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Northwest Voices

Seattle Times letters to the editor

July 5, 2009 at 4:00 PM

Snow response: City should be praised for investigation

It’s time to move on from snowstorm blunders

For about six months now, much has been said about the Seattle Department of Transportation’s (SDOT) performance during the December 2008 snowstorms. Even as the summer sun breaks through to give us these beautiful Seattle days, it is right to check the overall emergency preparedness in the event of any natural disaster. Both Mayor Greg Nickels and SDOT Director Grace Crunican are making the necessary changes to improve response in the future. I take them at their word.

What began as a critique of the city’s snow response has evolved into a vicious, unrelenting and unfair attack on the city’s decision to hire an outside consultant to investigate allegations of bias within SDOT’s Street Maintenance Division.

Instead of attacking city leadership on this issue, we should applaud Nickels’ and Crunican’s decision to aggressively investigate and resolve complaints of discrimination within SDOT’s work force. Ignoring these complaints does nothing to address employee concerns or lower the city’s overall liability. In fact, it achieves the exact opposite. The decision to investigate each and every complaint, whether ultimately sustained or not, demonstrates a strong commitment to justice. And for that I wish to personally offer my appreciation and support to Nickels and Crunican.

I think it’s time we enjoyed a little more of the sunshine, not only in this great environment, but also within City Hall, where the mayor is trying to shine a little independent light on what happened and ensure the city has done the right thing — especially whenever discrimination is charged.

— James Kelly, Urban League of Metropolitan Seattle president and CEO, Seattle

Comments | More in Public safety, Seattle, Transportation, weather

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