VIDEO: As ballots arrive, City Council D-1 candidates answer West Seattle Chamber of Commerce questions

Your ballot has likely arrived by now, and you have until the night of Tuesday, August 6th, to vote. While the City Council District 1 race is not the only thing on your ballot, it’s the highest-profile race in our area and the three contenders answered questions side by side again Thursday night, this time at a forum presented by the West Seattle Chamber of Commerce at South Seattle College (WSB sponsor). We recorded it all on video:

It ran just under an hour. If you can’t (or don’t want to) take the time to watch/listen, ahead you’ll find our brief highlights of the Q&A – not direct quotes unless marked as such:

Rik Keller, who chairs the Chamber’s Government Affairs Committee, moderated. The forum began with an introduction from each candidate. The Q&A begins at 9:45 into the video. That’sw where our toplines start:

Homelessness – name 1 new idea that you would bring.

Lisa Herbold: “I am proposing that we double our investment in permanent supportive housing” over the next 4 years.
Brendan Kolding: “I am a big advocate for the FEMA-style tent model.”
Phil Tavel: “Work within the criminal justice system” to offer temporary housing to homeless people who exit the criminal justice system.

What ideas will you bring forward to help small business?

BK: Helping small business means helping the community, and that cuts across a variety of issues including parking, housing, and crime.
PT: Will have a “small business liaison” in his office; will be proactive in talking to small-business owners before proposing legislative.
LH: Will be announcing business-stabilization fund in next few weeks. Also would include “1% for business” in a levy, to support stabilization.

Some small businesses have been negatively affected by road work. How would you mitigate that?

PT: Talk to them first. Says city didn’t adequately explain length of work, etc., in Luna Park.
LH: Facilitated several meetings leading up to Avalon project.
BK: Proceduralize talking with small businesses before such projects.

Parking – do the newly announced Junction RPZ plans make sense?

LH: This was a community-initiated process, not appropriate for me to intervene.
BK: My children’s school is in the new RPZ area and wasn’t consulted.
PT: Going to have to pay attention to see how the first year goes.

Lightning round (yes or no) questions, holding up green (yes) or red (no) cards to answer.

*Have you attended a meeting of your neighborhood council in the past year? (All 3, yes)
*Have you ever applied for a Neighborhood Matching Fund grant? (Tavel yes, Herbold and Kolding no)
*Do you speak any language other than English? (All 3, no)
*If the “head tax” issue were to come up again, would you support it? (Herbold yes, Kolding and Tavel no)
*Do you think our West Seattle small businesses are being taxed fairly? (All 3, no)

Transit options are limited, especially on-peninsula. What proposals do you have to improve that?
BK: Favors circulator “loop” on peninsula.
PT: Viadoom “connector” worked really well. Shuttle bus to Farmers’ Market on Sunday.
LH: Represents the city on Regional Transit Committee. Has advocated to add bus service and will continue to do so.

City Council voted to support Green New Deal. Do you support it?

PT: Supports carbon-neutral goal. Need to have police use more electric and hybrid cars.
LH: Yes. Working on other things – just revealed electric trash trucks; working on reducing single-use plastics, working to add recycling to more building floors.
BK: Carbon-credit fee.

Permitting process is hindering local businesses from expanding. How can that be alleviated?

LH: Council just got briefed. SDCI needs more staff. New software making things harder.
BK: Agrees that city planners need more resources. Would evaluate for streamlining.
PT: Need fast-track process. Small-business liaison in his council office.

Minimum wage, secure scheduling, head-tax attempt, other new laws in past 3 years. Helpful or harmful to West Seattle business community?

BK: Hearing that businesses feel it’s harmful.
PT: Talks to businesses and “all I hear is, it’s too much pressure put on businesses … the city is failing to promote prosperity.”
LH: This is a very good climate for large businesses. Not for small business. Way to address that is to address our regressive tax system.

Do you support rent control?

PT: No.
LH: Supports lifting state prohibition on all regulations of rent “so we can have that conversation.”
BK: No.

Another lightning round.
*Is there a food desert in Delridge? (All 3, yes)
*Do you support grass-roots neighborhood planning? (All 3, yes)
*Is the $15 minimum wage working as anticipated? (Herbold, yes, Tavel and Kolding, no)
*Would foot patrols by SPD in our business districts be an effective use of resources? (All 3, yes)
*Do you favor performance-based budgeting that shows revenue sources? (All 3, yes)

The city budget has grown a lot. Can you name 1 item that should be trimmed or cut back?

LH: The streetcar route she calls the “shopping trolley.”
BK: Review entire budget.
PT: Audit city departments and find out where we’re not spending efficiently.

With talk of repurposing some land like golf courses, do you support overturning Initiative 42?

