THE CACTUS SPEAKS: ‘Retreats are Supposed to be Semi-Relaxed Affairs…’
[EDITOR'S NOTE: This new column by Earl Gipson is a view of SeaTac city government. It does not necessarily reflect the views of The SeaTac Blog. We are seeking additional regular columnists to reflect opinions and views of SeaTac residents. Those interested can e-mail us at firstname.lastname@example.org.]
by Earl Gipson
Retreats are supposed to semi-relaxed affairs where everyone takes a step back and reviews what they have done and what they want to do. The City of SeaTac’s might have well been an 8 hour Council Meeting without Agenda Bills. I was there for all of it.
Let’s hit some issues.
SeaTac’s and Burien’s Solid Waste Removal contracts are due for renewal simultaneously and Council Members Gregerson and Fernald agreed that this might be a good time to see if identical services might be feasible. Enter contract consultant Jeff Brown of Epicenter Services. He stated that identical City services (even if they are adjacent) have not been possible. Mr. Brown further stated that he is the only consultant on these matters in King County. Well it sure would make consulting fees a lot less that’s for sure. Might the contract consultants be part of the problem? Just a thought.
Compensation and classification explanation was conducted by Human Resources Director Anh Hoang. Nice explanation. How about fixing the structure and City Code where a $17,000 annual increase to a single person has some Council oversight?
Council Study sessions versus Council Committees came up again and was put off to another Study Session. Not too much of a shock there. Un-elected Mayor Anderson holds on desperately to control ALL Agendas and that may be his undoing. On a brighter note, Public Comment in the Study Sessions may be allowed and voted on in a future Council meeting along with Public Comment on Council Meeting Action Items (cases where no Council consensus reached). Others and I have called for these comment periods ever since the rules where changed by guess who? Un-elected Mayor Anderson. It may go a long way to improve meeting public attendance, participation, and general goodwill to many a now disenchanted Citizen.
Another development was that Regular Council meetings could not be canceled unilaterally by un-elected Mayor Anderson (as he attempted) or anyone else. He innocently thought he could (so stated) but must not have been paying attention all these years on the Council. Take some notes man!
At this point of 6 hours into it, it appeared to me the Council was getting weary (me too) and a little sniping went on. It serves no purpose to say between who but the “snipers” versus the “snipees” would have thought this a highlight. I did not and said so in the last Council Meeting. My opinion is that this meeting/retreat could have been over in half the time had the Council Members stayed on topic and not drifted all over the place. Un-elected Mayor Anderson fiddled and appeared to be texting when disinterested (as well as Council Member Gregorson). Just an observation. A few more breaks for the Council during these marathons might be in order. Now I “retreat” until the next Council Meeting/s.