Mayor Mike McGinn Flexes His New Muscles, but How Strong Is He Really?

Even before Mike McGinn's adorable children swore him in as Mayor of Seattle, he was making cuts. McGinn says he will get rid of 200 of the more than 900 political appointee positions left over from the Nickels administration.

He also got a jump on the requests from reporters for salary information of those appointees and released a broad list of who makes what in the new mayor's office. (Mark Matassa, the new Robert Mak, is pulling down $100,000 compared with his predecessor's nearly $160,000).

So, there's no question Seattle's new mayor is off to an early start shaking things up at the hall. What is in question is how much shaking up he'll be able to do beyond Seattle's borders.

Remember back to King County Executive Dow Constantine's inauguration where every elected official or political wannabe with any ambition packed into a former church sanctuary to pay homage? Congressional Representative Jay Inslee showed up, along with former rival Larry Phillips and several state legislators.

Not so for McGinn. City Hall was packed, but it's much smaller than First United Methodist Church where Constantine took his oath. And the over-flow room was pretty sparse. In terms of marquee names, two judges, County Prosecutor Dan Satterberg and State Rep. Reuven Carlyle stopped by. The chairs reserved for the King County Council were empty as the members were off voting to keep Jan Drago's political career alive. But Constantine, who also had a seat reserved and didn't have to vote, was also absent.

McGinn said little about his plans for the city beyond the cuts, adding that he'll release his agenda for the city at an open house on Saturday. But whatever he wants to accomplish, especially as it concerns his core issue transportation, he'll need support from the county, region and state to get anything done. He's already suffered a slight by the Sound Transit Board, which decided not to give him Nickels' former seat.

"I want to be a partner with the region to help us build the place we believe in," McGinn concluded his remarks. But it remains to be seen if the region is ready and willing to partner with him.

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