1. Several angry citizens, including representatives of senior groups and a former city employee, took issue at yesterday's city council meeting with city Human Services Director Dannette Smith's decision to put Aging and Disability Services director Pamela Piering on indefinite administrative leave while HSD brass investigate allegations that Piering did not take an anonymous complaint seriously enough last year. The anonymous tipster alleged that a former employee at a nonprofit social services agency defrauded the city out of $89,000.[pullquote]Calling Piering a victim of rampant "age discrimination" by Smith, the speakers urged the council to hold a hearing on the hiring and firing process at HSD.[/pullquote]

Calling Piering a victim of rampant "age discrimination" by Smith, the speakers urged the council to hold a hearing on the hiring and firing process at HSD. "As an unpaid volunteer, it's not normally my role to appear before you, but there is such a failure of leadership at the top of the Human Services Department that I feel compelled" to do so, said Don Moreland, a member of the Seattle-King County Advisory Council for Aging & Disability Services.

Another speaker, Mary Anderson with the Puget Sound Alliance for Retired Americans, said her group "supports Pam Piering all the way." Later, Anderson told PubliCola that all the HSD managers who have been fired are over 50.

Smith's personnel decisions have been controversial before. Earlier this year, she eliminated the division of the department devoted to domestic violence and sexual assault prevention, angering many advocates for victims of DV and sexual assault.

2. Mayor Mike McGinn's campaign will have to pay the city a nominal $100 fine for failing to report that it had carried over funds totaling more than $6,000 from the 2009 election cycle into the next cycle, a violation of the city's election code.

Candidates for city office are required to file disclosure reports on the 10th of each month. McGinn's treasurer during the campaign, his wife Peggy Lynch, waited until April 11, 2011 to file a report that was due in May 2010. The fine would probably have been higher, according to the ruling, if McGinn hadn't replaced Lynch with professional treasurer Phil Lloyd, who quickly took care of the problem.

3. According to Mayor Mike McGinn's political playbook, this year's city council elections were supposed to come with a righteous people's backlash against the tunnel that would kick the establishment  incumbents (and tunnel supporters)—Tim Burgess, Sally Clark, Jean Godden, Bruce Harrell, and Tom Rasmussen—to the curb. That movement has not yet emerged.

However, in yet another sign that McGinn's program relies more on the lesser Seattle conservatives than his new urbanist, Great City base, pro-elevated highway advocate Elizabeth Campbell filed a petition yesterday to recall city council president Richard Conlin for Conlin's pro-tunnel machinations. As they say, politics make strange bedfellows.

4. We've got the latest edition of ThinkTank ready to go. Today's debate, featuring op/eds from King County Council member Larry Phillips and transportation nerd John Niles, asks a touchy question: Has light rail delivered?