City Council President Peter Steinbrueck says the issue of who will make decisions about the monorail is far from settled. Although council members Richard Conlin and Nick Licata—chair and former chair of the council’s transportation and ad hoc monorail committees, respectively—said last month that they expected monorail business would go through Conlin’s committee, Steinbrueck says the council won’t decide who gets to oversee the monorail until Jan. 13 at the soonest, when the council will discuss its options. Possibilities include the transportation committee, headed by monorail skeptic Conlin; the entire council (sitting as a committee of the whole); or a brand-new monorail committee, Steinbrueck’s favored option. Asked if he was concerned that monorail supporter Licata was being shut out of the process, Steinbrueck said, “My concern has been primarily that there be a reasonably good balance” on the committee between monorail supporters and critics. “That cuts both ways. I would not want to see it controlled by Nick, nor controlled necessarily by some of the stronger critics on the council.”
Another crucial issue will be picking the council’s two appointees to the Seattle Popular Monorail Authority’s governing board, a decision that plenty of members are bound to want a hand in. Will the monorail’s new board look a lot like its current one? “We need to really look hard for the best people we can put in those positions,” Steinbrueck says. “In no way should anybody assume that the current board is the right board to move forward with.” People who are interested in serving on the board should send r鳵m鳠to Steinbrueck’s council office. . . .
We’d love to see Peter Sherwin serve a long and happy career as a watchdog over his pet project, the monorail. But Sherwin for City Council? Hey, if Grant Cogswell could do it . . .
Sherwin says he hasn’t made any firm decision about whether he’ll run or, if he does, whom he’ll oppose. But, he says, “I would consider running against Margaret [Pageler],” who’s up for re-election next November. Who else does Sherwin have in his sights? The longtime monorail supporter wouldn’t say, but scratch Heidi Wills and Judy Nicastro off the list. “Obviously, I would not tend to want to run against people who [supported] the monorail,” Sherwin says. Cogswell’s may be a cautionary tale: Labeled from the start a single-subject candidate, the monorail proponent never could escape the issue that got him into politics in the first place. Despite popular support (and the influential endorsement of Seattle Weekly), Cogswell was soundly beaten by incumbent Richard McIver in 2001. . . .
KING COUNTY COUNCIL
Twenty-four-year King County Council veteran Cynthia Sullivan of Seattle has drawn a challenger in next year’s Democratic primary. Robert Ferguson, a lawyer on leave from powerhouse firm Preston Gates & Ellis, attacked Sullivan at his kickoff at the University Heights Center from both the left and the right, first supporting the Republican proposal to reduce the County Council from 13 to nine members, then criticizing Sullivan for allowing too much development in environmentally sensitive areas. But don’t expect the savvy Sullivan, who just helped win the battle to restore human services in the county budget, to let him have it both ways in the future.
Erica C. Barnett