* Remember the $25-a-year head tax on people who drive to work alone? The one that Greg Nickels originally supported, then didn't support recently, leading James Donaldson and Joe Mallahan to say I told you so and Michael McGinn to call bullshit? It's proposed repeal is likely postponed until at least the end of the year--the City Council's Budget and Finance Committee says the Council should wait until it's making its 2010 budget before deciding whether to scrap the revenue stream. McGinn calls the debate "manufactured" and, not surprisingly, brings the focus back to a certain waterfront project: "If we want to reduce taxes and wasteful spending then let's get out of the bad deal to build a deep-bore tunnel on the waterfront."* Also at the Transpo Committee, the P-I reports that Nickels Challenger Jan Drago beefed with SDOT head Grace Crunigan over the City Attorney's choice of a law firm to investigate discrimination allegations at SDOT, and over that firm's hiring--five months after the investigation was completed--of the husband of an SDOT deputy director. Which doesn't sound all that fishy, though SDOT is of course a Nickels sore spot, what with the discrimination and the snowstorm.
* The District Democrat endorsement train continues, stopping tonight at the 34th, home of Greg Nickels. The Mayor has so far been shut out of the double-D endorsement game--we'll see if he can at least score with his local machine, which Joel Connelly has described as "big, well organized" and "kick-butt."
* Connelly also chats with former T-Mobile exec Joe Mallahan about the T-Mobile HR department's anti-union memos that have been circulating during the campaign. After stumbling on the issue of organizing in white-collar tech jobs, Mallahan says, "The mayor of Seattle should be an advocate for union activities outside of government." He notes the SEIU's work organizing low-wage workers as being particularly important.
* On the subject of speaking up for the little guy/gal, Donaldson and Drago take aim at Nickels for giving $40,000, the maximum bonus, to City Light head Jorge Carrasco (who was profiled by SW's Aimee Curl last February.) While it seems to be widely acknowledged that Carrasco has managed the utility well (and he is paid less than many other similar managers), the city is putting employees on furlough and City Light is weighing cuts to compensate for budget shortfalls. Notes Drago, "Forty thousand dollars is more than many families earn in an entire year." Says Donaldson, whose press release describes him as "outraged," "This is a mayor who continues to look out for those of means, those who already have, and kick sand in the face of the little guy."
* One of those little guys may be Robert Mak, whose princely $160k a year salary now seems a lot less impressive by comparison. (Carrasco's clocking in at $224,000.) It's like driving around in an Explorer on dubs only to find your neighbor's rolling in an Escalade on 22s. Not to mention the whistle tips from Bubba Rubb. Perhaps it's time for Cribs, the city government edition.