City Hall

Monday Mush

A happy couple, and a sad goodbye, in Seattle City Council chambers.

By Erica C. Barnett December 16, 2013

In one of the more surreal events I've seen at city hall in the past decade or so, technology consultant Brett Horvath proposed to his girlfriend, Crosscut editor Berit Anderson, at the end of today's city council meeting.

After council member (and pal of Horvath's) Mike O'Brien moved to suspend the rules to introduce legislation related to artificial intelligence (?), Horvath, dressed in a fitted gray suit with matching gray tie, made a data-filled presentation—complete with Power Point slides, including the one below—before submitting to questions from the council.

O'Brien: "Your testimony leaves a lot of questions unanswered, such as: When will the wedding be? Where will it be? What will the font on the invitations be? Do you want children? When will you show your children the Star Wars movies? And will you tell them about them about the new movies?" 

Sally Bagshaw: "Many of us have a soulmate, and I happen to believe that I've got one. How do you know that you've got one too?"

Horvath responded (avert your eyes if you're allergic to mushiness): "Quite simply, Berit is the most amazing person I know. I knew that we would have a love that would last when we went to meet my grandmother at the retirement home and ... she said, 'I'll be your date at the retirement home for real and for life."

The final "vote" was 4-4, with O'Brien abstaining. At that point, Anderson—wearing a flowered minidress—walked up to break the "tie." 

We had the pleasure of working with Berit briefly when we shared offices at Crosscut in 2012; congratulations to the happy couple. 

In poignant (but also mushy) council business today, council members said goodbye to their colleague Richard Conlin, for whom today's full council meeting was the last. (Kshama Sawant defeated him in November).

Citing Conlin's work on the library levy, transit-oriented development, Sound Transit, and parks funding, among other accomplishments from his 16 years on the council, Clark said, "I can't thank you enough for your work on the council." Conlin's official going-away event is on Wednesday afternoon at city hall. 

Shortly after the end of today's council meeting, Sawant announced that she'll unveil "major plans" to pass a $15 minimum wage—her signature campaign issue—at city hall tomorrow.



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