Election 2011: West Seattle Chamber’s ‘networking’ event

June 23, 2011 4:58 am
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 |   West Seattle news | West Seattle politics

Two types of networking were in evidence at Wednesday’s monthly West Seattle Chamber of Commerce lunch, and the top photo is proof of one: Regional collaboration between business-advocacy groups. At left is Susan Davis, executive director of the Rainier Valley Chamber of Commerce, which teamed up for the event with the WS C of C, whose CEO Patti Mullen is at center, and those on hand included, at right, April Thanos from the Greater Seattle Business Association (which is having an event in WS soon – more on that later.)

With less than two months till the August 16 primary, the guests in the spotlight at West Seattle Corporate Center (Delridge/Andover – with the giant flag) were most of the candidates running for the five Seattle City Council seats on this year’s ballot, including all but one of the incumbents, on hand for what was billed as “speed networking.”

The format called for each candidate to spend about 10 minutes at a table, with a short speech followed by questions from tablemates, before moving on. Here are our photos of the participants:

Position 1:

Maurice Classen (with Senior Center of West Seattle’s Karen Sisson):

Bobby Forch (with Harbor Properties’ Denny Onslow):

Jean Godden (incumbent):

Michael Taylor-Judd (a West Seattleite):

Position 3:

Brad Meacham (at right; Kirk Mead, left, was keeping time):

Bruce Harrell:

Position 5:

Dale Pusey (center):

Tom Rasmussen was traveling to an event in Eastern Washington.

Position 7:

Tim Burgess:

David Schraer (at left):

Position 9 (both photographed via iPhone):

Sally Clark

Dian Ferguson

(If third candidate Fathi Karshie was there, we missed him.)

The discussion was free-form. Four candidates made it to each table before time ran out; ours was visited by three incumbents – Burgess, Clark, Harrell – and one challenger, Ferguson. Questions from those at the table included issues such as transportation, crime, and homelessness; if our tablemates ran out of questions, our table moderator Emi McKittrick asked if the candidate had any questions for those at the table. Councilmember Burgess asked for opinions on the Highway 99 deep-bore tunnel, saying they seldom heard from the public, just from those with a “special interest”; everyone who replied (we refrained) said they were pro-tunnel.

All candidates’ websites and contact info are linked to their names on the King County Elections website (scroll down to Seattle). Only Position 1 and 9 will be on the ballot in August, as they are the only two with more than two candidates; the others go directly to November. There’s another forum in West Seattle tonight; the West Seattle Democratic Women will hear from candidates in the Position 1 and 9 races, 7 pm, West Seattle Golf Course; April Thanos from the GSBA announced they’re having a candidate mixer in West Seattle on July 13 at The Hall at Fauntleroydetails here.

Though he made the remark at the beginning of the event, West Seattle Chamber board chair Dave Montoure left the candidates with something to ponder: The WS Corporate Center floor on which the lunch was held is currently vacant – “Think about jobs,” he urged them.

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