And Maybe he Should Grow a Beard

Joni Balter has a column mostly arguing that McGinn should start doing things he’s been doing (and saying he shouldn’t have put the car tabs on the ballot, but I’m here to focus on her lecturing him to do the things he’s already done).

For example, McGinn could return more cops to the street. Budget woes stopped a five-year police hiring program, but any mayor can fund his priorities. He can and he should.

Return to the street implies there are fewer on the street now. It took me all of a couple minutes to find out that:

Despite the fact that SPD hasn’t hired any new officers for more than a year, it increased the number of patrol officers over the past year from 684 to 693.

Now you can argue that Joni meant that we should hire more police, or that trouble may be coming down the pike if we don’t hire police. But she used the phrase “on the street” so I think it’s fair to say she just doesn’t know. And can’t be bothered with a Google search or that pesky fact checking.

McGinn needs to ensure the Families and Education Levy passes. At least supporting schools and students are things most Seattleites can get their arms around.

Yes. The levy doubled in part because of his leadership. And now he is pushing for it.

At several stops, the mayor told neighbors that education was an important way to enhance public safety and that the levy would help ensure that every child in Seattle had an opportunity to learn and succeed. Staff said the mayor delayed a family vacation in Massachussetts so he could participate in the levy kick-off event.

Maybe it’s unfair to expect Joni Balter to know that. I mean who the hell reads The Seattle Times any more? Still, while the media (and Balter in particular) were bashing McGinn as a one issue mayor, he was actually doing other things.


  1. 1

    Roger Rabbit spews:

    Oh c’mon Carl, cut Joni some slack! Newspapers aren’t staffed like they used to be, and when editorial writers have to spend 80% of their time cold-calling names in the phone book to drum up classified advertising, they don’t have time to fact-check the fillers they write for what little non-advertising space still remains.

  2. 2


    snark off


    McG can not win by just doing the nuts and bolts of his job.

    He does, as we discussed Tuesday, have a real chance to lead by taking on the all to real challenge of what the hell Seattle is going to do with its amazing new waterfront.

    It seems to me that he could get a lot of Seattle’s rationalists (moi!!) on his side by showing leadership in this.

  3. 3


    I think the basic problem of Mike McGinn is that his confrontational style does not get the job done. He is a lousy salesman. I think that as a Mayor, he has not been able to advance his agenda. I think a mayor works the best when he is able to form censensus and work with the council,and local businesses,as well as the county and the state.
    Now as an activist, I think that Mayor Mike is as good as it gets.

  4. 4

    Michael spews:

    Please re-read the post. McGinn’s getting the stuff he said he’d do done.

    How’s he supposed to ensure the levy passes, stuff the ballot box? McGinn’s done what he could do, maybe The Times could be doing a little more.

  5. 5

    MikeBoyScout spews:

    I put the blame for Joni’s poor understanding, the Mayor’s inability to effectively communicate, the earthquake and the hurricane where it clearly lies; Obama’s vacation.

  6. 7



    FWIW, I hope I didn’t imply criticism of his style is illegitimate. He lost the vote on the Viaduct replacement, and he didn’t get the full $80 on the ballot. It’s fair to ask why.

  7. 8

    Michael spews:

    I hope I didn’t imply criticism of his style is illegitimate.

    I didn’t think you had implied that, nor was I trying too.

    No mayor is going to get everything they want. We’re in trying times, a lot of folks decided they didn’t like McGinn before he even took office. Considering what he’s up against McGinn’s done well.

  8. 9


    A popular comparison is Mayor McGinn with Wes Uhlman, another mayor that was known for contentious behaviour who is well regarded in Seattle history.