While I was never as much of a supporter of Mike McGinn as, say, the folks at The Stranger, I volunteered with his campaign and was happy with the result. While voting for him didn’t stop the tunnel, I think he’s been good on more issues the city faces than he’s been bad, but there have been plenty of times when he fucked up. So sometimes when he fucks up people will ask me if I regret supporting him. But no I don’t. I honestly can’t think of a single time where having corporate anti-choice conservative Joe Mallahan as mayor would have been better for the city. And I can only count a few times where Nickles might have been better.
And McGinn has handled most of the things a mayor is supposed to handle in the way people want. The roads were clear pretty soon after the snow storm.* Crime has generally been down during his term, although is going up recently, and it’s tough to know how much you can attribute that to any specific policy or set of policies. He helped get more money for the Families and Education levy (you can argue how much is him and how much is, say the council and education activists, but replace him with Mallahan and I don’t see how it doubles). And now he’s helped make sure the garbage strike ended quickly in a way that the union appreciated [h/t to Howie on Facebook].
“Behind the scenes, we’re being told that was really instrumental in getting Waste Management back to the table. That’s what pushed them,” said Heather Weiner, political action director for Washington Teamsters Joint Council 28. Local 117, which represents the 153 recycle drivers who went on strike July 25, overwhelmingly approved a new six-year contract with the company Thursday morning.
Weiner said the calculus of the strike changed when the mayors of Federal Way and Seattle said they intended to hold the company accountable for missed collections.
The cities’ contracts with Waste Management allow them to impose fines for every service missed. Those fines could have amounted to $1.25 million a day in Seattle alone. When the mayors made clear their intention to collect those fines, the strike became more expensive for the company, Weiner said.
“We’ve had our differences with the mayor, but he stood up and did what he thought was best for the city,” [Weiner] said. “We’re very grateful that he decided to be public about enforcing the contract. ”
Within hours of the press conference, she said, the company was back at the negotiating table.
Obviously, you can’t know for sure how another person would have handled the situation. But it’s hard to see Mallahan not blaming the union. It’s hard to see this being resolved quickly and efficiently. It’s hard to see Waste Management feeling the same pressure to go back to the table if he was mayor. So I don’t know if I’ll vote for McGinn again. But I don’t regret voting for him last time.
* I would consider using salt one of those fuckups, but it’s clearly what people wanted.