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Wednesday, June 11, 2014

Mayor Murray Hires Kate Joncas, “Highly Influential” Downtown Business Advocate, As Deputy Mayor

Posted by on Wed, Jun 11, 2014 at 11:28 AM

Their heads--perfectly aligned!
  • MAYOR MURRAY AND DEPUTY MAYOR KATE JONCAS Their heads—they're perfectly aligned!

Calling her a longtime collaborator going back twenty years, Mayor Ed Murray appointed Downtown Seattle Association CEO Kate Joncas as deputy mayor today, replacing Andrea Riniker, a temporary appointment. "Hopefully it sends a message that we recognize the value that business brings," Murray told reporters. As the head of the DSA, Joncas represented hundreds of downtown businesses, including some of the wealthiest interests in the city.

She has a history of delivering results, Murray said, which incidentally is why we named Joncas one of the smartest people in Seattle politics last year. During election season, the DSA raised a hue and cry about an escalating crisis of downtown crime. There wasn't one, but the DSA's campaign resulted in a new public safety initiative called City Center—a testament to her ability, as Murray described it, to be "highly influential."

In 2010, Joncas' influence ran up against the forces of humanity and reason on the issue of so-called "aggressive panhandling." Joncas strongly backed a measure which would have singled out the poor for criminalization, contrary to the recommendations of the city's human rights commission. Then she pushed unsuccessfully for a city council override of then-mayor Mike McGinn's veto.

What will she do as deputy mayor? She didn't name any big priorities, other than improving collaboration and communication between city agencies—a task she'll be well qualified to take on. During the press conference announcing her hiring, veteran journalist Joel Connelly joked that there isn't a committee or task force around on which Joncas hasn't served. The mic caught Murray leaning over and asking whether she'd served on his controversial minimum wage committee. "No, thank god!" she exclaimed.

After this year's May Day, Joncas complained that the city spent "millions of dollars" to police the unpermitted anarchist march that wound around the city for hours. "I would have put that money on youth employment this summer," she said. Maybe she should jump on that, given the string of youth murders over the past few months.

Her annual salary will be $170,000, up more than $40,000 from her predecessor in the McGinn administration.


Comments (16) RSS

Oldest First Unregistered On Registered On Add a comment
Great choice.
Posted by Best Mayor Ever! on June 11, 2014 at 12:31 PM · Report this
Tingleyfeeln 2
This reminds me why I voted for
McGinn. The downtown business community does not need more
Influence in city hall.
McGinn may have been a bumbler, but he wasn't an establishment tool.
Posted by Tingleyfeeln on June 11, 2014 at 12:34 PM · Report this
guerre 3
Good thing we are increasing salaries for top city officials, won't want civil service to be its own reward!
Posted by guerre on June 11, 2014 at 1:08 PM · Report this
CC-Rob 4
Big win for Downtown businesses. The rest of us get screwed.
Posted by CC-Rob on June 11, 2014 at 1:18 PM · Report this
Reverse Polarity 5
Her raise should obviously be phased in over the next 7 years, and her medical coverage and other benefits should be deducted from the pay raise. You know, in the name of fairness.
Posted by Reverse Polarity on June 11, 2014 at 1:23 PM · Report this
Murray has two deputy mayors. Both make $170,000. So technically the position pays $340,000 a year.
Posted by DOUG. on June 11, 2014 at 2:02 PM · Report this
Shouldn't Murray know who served on his own minimum wage committee?
Posted by DOUG. on June 11, 2014 at 2:05 PM · Report this
So her reward for undue influence is more influence?
Posted by dirge on June 11, 2014 at 2:06 PM · Report this
If one says "collaboration and communication" enough, all will believe it is occurring.
Posted by Best Mayor Ever!!!!!!! on June 11, 2014 at 2:20 PM · Report this
Once again, the Seattle political machine shows what the city is about. Like John Keister said in the 206 skit on 'New Ballard', Money runs this town and you cant keep it out.

Cutting busses. Getting rid of publically owned housing for the poor. Bulldozing Nickeslville. Defending the SPD and overturning reforms.

How many more ways can Seattles city government say "Fuck you poor and working class people! Move to kitsap/renton/tacoma/everett and dont come back" ?
Posted by araucania on June 11, 2014 at 2:45 PM · Report this

Tell that to the SPOG. They owned McGinn (and they now own Murray).
Posted by araucania on June 11, 2014 at 2:47 PM · Report this
Wow. The DSA has gone from giving Murray a reach around to being able to kneel in front of him behind the podium. There is no bigger way to sell out in Seattle than catering to the DSA.
Posted by I hope you're satisfied, voters. on June 11, 2014 at 3:11 PM · Report this
@10 - you're out of your mind if you think Joncas wanted to cut busses, get rid of housing for the poor and defend SPD at every turn. Do a little research. DSA co-chair Move King County Now, developed Bellwether Housing, funds the MID and is a vocal critic of SPD when it's needed (think public safety advocacy)
Posted by Downtown JT on June 11, 2014 at 4:59 PM · Report this
She supported the deep bore tunnel (whatever became of that?) and the re-opening of Pine Street.

The DSA a force for good or evil in Seattle, frankly I've always despised them.

But really, with her extensive resume, what exactly did she do worthy of being appointed deputy?…

Posted by sgt_doom on June 11, 2014 at 5:32 PM · Report this
"How many more ways can Seattles city government say "Fuck you poor and working class people! Move to kitsap/renton/tacoma/everett and dont come back" ?"

Ten more times?
Posted by Follow the sound of gunfire to S King County on June 11, 2014 at 6:50 PM · Report this
@2, have you not been reading anything in the last 6 months? McGinn's bumbling was nothing compared to Murray's, and Murray's has been a hell of a lot more expensive.
Posted by sarah70 on June 11, 2014 at 11:29 PM · Report this

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