At a press availability this morning, Mayor Mike McGinn said he would not veto city council legislation ratifying council president Richard Conlin's controversial signature on a supplemental draft environmental impact statement for the deep-bore tunnel. (Conlin signed the document after McGinn said he needed another week to review it; McGinn said Conlin was violating the city charter by signing it).

However, McGinn said Conlin's signature didn't signify that the city agreed that the environmental analysis was valid and thorough. "What [the city council] very clearly didn't do [was] say that the EIS was thorough and accurate, and of course they couldn't do that, [because] none of them actually read it," McGinn said. "Nobody from the city has affirmed that the draft EIS is approved."

McGinn also backed off from his previous claims that the city was no longer a "co-lead" (equal partner) on the tunnel project. The issue now, he said, was determining what "co-lead" means.

"Does being co-lead mean that we [have the authority to] approve" the EIS, "or does being co-lead mean that we're a rubber stamp for the state?" McGinn said. "If it means that we have the actual authority to ensure that it's an accurate EIS, then it may well be beneficial. But if we're just left to rubber-stamp whatever [the Washington State Department of Transportation] sends us ... then it may have no benefit whatsoever."

I have a call in to McGinn's attorney, Carl Marquardt, for clarification on what McGinn believes it means to be co-lead on the tunnel project.