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Northwest Voices

Seattle Times letters to the editor

August 5, 2009 at 4:00 PM

Mayoral race: Is Nickels the best candidate?

Nickels’ tenure not all about mistakes

Editor, The Times:

Mayor Greg Nickels’ challengers should be careful of exploiting his frank admissions [“Will vote signal a call for change?” page one, August 2] of having made “some mistakes” in his almost eight years in office, conveniently forgetting the many remarkable positive programs he spearheaded.

Community leaders must make a lot of tough decisions, often under great pressure. No matter how thoughtful and dedicated, even the best leaders are bound to make some mistakes. More important than making mistakes is whether we learned from them.

Nickels surely has done a lot of learning. Those aspiring to become our next mayor are well advised not to harp on the few mistakes made by him. It is easy for challengers to criticize the incumbent. Let them show us how they will do a better job.

— Wolfgang Mack, Seattle

Nickels disregards safety, pushes personal initiatives

Is Seattle safer now than in 2002? Absolutely not. Since April, I am aware of at least eight break-ins in my Seward Park neighborhood — two of them at my home and another at my son’s home while my granddaughter occupied a bedroom.

Before 2002, I was not aware of any break-ins in Seward Park. The tragedy of the South Seattle woman killed by an intruder [“South Park anxious after fatal home break-in,” NWThursday, July 23] underlines that Mayor Greg Nickels is not working to protect the citizens of Seattle.

I think the citizens of Seattle have had enough of Nickels’ style of city management. Instead of supporting an adequate police force, he advocates projects to make Seattle green with more trees.

Instead of supporting increased police protection, he maintains an inept transportation manager on his staff. Instead of working for a safer Seattle, “his Honor” spends his time tying up traffic with his numerous bicycle trails for the use of bicyclists who disobey traffic laws and who gather illegally in mass to obstruct traffic with no legal consequences.

Nickels works only for his self-serving initiatives at the expense of initiatives to support the safety and well-being of Seattle citizens. Personally, I’m tired of paying millions for nickel management.

— Ruben F. Owen, Seattle

McGinn’s tunnel opposition is right on the money

Candidate Mike McGinn’s opposition to the Seattle waterfront tunnel [“McGinn: ‘He’s the guy who’s against the tunnel,’.” page one, July 22] is right on the money and right on time. Let’s not be taken in by another trendy marketing campaign.

We are all being railroaded into a plan that might well be the biggest marketing sham in recent Seattle history. First, the $4.2 billion price tag cannot be taken seriously; real costs will work out to be vastly greater, likely double or possibly even more.

Highly unstable subterranean soils are right in the tunnel’s pathway, which is moreover immediately adjacent to tidal zones. Potential seismic activity like what damaged the existing viaduct — raises risks even higher.

Second, that the tunnel idea is even on the table — at the very time we are in unprecedented state budget and economic crisis — speaks volumes about the utter indifference of 13 proponents to the real suffering many Seattle families are now enduring. And let’s not forget the totality of state budgetary shortfall is not yet even known.

A vastly more sensible and less expensive approach is a replacement of the existing viaduct with a kinder, gentler greener design that nonetheless utilizes the existing footprint, as proposed by the Balanced Needs Concept.

McGinn is right as rain to put the Alaskan Way Viaduct issue as the central focus of his mayoral campaign.

— Ross R. Atkinson, Mountlake Terrace

Comments | More in Election, Local ballot measures, Politics, Public safety, Seattle


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