The mayor is reaching into a non-profit to take money. It isn't denying city funds it doesn't have.
He is making a mistake.
"Now is not the time for one nonprofit, no matter how worthy it is, to get everything it can out of the city," McGinn said.
Last fall, the City Council agreed to let MOHAI negotiate with the state Department of Transportation to reimburse it for the value of the museum's buildings and surrounding city parkland. At the time, the council assumed MOHAI would get about $15 million for the buildings, plus about $7 million in rent for the land.
But the state decided to buy the city property instead of renting it, so the city then agreed it would make up the difference to MOHAI — up to $7 million. The city's acting parks director signed an agreement with the museum.
The museum later announced that its negotiations were so successful that it got $40 million from the state — more than twice what the city assumed when it had agreed to chip in the $7 million.
Now McGinn wants to back out of the deal, which he says is not legally binding without a council vote.
Local News | MOHAI threatens to close if mayor wants to renegotiate deal on new space | Seattle Times Newspaper