If I’d told you that Joni Balter had a piece up about an election, would you think, maybe she’s going to write about the bond and levy elections that happened yesterday? Or perhaps the elections this November for Seattle City Council, King County Council, and various other municipalities around the state? 2012, and what the redistricting might do to state and Federal elections here in Washington? What will be the lines of the 10th district? Will she write about how Gregoire’s probable retirement means a reshuffling of the state’s executive branch? The president? No, stupid, none of those things, something that will happen after all of them. She’s writing about the mayor’s race.
It’s summer 2013: The southern half of the Alaskan Way Viaduct came down 10 months ago, creating dust, noise and predictable simmering feuds. But at least the project advanced before a feared earthquake. At Seattle City Hall, the ground rumbles in another way.
Construction projects never have any delays. True fact. Also, did the demolition create predictable simmering feuds, or am I diagramming that sentence wrong?
A humdinger of a mayor’s race is taking place, pitting the biggest foe of the tunnel, Mayor Mike McGinn, against City Councilmember Tim Burgess and state Sen. Ed Murray, two project supporters. As the city keeps growing, the public is comfortable that a tunnel is being built to keep traffic moving.
Remember that list of elections that happens before the one we’re talking about? I’m not sure Burgess wins it. If the cost over runs measure gets on the ballot (a big if), I think a few members lose.
Also, Balter is awful confident that there won’t be any more traffic than when the Viaduct was up. That nobody will feel any ill effects from the tunnel. To be clear, the 2013 tunnel is coming in on time, under budget, and not negatively effecting anyone in this fantasy of hers. Since construction on 1st is already fucking up my commute, I find that tough to believe.
Also, also, humdinger? There are mummies who don’t use that phrase because it’s too passe. Anyway, skipping past bullshit digs at McGinn, we get back to the Burgess.
Burgess skated to re-election to his council seat in 2011 and has been a leader on the viaduct, parking, education, police accountability, the sea wall. Voters lapped up that Families and Education levy he and the mayor worked on in 2011.
Since Burgess in 2011 punts on police accountability and the seawall, it’s tough to imagine why he’ll be taking the lead in 2013. Everyone thinking about running for anything in Seattle will support the Families and Education levy, so I’m not sure why that’s his. On parking he’s mostly modifying McGinn’s proposal, and it will be 3 years old by the time of the election. I’m not familiar with his education plank (or if it’s made up like some of the other things). So mostly that’s things McGinn has done better through 2011. But if you think the tunnel will be made of pixie farts, and not cause any problems then score one for Burgess.
Look, I’m probably McGinn’s biggest supporter among bloggers. I voted for him somewhat reluctantly in the primary, and volunteered for him in the general because I really didn’t like his anti-choice-corporate-bigwig-I’m-going-to-buy-the-election opposition. But I was skeptical that the Mike Bikes thing was real. I was skeptical that he’d pull for the city when things got tough. I was wrong, and he’s the rare breed of politician who has exceeded my expectations.
But I understand that our last 2 mayors lost primaries for reelection. And that not everybody likes his style. So, he could lose. I’d rather someone who loses by doing good for the city than the seat warmers we’ve had for the past 50 years or so.
Anyway the conceit of this piece after I read Balter’s column was to spin out things that could happen to those people that weren’t that much more unlikely. Burgess loses in November, Murray decides to run for governor. And that the Seattle Times folds in early 2013. But the way I wrote it, it’s mostly just Burgess bashing instead. Since I’ve lost the whole thread, I’ll just end here.