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Northwest Voices

Seattle Times letters to the editor

July 29, 2013 at 4:26 PM

Mayor Mike McGinn

Whole Foods conflict is a gadfly act

 Seattle Mayor Mike McGinn speaks in support of fast food workers alleging their employers commit criminal wage theft. [Mike Siegel, The Seattle Times.]

Seattle Mayor Mike McGinn speaks in support of fast food workers alleging their employers commit criminal wage theft. [Mike Siegel, The Seattle Times.]

Mayor Mike McGinn’s actions regarding Whole Foods are appropriate for a gadfly, not a mayor. [“McGinn’s stance on wages ups stakes in mayoral race,” NW Sunday, July 28.]

Gadflies throw out ideas without regard for the consequences of their timing or methods of delivery. They have no obligation to consult with anyone else or to be restrained by the legality of the ideas they propose.

Should the city become involved in advocating or even legislating for a higher minimum wage? Is this something that should become part of our land-use policies? It is reasonable for our city government and citizens to consider these questions.

But it was not reasonable for McGinn, without consulting the City Council, to threaten a single employer with rejection of a land-use application because the mayor personally believes they should pay higher salaries.

This is only the latest in a long series of behaviors that have alienated many other elected officials and seriously damaged McGinn’s effectiveness. That McGinn, after four years in office, still doesn’t get it that a mayor can’t behave as a gadfly disqualifies him for re-election.

John Russell, Seattle

Political-war zone

I’ve lived and voted in nine cities since I graduated from college in 1979. Until the last four years, I considered Seattle the least tribal and most considerate of the whole bunch.

Unfortunately, Michael McGinn has badly eroded that aspect of Seattle’s appeal. Whether or not he wanted to do it, McGinn has deeply fractured the city. We now have neighborhoods at war with downtown, bicyclists at war with drivers and homeowners at war with apartment dwellers.

Worse than that, we have a mayor at war with truth and common sense, and who has made absolutely no effort to bridge any gaps. I supported McGinn in 2009, and I will be voting for anyone but him in 2013.

Seattle needs to send Michael McGinn packing. If that doesn’t happen in the primary, then it must be done in the general election.

In nearly 40 years of voting, I can’t think of any electoral mistake worse than my support for Michael McGinn.

Charles Pluckhahn, Seattle

Comments | More in Politics, Seattle | Topics: conflict, legislation, mayor

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