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Northwest Voices

Seattle Times letters to the editor

May 8, 2009 at 4:00 PM

Snow fiasco

Mike Siegel / The Seattle Times

In January, street-maintenance director Paul Jackson Jr., right, and Seattle Department of Transportation Director Grace Crunican listened to Seattle residents protest snow-removal procedures.

Nickels, Crunican, Jackson — all must go

Editor, The Times:

Mismanagement of the snowstorm response pales in comparison to mismanagement on the part of city transportation chief Grace Crunican and Mayor Greg Nickels [“Streets honcho under fire long before snow fiasco,” page one, May 8].

How was it possible to spend one year and $515,000 dollars to produce an 8,000-page report on the questionable performance of Paul Jackson Jr., a mid-level manager? Jackson was promoted to street-maintenance director despite the findings of the report — perhaps fairly, perhaps unfairly.

What really happened was mind-boggling dithering and wasting of taxpayer dollars by Crunican and Nickels. It is they who need to leave, perhaps taking Jackson with them.

— Thomas R. Dyer, Seattle

Seattle deserves better

The Seattle Times’ front-page article on the ineptness of the Seattle street-maintenance division’s management during the winter snow events — not the least your photograph of both city transportation chief Grace Crunican and maintenance director Paul Jackson Jr. in bewildered poses — must surely raise the question as to why none of the mayoral candidates have, as a plank for his election, included the dismissal of both these fine examples of expensive ineptitude.

And Crunican then shifts Jackson to the traffic division? Good grief, that tops the list for stupidity. What traffic-engineering skills does he have? His management skills are obviously minimal.

I get it — this is the Peter Principle in full action. For $108,000 a year, we surely deserve better.

— Christopher Brown, Seattle

Find someone — anyone — who understands snow

During the 2008 blizzard, Mayor Nickels said on television, “Seattle is not a snow city,” and I felt sorry for him. Citizens were expected to suspend reality and believe that there was no problem. There was.

Holed up for five days and waiting like an ostrich for sunshine or rain, Nickels finally felt the urge to emerge and explain it all away. No luck.

Now we are told a national search is required to find someone whom understands snow. The local street guru had an epiphany and declared himself a $108,000 distraction. Many of us would welcome that much distraction.

We were told salt is “bad,” but it worked well on Interstate 5 — the only clear roadway, plus the one in front of the mayor’s home. All of the “good” sand plugged up the waste-treatment facility. Are you feeling green yet?

Now, lots of green money might be paid to upset city workers. They claim they perceived individual discrimination allegedly caused by the former street guru’s hostile work environment. Yes, the environment was chilly back then. When do I get my check?

Poor Nickels. Miami is not a snow city.

— Norm Colbert, Seattle

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