Low-key town-hall meeting for Mayor McGinn in West Seattle

No confrontation, all conversation for Mayor Mike McGinn at his community-forum/town-hall meeting at Youngstown Cultural Arts Center tonight. The people you see onstage behind him are other city reps who were standing by to answer questions if needed (the officer on the right is one of West Seattle’s Community Police Team officers, Jonathan Kiehn; the others were from parks, transportation, human services, and economic development). The mayor heard entreaties about some recent hot issues, including the West Seattle Golf Course driving range and the RapidRide bus-lane-vs.-parking concerns, and also heard about local youth concerns, as well as ongoing problems like Delridge-area healthy-food access, but if you were expecting somebody to rant about, oh, say, traffic or snow response, nope. We got it all on video so you’ll be able to see for yourself once we have it uploaded (Seattle Channel wasn’t there to record the event, so as far as we know, this will be the only video of the entire meeting), and we’ll add a few more notes in a bit. Right now, we have the first installment – the mayor had two warm-up acts, a rapper and rockers – they’re both in this clip, starting with an intro from Chas Redmond, who co-moderated the evening with Pete Spalding:

(added) Here’s the video of the entire Q/A section – about an hour and a half:

Among the speakers were local neighborhood advocates who issued invitations to the mayor: Fairmount Community Association‘s Sharonn Meeks invited him to come take a walking tour of The Triangle, which has been the subject of a city-led planning process (she’s on the citizens’ advisory group convened as part of it); White Center Chamber of Commerce president Mark Ufkes invited the mayor to visit WC and talk with its residents and businesspeople about the benefits of being part of Seattle, since there might be an annexation vote in their future. The mayor indicated interest in both invitations. And he issued one of his own to the youth who shared their concerns about issues including transit routes and education – he invited them to come downtown to talk more about their ideas and observations.

10 Replies to "Low-key town-hall meeting for Mayor McGinn in West Seattle"

  • Blue Collar Enviro December 3, 2010 (5:10 am)

    If a neighborhood doesn’t want to relinquish parking, it should relinquish RapidRide so another neighborhood can have true RapidRide.

    Slowing down a bus route is rude to the people who have to ride the bus. Taking away parking causes a few minutes of inconvenience to some. Keeping parking on a bus route arterial adds a few minutes of inconvenience to thousands of riders, twice a day, and costs taxpayers more in perpetuity. Do the math of how many people are being inconvenienced.

    So, the city and county need to stand firm: a neighborhood can have on-street parking, or it can have RapidRide. But it can’t have both.

  • Mary December 3, 2010 (7:55 am)

    I think that’s untrue. I do think a compromise can be reached regarding parking AND RapidRide. Both sides will likely have to compromise and I have hope a mutually beneficial decision will prevail.

  • Bryan December 3, 2010 (10:10 am)

    No talk of 7 hour bus rides in the snow???

  • mcbride December 3, 2010 (10:46 am)

    Blue Collar,
    The neighborhood doesn’t have an opt-in or opt-out choice. The Rapid Ride route in question, the “C Line”, replaces the existing Metro route 54. That’s King County’s choice. The City of Seattle owns right of way on the street.
    The concern raised wasn’t about neighborhood convenience, though. It was about where the removal of on street parking would occur, and how it would negatively impact the business district the stop is planned at.
    To be fair, it was not an obstructionist view the Luna Park business district was presenting. From a “do the math” perspective, they raised some very valid points. Doing so using the civic process – good on them, I say.
    As a side note, Metro and SDOT present somewhat frequently at Neighborhood District Council meetings. To learn more, contact you Neighborhood District Coordinator Stan.Lock@Seattle.gov (Southwest), or Ron.Angeles@Seattle.gov (Delridge).

  • Holli December 3, 2010 (11:23 am)

    @Bryan – the only talk of transit issues was the broad problem of bus transportation issues during regular times.

    The only person to bring up the insanity during our first snow storm was from a reporter for Komo 4 at the very end of the meeting. As expected, there’s no clear answer. McGinn recognized that our area was literally cut off and not served well despite planning.

  • Alberto December 3, 2010 (1:26 pm)

    First, I thank the WS blog for being a vital forum and supporter of SW Seattle communities. However I was disappointed by the article’s lack of recognition of the youth’s comments, which easily comprised 50% of the comments made during the Q&A session. I can say with certainty these young people took as much time to prepare their statements as any adult speaker.

    I hope that people take time to watch the video, if you do – you will see young people, not just the adults mentioned in the article, asking well articulated and comprehensive questions on issues pertaining to displacement and gentrification, equity in bike walk ride stategies, and youth voice in the major policy initiatives.

    These youth are as passionate about a thriving West Seattle as anyone, let’s continue to support their voices being heard as part of the whole!

    In appreciation,
    Alberto Mejia, MPA
    Program Director
    Youngstown Cultural Arts Center

  • Alberto December 3, 2010 (3:19 pm)

    Tracy, thank you so much. I didn’t realize how much you all had to cover last night. Thank you for your commitment and community-minded journalism. I will pass your praise on to the youth!

    In gratitude,

  • Blue Collar Enviro December 3, 2010 (3:48 pm)


    I do participate in my neighborhood association. It is thankfully a much more pro-transit neighborhood association than some in other parts of town because of the presence of multiple bus riders.
    All I am asking is that whatever solution is arrived at not add to the bus travel time (that is, not increase the C Line’s time, which had better be faster than the 54), and not put the buses into the middle of general-purpose traffic where there were ways to avoid that.
    If the route travel time is lengthened, the number of runs will have to be reduced, meaning less frequency, meaning fewer riders, meaning more people driving cars, meaning more traffic through your neighborhood.

  • funkietoo December 3, 2010 (4:12 pm)

    This was an informative, collaborative forum. As a West Seattle Resident, I will attend future forums. To Mayor McGinn and his staff: Thank you.

    Alberto–The Youngstown Cultural Arts Center Youth impressed many of us adults in the audience, and Mayor McGinn. They were well prepared, respectful and well versed; had follow up questions to Mayor McGinn’s answers; radiated stage presence; and I could go on and on. The Youngstown Youth give me hope for Seattle’s (and the World’s) future. Wow! Every one of them were ….well, I’d not only hire them, but look to them for ideas on how to approach issues facing our city, county and country.

    I especially enjoyed Major McGinn’s face and reaction when the second Youth stated his question, then followed with, ‘and if yes’, please state two strategies…et al.’ Priceless!!! It was at that moment that I truly understood we were in for an evening of hearing from engaged, thoughtful, brilliant youth.

    Lastly, one of my reasons for attending (there were many), was to understand the Luna Park/Avalon parking situation and how it will impact a somewhat fragile business community and neighborhood. I frequent many of the Merchants in this neighborhood (Ola Salon, Luna Park Cafe, Avalon Glass and Revo Cafe–when they were open).

    These businesses alone provide employment to at least 75+ local people, plus they are all supporters of our West Seattle Community. Ola Salon recently hosted a Wine Fest & Art Auction for Furry Faces Foundation and is hosting another event on Dec 10th for Westside Baby; Avalon Glass does a special ‘Apple’ every year for White Center Food Bank; they all donate certificate after certificate to our local schools, non-profits and other community events.

    I, for one, believe we need to help them stay in business, which includes supporting rapid transit, while mitigating loss of parking, which would result in loss of customers to these wonderful business, which could result in layoffs and/or closure.

Sorry, comment time is over.