Toplines: West Seattle candidates’ forum, minus mayoral hopefuls

Long-form story’s in progress, but here are a couple toplines from tonight’s West Seattle Candidates’ Forum at Youngstown Arts Center: Six of the potential 10 total candidates (mayor plus four City Council races) showed up – the no-shows were both would-be mayors (Joe Mallahan and Mike McGinn), incumbent Council President Richard Conlin (who’d been invited to spend the evening with the governor in Olympia) and council hopeful Sally Bagshaw (whose campaign manager said she had committed to a “public-safety walk” in North Seattle long before getting this invitation). The most West Seattle-specific question posed by moderators Chas Redmond (photo right) and Pete Spalding (photo left) — of the co-sponsoring Southwest and Delridge Neighborhoods District Councils, respectively — involved how to tackle West Seattle’s transportation challenges – and it was clear few had closely studied the peninsula’s unique problems. No moments of major disagreement – the two opponents with the sharpest contrasts were council candidates Mike O’Brien and Robert Rosencrantz. We have short clips of all six participants plus highlights of their answers to the night’s questions, coming up in the long report. P.S. This report says Joe Mallahan skipped a forum earlier today too, on short notice.

14 Replies to "Toplines: West Seattle candidates' forum, minus mayoral hopefuls"

  • wseye October 15, 2009 (10:35 pm)

    No questions on the viaduct… why?

  • JanS October 15, 2009 (11:18 pm)

    “it was clear few had closely studied the peninsula’s unique problems.”

    and therein lies the problem. I still say they should be required to live on the peninsula for a minimum 2 weeks. We make up, what? 1/5 of the city’s population?….and they haven’t studied the unique transportation problems? HELLO ! The viaduct is a major problem, and it affects us the most if it falls down next week. I would say that they’re just putting their heads in the sand, but I have a feeling that they are firmly planted somewhere else ! And they want our vote? Really?

  • WSB October 15, 2009 (11:23 pm)

    It should be noted to that point, since I won’t be naming the candidates who DID show till the detailed story, that there is one who does live here – David Ginsberg, Richard Conlin’s opponent. Mike O’Brien was the other one who demonstrated some familiarity with the peninsula’s transportation heartaches. Although kudos also to those who honestly said what amounted to, uh, I’m stumped, in response to various phrasings of the transportation question – TR

  • Diane October 16, 2009 (12:14 am)

    yep, David did great tonight; though he was last, and by that time most of the smallish audience took off
    I’m impressed by all the candidates that showed up
    and honestly, when the first guy said “I hadn’t thought about it” re transportation; I thought he was joking
    I’ve been on the fence about the mayor; was very disappointed both were no-shows tonight; afterward, hearing the reasons & lack-of for the no-shows, and hearing later that Mallahan was a no-show at another forum also; made my choice a bit easier; I came home to a Mallahan email, raving about Gregoire endorsement & asking for money; very telling; I mainly voted current mayor out for being a no-show and unaccountable; sure don’t want that again
    and McGinn did hold a forum here at Hiawatha couple weeks ago that was great

  • publicadministrator October 16, 2009 (12:20 am)

    This was my fifth election event this season. The format and questions at this forum didn’t lend itself to allowing the candidates to debate themselves and their proposed solutions directly.

    For WS voters using the tunnel/viaduct is as litmus test, if you don’t know where the candidates stand at this stage of the game you haven’t been paying close attention.

  • WSB October 16, 2009 (3:18 am)

    Thanks for the comment, always great to have added perspective from actual attendees. McGinn had the High Point Library “town hall” too, for two total in West Seattle.

  • Janna October 16, 2009 (7:55 am)

    Just a note: I was there and met the McGinn representative. Craig somebody. Very informed and knowledgeable and answered questions about McGinn’s platforms.

  • WSB October 16, 2009 (8:00 am)

    To clarify, however, that was not part of the forum – the only non-candidates who took the stage were the representatives for the 2 council candidates whose opponents did show up – TR

  • Janna October 16, 2009 (8:39 am)

    Ok, then, if McGinn’s representative was there, why was he not on the stage?

  • WSB October 16, 2009 (8:45 am)

    That would be a question for the organizers. Guesses aren’t worth much but my semieducated guess would be that reps were allowed to speak for the candidates whose opponents did show up, while in the mayoral race, neither showed up.

  • d October 16, 2009 (9:46 am)

    McGinn was also at HPAC’s Forum, which WSB covered, btw. Mallahan was not. I attended last night pretty much to hear both out. Oh well. It is my understanding, from McGinn’s HPAC participation that he wants light rail and no tunnel.

    Are there any opportunities left to hear the mayorals in an actual debate?

  • WSB October 16, 2009 (9:49 am)

    There are in fact three televised debates coming up. We may be seen/heard asking a question (videotaped a couple weeks ago) in the Oct. 21st one on KING, co-sponsored by our news partners at the Seattle Times. The times I have for these are:
    6pm-8pm, Sunday, October 18th; 7pm-9pm, Wednesday, October 21st; 9pm-11pm, Saturday, October 24th (am checking on which station’s airing the 18th and 24th, will tag out the still-forthcoming loooooong version of this story, been a long night) .. TR

  • d October 16, 2009 (10:10 am)

    Thx for the schedule. I have appreciated the forums’, but debates are better.

  • Diane October 16, 2009 (11:35 am)

    I attended the mayoral forum at downtown library last week; sold out with wait line at door; sponsored by city club; it was very good and probably can be see on Seattle channel
    but I really wanted to hear them together in WS to address our neighborhood specific questions
    I’ve been to many candidate forums, and was a bit frustrated last night at some questions asked of all candidates that are VERY low priority to me (cultural overlay?), and no opportunity for audience to ask questions

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