BK: No.
PT: No.
LH: No.

South Park has low life expectancy, poor air quality. What will you do about it?

PT: Support what’s happening now and be on the forefront of improvements.
LH: Continue to invest in programs like Duwamish River Opportunity Fund.
BK: Awareness.

Each had three minutes for a closing statement – you can watch those starting at 45 minutes into the video.

NEXT FORUM: The League of Women Voters has just announced it’s having a District 1 forum on July 29th, 5:30 pm at West Seattle (Admiral) Library, 2306 42nd SW.

VOTING: Get your ballot into the mail by August 6th (remember, postage is now prepaid) or a dropbox (here are the locations) by 8 pm that night.

23 Replies to "VIDEO: As ballots arrive, City Council D-1 candidates answer West Seattle Chamber of Commerce questions"

  • The Truth July 20, 2019 (3:12 am)

    Every small business owner I personally know is for Phil Tavel.  0/9 council members have owned a business.  It is totally unbalanced.  I don’t want 9/9 council seats to be business owners but there has to be business voices on the council.  Not Amazon or Facebook voices but someone who understands  small community based businesses.  Look up and down California Ave.  Zero Herbold signs.  It’s pretty telling of how the businesses that contribute to the community of West Seattle feel.  Unsupported and dismissed.  Time to bring some balance to the council.  Small businesses are the biggest employer in this city! 

  • Tim Van Liew July 20, 2019 (5:58 am)

    Brookdale West Seattle (4611 35th Ave SW) will be hosting Phil Tavel for a meet & greet tonight (7/20) from 5-7PM. Local business owners and neighbors invited. Parking is limited. Sidewalk on 35th is open, despite signs stating otherwise. 

  • Curtis July 20, 2019 (6:42 am)

    Brendan Kolding is the change we need in West Seattle!   Thanks but no thanks Lisa Herbold.  You had your chance and it is time for change.

      • Ice July 21, 2019 (12:51 am)

        Well, that was a wild ride of a read. The comments on the WSB are pretty well vetted so I assume that it is legitimate. Kolding is an abusive person.

      • OP July 21, 2019 (8:29 pm)

        How did you acquire an internal police document? Who and what is your source? How would you get access to such a document before the Seattle Times?

        • WSB July 21, 2019 (8:33 pm)

          The document link is from the Times story. Document Cloud is the uploader that the Times uses (I prefer Scribd, but same basic thing).
          It’s linked in their followup story, sixth paragraph. (Also note the right sidebar attributio on the document, “Contributed by: Lewis Kamb, The Seattle Times”)

          • OP July 21, 2019 (8:38 pm)

            Thanks. This was my first time running across the document.

  • M July 20, 2019 (7:47 am)

    We haven’t received our ballots yet. Anyone else? 

  • JL July 20, 2019 (9:15 am)

    What is with Tavel’s weird attachment to the shuttle to the Farmer’s Market?  There are, what, six, Metro buses that will get you to the Farmer’s Market on Sundays?  Why isn’t the answer to support more grocery/product stand options Metro service in the areas that currently aren’t served?  If he wants to help people start small businesses, wouldn’t the answer be more like “Create avenues to open more independently-owned grocery stores in food deserts?”  Or is he pro-existing business rather than pro-small business?  Does he understand how the existing buses work?  Does he just not like them?  Or think people in neighborhoods currently without a bus line should just have one for a few hours on Sunday to one destination rather than a Metro route that could help them get to multiple places on multiple days?  His answers to nearly everything are too vague to tell if he even knows what he’s talking about, and then when he does have a specific idea it just shows how out of touch he is with the city and how shaky his supposed support for small businesses really is.

    • LetsBeHonest July 20, 2019 (3:33 pm)

      What a silly comment. You are assuming that Tavel ONLY will consider the shuttle idea (whereas Herbold will do what, exactly, that she hasn’t already done or NOT done the last 4 years?) . There are multiple ways to promote small businesses in underserved areas, but the fact of the matter is that businesses need to make money in order to remain open. Grocery stores are very razor-margined businesses, and smaller stores and stands will have to charge more to be profitable, which means that the low-income residents will be at a disadvantage shopping there. Demographics are very important for businesses. Maybe more food pantries are the answer for “underserved communities,” but I do have to say that Seattle is geographically compact, and access to, say, Westwood Village QFC or Admiral Safeway are not impossible endeavors for Delridge residents. And of course, there is always Amazon Fresh. Heck, even Safeway delivers these days.

  • anonyme July 20, 2019 (9:31 am)

    I love the farmer’s market and shop there every Sunday (via Metro).  However, market items are far more expensive than in stores.  A shuttle from low-income neighborhoods to the market is like saying “let them eat cake”.   An uninformed comment at best.  Tavel is way too vague for me on almost every subject.  He has also stated that single-family zoning should be pushed out to the suburbs, while simultaneously stating that he wants to help seniors “age in place”.  Which is it?

