4th and James

Who’s got the money?

That’s the question of the hour—every hour—during City Hall budgeting season.

Some people think the budget is deadly dull (generally those folks who aren’t getting their funding cut), but the Seattle City Council deliberations had it all. Including:

*Humor. After being on the winning end of one 5-4 vote, Jan Drago misspoke and declared the motion had failed. “It didn’t fail—it passed,” noted Judy Nicastro, who voted on the losing side. “I like that analysis, though.”

*Drama. After Heidi Wills scolded a staffer for daring to raise the issue of cable franchise fees without proposing an increase, Peter Steinbrueck bravely stood up for old folks on fixed incomes who need their MTV. However, his charges that his colleagues were insensitive for wanting to raise cable fees “willy-nilly” didn’t sit well with colleague Nicastro. “I do have sensitivity, and I’m not being willy-nilly,” she shot back. Glad we cleared that up.

*Controversy. After the council voted to cut $427,506 out of his staff budget, Mayor-elect Greg Nickels was spoiling for a fight, issuing a silly e-mail appeal for support (cutting his budget is apparently “not the Seattle Way”). He scorned the concept of a behind-the-scenes compromise, then brought in organized labor to lobby for him. Ooooh! Unfortunately, in order to make a power play, one must first have power. Score this one 9-0 for the council.

*Compromise. After energetically seeking $1 million for the sidewalk budget, Wills got $500,000. Guess they’re only building them on one side of the street.

*Justice. Money was “found” to continue subsidizing operation of the Vera Project, a local venue for all-ages rock shows. Given that Mayor Paul Schell vetoed an ordinance which would have encouraged privately produced all-ages performances, the city owed the kids on this one.

*Leadership. After Schell refused to make significant cuts, effectively sitting out the entire budget deliberations (he wanted to finish his term the way he started it), Mayor Lame Duck at least seems to have shelved plans to veto the finished project.

jbush@seattleweekly.com


Talk to us

Please share your story tips by emailing editor@seattleweekly.com.

More in News & Comment

Courtesy of the Washington State Department of Health
Inslee sets June 30 target for Washington to fully reopen

Meanwhile, fully vaccinated people can stop wearing masks in most places, the federal CDC said.

Puget Sound renters will need housing assistance
Puget Sound renters will need housing assistance

Nonprofits, activists are expecting greater need as workers are laid off.

Matt Marshall, leader of the Washington Three Percenters gun rights group, addresses a crowd rallying for Second Amendment rights Jan. 17, 2020, at the state Capitol in Olympia. File photo
Open-carry of weapons now illegal at state Capitol, rallies

A new law bars people from carrying guns within 250 feet of a permitted demonstration.

(Pixabay.com)
As rates of stoned drivers increase, law enforcement face challenges

WSP trooper said a THC breathalyzer would be a “game changer” for law enforcement and courts.

E. coli. Photo courtesy of the Food and Drug Administration
Seven King County children sickened with E. coli

Seven children in King County have been infected with E. coli, a… Continue reading

Sound Publishing file photo
Remi Frederick, a Village Green employee, receives her first dose of the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine on Jan. 26 in Federal Way.
County health officer looks to community immunity instead of herd immunity

Herd immunity may be unlikely to reach King County anytime soon, but… Continue reading

Seattle Mayor Jenny Durkan. File photo
Auburn man charged with threatening to kill Seattle Mayor Jenny Durkan

Seattle Police say an Auburn man left a death threat on Seattle… Continue reading

Courtesy photo
Police search for suspect in fatal shooting of 8-year-old Federal Way girl

The girl’s father was initially arrested by police, but further investigation has revealed a new suspect.

Governor Jay Inslee. Sound Publishing file photo
New laws will tax the rich, offer aid to low-income workers

Inslee signs bill creating capital gains tax; foes are challenging it in court as unconstitutional.

Most Read