News Blog for Seattle's Maple Leaf Neighborhood

 

City Council votes to expand staff; Debora Juarez chases NE 130th light rail station

April 28th, 2016 by Mike

Update: The Seattle Times has an editorial column on the gold-plated Seattle City Council.

Mentions The Pronto vote, too, in the fourth graph.

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Eight of the nine Seattle City Council members voted this week to add an additional staffer per council member – potentially bringing their individual staffs to four each.

Only budget chair Tim Burgess, who said the cost will be an extra half-million dollars annually, voted “no.”

The rationale: Now that seven of the council members represent neighborhood districts, they actually have more work to do. Erica C. Barnett has a post: Council: Smaller Districts Require Larger Staffs.

From Seattle Council Insight’s piece here:

Council members Lisa Herbold and Debora Juarez, who hold district-based positions (unlike Burgess whose seat is city-wide), were the vocal proponents for the change this afternoon….

Juarez, (who represents the vast majority of Maple Leaf), took the point further, claiming that when voters passed the initiative switching the Council to seven districts, it was because “the voters wanted someone to advocate for them, while keeping in mind the greater good of the city of Seattle.” She rattled off a long list of issues she and her staff have needed to deal with in their first 100 days on the job, saying “you can’t expect three people to be expert in all that.”

Burgess disagreed. From The Seattle Times:

Council members in similarly sized U.S. cities with district council members have only one to three aides, according to a 2014 report by the City Auditor, Burgess noted, mentioning Austin, Boston, Denver, Jacksonville, Fla., Oakland and San Francisco.

The Times story is here (including the information that in addition to council-member aides, the council is supported by more than 20 shared “central staff” policy analysts).

Meanwhile, Juarez continues to prioritize pushing for another light rail station at Northeast 130th Street.

In two separate emails yesterday she issued a “130th Street Station Call to Action.”

If we are going to see some an amendment to the Draft ST3 Plan we need you to write in and tell the Sound Transit leadership that we need a commitment to build the 130th Street Station!

I am not sitting around hoping there will be a change, I am out here pushing every button and looking for all the possible ways to get North Seattle what it needs.

She’ll be at the Sound Transit board meeting this afternoon, 1:30 at 401 S Jackson St., and wants you to be there, too.

Here’s her full post, including a suggested letter to send Sound Transit.

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Seattle Times asks: “What’s the most important election issue in your district?”

July 11th, 2015 by Mike

With voting in Seattle’s first city council elections by district starting next month, our news partner The Seattle Times is asking readers:

What’s the most important issue in your district?

Seattle City Council elections will be a bit different this year, with voters electing representatives by district for the first time.

The change has drawn a larger and more diverse pool of candidates than in years past, with nearly 50 candidates vying for seven district seats and two at-large positions. The tone of the campaigns is also different as many of the candidates work to appeal to voters on hyperlocal, neighborhood issues.

What is the most important issue in your district? What will you ask a candidate who rings your doorbell or appears at a public forum?

To participate, take the Times’ survey here. You will be asked for your name, email address, phone number and cross streets.

The Times is in the beginning stages of mapping the responses along the lines at right.

There are also questions about identifying specific issues, and what you’d like to see done about them.

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Municipal League ratings in City Council races

July 6th, 2015 by Mike

The non-profit Municipal League of King County this afternoon released its ratings for next month’s Seattle City Council primary election.

In the new Council District 5, which covers the vast majority of Maple Leaf, the league rated one candidate – Mercedes Elizalde – “very good.”

In District 4, which covers the southern toe of Maple Leaf, the league rated one candidate – Rob Johnson – “outstanding.”

The longtime incumbent, Jean Godden, whom the league was unable to interview, was rated “good.”

In endorsements last week, The Seattle Times picked Deborah Juarez in District 5 and Rob Johnson in District 4.

As for the two citywide districts, here are the Muni League ratings:

More about the ratings and the Municipal League can be found at its web site.

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Candidate forums for Maple Leaf's City Council seats

February 24th, 2015 by Mike

Update March 5: The Seattle Times has coverage of City Council candidates here and here today.

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So far we know more about the three Seattle City Council members who are leaving the council than we do about the candidates who remain.

And there are a lot of them.

In Seattle’s new district, or ward, system, the vast majority of Maple Leaf is in Council District 5.

Our neighborhood’s southernmost toe, south of Northeast 85th Street, is in Council District 4.

Councilwomen Jean Godden is the incumbent in the 4th District. There is no incumbent in the 5th District.

Only two of the nine council members will run at large (citywide).

A forum for 5th District candidates is set for Wednesday, March 11, from 6:30 to 8:30 p.m.

It’s hosted by the Broadview Community Council at the Bitter Lake Community Center, 13035 Linden Ave. N.

Calling all community council members, neighborhood activists, business advocates, political junkies, civic troublemakers, citizens with a beef, and all other North Seattle voters!

This is the time to meet candidates for Seattle City Council in

YOUR VERY OWN District 5.

*  Sandy Brown

* Mercedes Elizalde

*  Debora Juarez

*  Mian Rice

*  David Toledo

*  Halei Watkins

Learn about their background and experience, ask them questions, grade them, and challenge them to be transparent. Decide who might get your donation and/or your vote.

Another forum, for 4th District candidates, will potentially be held in late June and again in October, and is being organized under the auspices  of the Northeast District Council.

Our news partner The Seattle Times is tracking the council elections here. The Times also has an opinion piece here, which argues the council may well move further left.

The Seattle Weekly, meanwhile, is arguing the election may well give Mayor Ed Murray more power.

The official city candidate list is here.

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Candidate forums for Maple Leaf’s City Council seats

February 24th, 2015 by Mike

Update March 5: The Seattle Times has coverage of City Council candidates here and here today.

——————

So far we know more about the three Seattle City Council members who are leaving the council than we do about the candidates who remain.

And there are a lot of them.

In Seattle’s new district, or ward, system, the vast majority of Maple Leaf is in Council District 5.

Our neighborhood’s southernmost toe, south of Northeast 85th Street, is in Council District 4.

Councilwomen Jean Godden is the incumbent in the 4th District. There is no incumbent in the 5th District.

Only two of the nine council members will run at large (citywide).

A forum for 5th District candidates is set for Wednesday, March 11, from 6:30 to 8:30 p.m.

It’s hosted by the Broadview Community Council at the Bitter Lake Community Center, 13035 Linden Ave. N.

Calling all community council members, neighborhood activists, business advocates, political junkies, civic troublemakers, citizens with a beef, and all other North Seattle voters!

This is the time to meet candidates for Seattle City Council in

YOUR VERY OWN District 5.

*  Sandy Brown

* Mercedes Elizalde

*  Debora Juarez

*  Mian Rice

*  David Toledo

*  Halei Watkins

Learn about their background and experience, ask them questions, grade them, and challenge them to be transparent. Decide who might get your donation and/or your vote.

Another forum, for 4th District candidates, will potentially be held in late June and again in October, and is being organized under the auspices  of the Northeast District Council.

Our news partner The Seattle Times is tracking the council elections here. The Times also has an opinion piece here, which argues the council may well move further left.

The Seattle Weekly, meanwhile, is arguing the election may well give Mayor Ed Murray more power.

The official city candidate list is here.

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