Do Nothing. Do Something

By Josh Feit March 26, 2009


[Editor's Note: Sorry Morning Fizz is later than usual. I went to the Municipal League Awards party last night at SAM—PubliCola was a co-sponsor—and believe it or not, Muni League parties can get pretty wild and go pretty late. The Muni League? Who knew?]

1. James Donaldson makes it official. The former Sonic is running for mayor. I talked to Donaldson last night, and he said he's not doing a big press conference about it. I've included his press release below the jump where Donaldson lists 10 things he plans to do as mayor, including: auditing every city office; freezing utility increases (sorta); and "Reach out to local, regional and state officials and start new dialogues."


James Donaldson

2. The Democrats in Olympia make liberal Rep. Dawn Morrell (D-25, Puyallup) their Caucus Chair—the No. 3 behind Speaker Frank Chopp (D-43, Wallingford) and Majority Leader Lynn Kessler (D-24, Hoquiam, Twilight Series.)

3. Yesterday, the state Senate, which passed a do-nothing education reform bill on March 9, held a hearing on the do-something House version, which passed on March 12. However, joining the Washington Education Association (which testified against the bill because there's no funding in it to implement the changes—like upgrading graduation requirements), Gov. Chris Gregoire said she wouldn't sign the bill unless funding was in place. Supporters of the bill argue that the reform bill will not implement the changes until funding is found.

(Meanwhile, the House took up the controversial I-937 legislation yesterday. I'll post a report on that later today.)

4. Over on The Seattle Times blog yesterday night, reporter Emily Heffter wrote: "Bankruptcy attorney Pete Holmes confirmed The Stranger's report today that he plans to run against Seattle City Attorney Tom Carr."

Yes Emily, Holmes certainly did confirm the Stranger's report.

In the Stranger.

Why so bush league?

If I may:  Stranger News Editor Erica C. Barnett broke the story yesterday that City Attorney Tom Carr has a challenger, bankruptcy attorney and  long-time Office of Professional Accountability review board member, Peter Holmes. (The OPA review board reviews internal police department investigations into police misconduct.)

Nice scoop Barnett.

5. There's a long-running Tuesday night tradition in Olympia. Well, two traditions actually. 1) Union lobbyists meet  with legislators for an informal get together in the basement of the Pritchard building (the cafeteria)  and 2) Environmental lobbyists meet with legislators for an informal  get together at Mekong, a Thai restaurant in downtown Olympia.

Rep. Dave Upthegrove (D-33, Burien) had an idea. Combine them.

And so this week, the Greens and Blues (as in blue collar) held a joint confab at Mercato, an Italian place in Oly. House Rep. Hans Dunshee (D-44, Lake Stevens, Snohomish)—the informal leader of the House Democrats environmental coalition—addressed the crowd of about 50 folks wearing a shirt he made using safety pins that stitched together a Sierra Club t-shirt and an IBEW t-shirt. Dunshee acknowledged to the crowd that environmentalists and labor didn't always agree (environmental regulations often piss off labor), but he spun around to show that both shirts said the same thing on the back: Vote for Obama and Gregoire.

James Donaldson Declares for Mayor of Seattle

Over the last weeks I have been exploring running for Mayor of Seattle.I have talked to hundreds of our citizens and visited neighborhoods across the city. Everywhere I went I received enthusiastic support and encouragement. The message was loud and clear: It’s time for a new Mayor, a Mayor who brings a different  perspective and a fresh approach. So today I am officially announcing my intention to run for and become the new Mayor of Seattle.

My years as a small businessman and in sports have taught me the values and virtues of working towards successful goals and strategies, perseverance, positive mental attitude, and most importantly…Team Work.  I look forward to working as a leader who will help make our wonderful city of Seattle even better as we work our way through a challenging economic time and look forward to a promising and thriving future. There is a strong sense that if we are going to bring about the changes we need: Seattle needs a new Mayor. Because if we let the same people, stay in the same jobs and tackle the same problems, how can we expect different solutions?  “Seattle needs a Mayor that Cares in order to have a City that works”.

Here are a few things I will do as Mayor:

·        Initiate performance auditing in every city office.

·        I support the City Council’s efforts to implement a new zero-type budget process that requires city agencies to prioritize their activities and responsibilities.

·        Based on those audits, work with the City Council in re-inventing Seattle City Government.

·        Freeze all utility increases not associated with the increased costs for current service.

·        Appoint a Blue Ribbon commission of small and large business leaders to make recommendations on how the city can become more business and jobs friendly.  I will also involve the appropriate members and committees of the City Council.

·        Reach out to local, regional and state officials and start new dialogues.

·        Ask that the current viaduct replacement tunnel proposal address better solutions and access for the Port of Seattle and for the northwest corridor of Seattle.

·        Review the viability of the current Mercer proposal given the lack of funds for that project and for the tunnel.

·        Establish a new and more proactive relationship with the Seattle School System to look for new ways for cooperation.

·        Work to eliminate the “L” 520 option that is widely opposed by Seattle residents and interests and, frankly, should never have been on the final list for State consideration.


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