fodder for stories, it's to fix what's broken," the person said. "In this case, keeping his mouth shut was the best—the only—way to do that."

Most other people I spoke with, though, grumbled that McGinn's been too tight-lipped with city council members, which has left policymakers feeling frustrated and unprepared.

"It's demoralizing when you feel that the Seattle Times might know more about the details [that us]," one staffer said, speaking anonymously.

Another (again anonymous) staffer simply said, "His office doesn't share anything with us."

I know, I know—this is all gossip and intrigue. This isn't me flashing a news scoop here (surprise!). But the social fabric of City Hall—the stuff that rarely injects itself in news stories—is the stuff that I love most. It gives life to the meat and gristle of policy making.