  • Citizen Sane July 20, 2019 (9:34 am)

    Kolding and Tavel should advance to the General in November. A vote for Herbold is a vote for the status quo of an out-of-touch SCC that listens only to a small coterie of activists who pretty much live at City Hall, and look at the rest of us as little more than a cash cow.

  • Thomas Wood July 20, 2019 (11:56 am)

    Lisa says it all, she wants to raise are taxes,doesn’t support law enforcement.We can’t afford another four years

  • brigetta July 20, 2019 (12:15 pm)

    If you keep up with local news you will see that Kolding harassed a fellow officer and then lied about it when he was on the police force. Apparently some voters are willing to overlook that? wow.I have sympathy for small businesses. I have one. But a $15 minimum wage should not put a viable business in jeopardy. Would you work for less than $15/hour? In Seattle a full-time minimum wage job will not even get you a studio to live in. Maybe a tent in a park….

  • Mj July 20, 2019 (12:55 pm)

    Lisa needs to go.  She has been terrible for small business owners, small landlords and taxpayers.  

  • Luke July 20, 2019 (2:41 pm)

    I am still undecided between Tavel and Kolding, but Herbold will not get my vote due to her support of the head tax.

  • Lisa Herbad July 20, 2019 (5:14 pm)

    Herbold is a socialist who is out of touch with reality. Our city has really gone downhill the past few years and the fact that she thinks she is doing a good job and seeking reelection shows how out of touch she is. Kshama Sawant is one of the most dangerous socialists(I think she is actually a communist) our city has ever seen and Lisa votes with her on 95% of the issues. Talk with your friends and family and explain to them that they need to vote and that elections have consequences. Kolding vs Tavel in the November election would be a dream come true

    • Jort July 21, 2019 (11:13 am)

      Lisa is a socialist?! If she is, then she’s a REALLY crappy socialist. Say what you will about Kshama Sawant, but at least she believes in something. Lisa is a firm devotee to using the Seattle Process in a damn-near religious manner to make outcomes that everybody hates with mealy-mouthed, middling centrist garbage policy. Don’t get me wrong, Kolding is a dangerous, blatant liar and Phil Tavel is an absolute moron, so I’m voting for the “best” candidate I can. But to call Lisa — who has sided with NIMBYs and uses her power to “Seattle Process” every possible bit of actual progress in the city — a socialist, well, that’s just dumb. 

  • Ex-Westwood Resident July 20, 2019 (5:32 pm)

    Lisa Herbold: “I am proposing that we double our investment in permanent supportive housing” over the next 4 years.Over $1,000,000,000 (BILLION) spent on the “Homeless Industry Complex” in the last 10 years by the City, County and State. Over $1,000,000,000 spent LAST YEAR alone by City, County, State AND PRIVATE organizations on the “Homeless Industry Complex”.   More money is NOT needed, what is needed is an audit of where the money has gone and accountability of those who are wasting the money given.    This city needs a paradigm shift in how it deals with addicts, homeless (REAL homeless) and the mentally ill on the streets.  Lisa is part of the “throw money it at, without any accounting of it” crowd, who will do NOTHING to aid the situation, as evidenced by the last 10 years (or more) of doing the same thing OVER and OVER and OVER and OVER again, expecting a different result (the definition of INSANITY)Housing is an issue, but it is NOT the main issue, it’s just geography. Want to help the homeless, who are mostly addicts and alcoholics, get them into treatment.   If they refuse, they have the choice of moving on or going to jail for whatever charges can be brought.

  • My two cents ... July 21, 2019 (9:27 am)

    Herbold fell upwards with her election to the Council …  as the voters have found out over the past years.  Not sure if the best fit would be on the staff of a true leader, a true representative… Or doing some sort of community organizing.  As for elected or even appointed positions? No …. enough is enough of the inability to represent the community, implement pragmatic solutions that we all face.  The other major irritant is that Councilmember Herbold seems to focus more on photo ops and grandstanding and actual changes.

  • Ws resident July 21, 2019 (9:38 pm)

    I’m interested in these candidates positions on issue and plans to improve them not  listening to name calling. Also. Phil Tavel is not a small business owner. 

  • I. Ponder July 22, 2019 (11:41 am)

    Jort: I found your comment to be insightful. I’m having a hard time getting a read on Tavel. I’d be interested in your assessment of him. This past year I attended City Council hearings and votes on issues related to housing. I was surprised and dismayed at what a poor student Lisa Herbold was in terms of side effects of rules and amendments she proposed. Well intentioned but poorly thought through. That said, If Tavel is no better I’ll vote for her.

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