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She used to own an ice cream shop in Pike Place Market. During the mid-70s, she was a schoolteacher in New Jersey. And today, the 16-year Seattle City Council veteran, Jan Drago, announced that she will indeed be challenging her former political ally, two-term Mayor Greg Nickels, for his job. Drago said that Nickels has done "nothing" for the city.
She said that while she agrees with Nickels on nearly every major issue, she will be different.
For some reason I thought this week in Seattle politics would be interesting. I was wrong.
On Monday, the almost always non-partisan City Council unanimously passed all of the bills, resolutions and appointments brought before the full council.
Next year's budget is expected to be $70 million short, so the City Council passed a resolution defining the Council's budget priorities in terms of what to preserve and what to cut.
There's a public forum scheduled for 5:30 p.m. this Wed. at City Hall to discuss Mayor Greg Nickels' proposed budget cuts.
Facing a worsening recession, Nickels has had to find more $13 million in budget cuts this year. While the 2009 budget cuts are up to the mayor's discretion, next year's budget - already projected to be $40 million short - Nickels will need to work with the City Council on what to cut.
The Seattle City Council chamber was unusually crowded this morning. More than a dozen people signed up to speak about Mayor Greg Nickels' $13 million in budget cuts, most were concerned about the impact on the library system.
Under Nickels' proposal all of the Seattle libraries will be shut down for a week this summer to save about $650,000.
A handful of reporters gathered on the seventh floor of City Hall this morning to hear how Mayor Greg Nickels plans to balance the budget now that forecasters are predicting that the city's revenue will drop another $29 million this year.
But the process this morning was a little backwards. The way it worked was that first Nickels held a press conference, then afterwards, reporters were told what the mayor plans to cut from the budget.
Seattle Mayor Greg Nickels' staffed briefed the City Council today on about $6 million in budget cuts to make up for a drop in projected real estate excise tax revenue this year.
There is no source of money to cover this loss, said Dwight Dively, the city's budget director. The 2009 budget was passed during much more prosperous times -- last year. While REET revenue has been averaging about $40 million annually, it's now at about $20 million.
If Initiative 99 makes the ballot and voters approve it this November, it will make it illegal for the City of Seattle to replace the Alaskan Way Viaduct with a deep-bore tunnel, forcing lawmakers to go back and determine another plan to replace the aging bridge.
Elizabeth Campbell is the sponsor of the initiative, and as reported last week, a not-yet-official candidate for mayor. She said the tunnel is too expensive and would take too long to build. Campbell believes lawmakers have drawn out the process because they don't want to just build another bridge.
Mayor Greg Nickels is still holding tight to the hope that the federal government will grant Seattle the $50 million needed for the Mercer Street project, he said at a press tour of South Lake Union today.
Nickels said the Washington State Department of Transportation won't let go of the funds he's after because the money is supposed to support state highways exclusively.
Well the Seattle City Council is back to where they were two months ago regarding the Mercer Corridor project money, well, sort of.
If you remember, in late February the City Council voted to lift the spending restriction, called a proviso, on the Mercer project funding, even though the city didn't have enough cash to complete the South Lake Union transportation, or depending on who you talk to, beautification project.
The purpose of the proviso is to prevent the city from starting a project that it can't complete.
A proposed ballot measure could make running against local politicians, like fundraising-all-star Mayor Greg Nickels, easier.
Seattle City Council members decided to support the re-introduction of publicly-funded elections, after an advisory committee suggested that new donation trends could be giving wealthier donors more influence with local candidates.
Supporters and journalists crowded into a neighborhood pizza joint on Capitol Hill today to hear Michael McGinn announce his candidacy for mayor. McGinn is the first and only candidate to step up to challenge two-term Mayor Greg Nickels.
Taking questions from behind a row of tables draped in checkered table clothes, McGinn said Seattle needs more effective leadership, leadership that seeks community involvement.
Prostitution and the Mercer Corridor project will be up for debate this week in the Seattle City Council.
Councilmember Tim Burgess wants anyone busted for patronizing a prostitute charged an additional $150 fee to cover the cost of john school to educate johns on the evils of prostitution.
A Facebook group played a key role in convincing former City Council member Peter Steinbrueck to consider a run for mayor.
Though no one has officially stepped up to contest incumbent Mayor Greg Nickels, social networking sites are already becoming important tools for gathering support.
Staring down the barrel of a 277 page executive report from the mayor's office Seattle City Councilmember Sally Clark, chair of the Planning, Land Use, and Neighborhoods Committee, began the first committee discussion of the MultiFamily Code Update yesterday.
The most divisive element of the report centered on incentive zoning, which allows for certain multifamily zones to have taller structures if the construction is labeled green or provides affordable housing.
It's time for another exciting week in Seattle politics. The most interesting developments will be on Wednesday when a special full City Council session is scheduled for 2 p.m. to discuss a bond issue, and at 9:30 a.m. Sally Clark's Planning, Land Use and Neighborhoods Committee will meet to hear recommendations from Mayor Greg Nickels' office on proposed changes to the multi-family zoning code.
At the Rainier Vista Boys and Girls Club today, Mayor Greg Nickels said Seattle is "strong." In his annual state of the city speech Nickels said crime is down, massive public works projects will create thousands of jobs and the city is the envy of the world in terms of being green.
The mayor didn't mention the gaping budget deficit the city is staring at, nor the 40 percent increase in rape from 2007 to 2008. He did however mention the senseless youth murders, which claimed yet another life yesterday in the Central District.