Thursday, December 31, 2009

Predictions for 2010

Happy New Year!

[Ed. Note, see my 2011 Predictions, too]

2010, an even numbered year, can not hide how odd it will be.

Yesterday, one of Seattle Mayor-elect Mike McGinn's media advocacy groups,, posted its ten predictions for 2010.

In light of what passed for predictions, I will make some of my own for Mike McGinn, Seattle City Council, King County Executive Dow Constantine, the Washington State Legislative "short session", and color trends in Seattle (why not),

Mike McGinn set expectations high among his supporters during his mayoral campaign with open access becaming a backstory for someone that was generally unknown a year ago. Here, first, are the McGinn predictable let-downs for 2010.

1. The accessable candidate will substitute a blizzard of press releases as a substitute for actual connectivity (there are way too many citizens). Get used to this:
The new mayor is inviting the public to a "City Hall Open House" between 1 p.m. and 5 p.m., that day. According to a news release from McGinn spokesman Aaron Pickus, the event will celebrate "the city's commitment to openness, transparency and the spirit of service in Seattle."
From the Seattle Times, McGinn inaugural week includes concerts, City Hall tours, Posted by Jim Brunner

There the "openess" was communicated by a press release, from a staffer. I'll let his fans forgive him for this, and they will, because they love him.

2. McGinn will discover the double-edged sword that is Frank Chopp. They both do not like the deep bore tunnel replacement for the Alaska Way Viaduct. Hooray for McGinn. Sadly, that is where the agreement ends. McGinn wants a surface option, Chopp wanted a Choppaduct.

This is where we were a year ago. So, this is what passes as "Progressive", going backward into a quagmire, if McGinn is successful.
The built-in failure of McGinn's surface option will not slow him down.

3. There will be at least one policy item that I will actively support as much I oppose others.

4. McGinn will make the mistake of worrying way to much about Councilmember Tim Burgess potential run against him in 2013, while Council President Richard Conlin does the real work of moving the councils' agenda past McGinn.

The race to consume the city's bonding capacity began 6 months ago.

5. Councilmember Nick Licata does not want to relive the monorail. This will be an obstacle for Mike McGinn attempt to force an early public vote on his West Side light rail.
For fun, substitute "AWV Tunnel" for "Sound Transit", and "West Side Light Rail" for "Monorail" here: Urban Politics #89.

6, and 7. The Washington State Legislature's "short session" begins January 12, and runs for 60 days. Urbanized counties will "horse trade" levy equalization in "tax poor" rural school distrcts for broader taxing authority in the "tax rich" districts. A lot hangs in the balance for Dow Constantine here, and he will show leadership here.

8. The color is red, though some will claim it is for Seattle University, some for Washington State University, creating a purple backlash from the University of Washington. Lots of red and purple this year.

Have a great day,
Mike Baker

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