Topic: Charter Amendment 19
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October 24, 2013 at 7:01 AM
District is influenced by individuals and money
Your editorial supporting Seattle Charter Amendment 19 setting up council districts is, in theory, a good one [“Yes on Seattle charter amendment 19; no on Proposition 1, Opinion, Oct. 15].
On the surface, it seems rational and would be good for the voters and the city. However, having lived in New Orleans (where we had this same system), I can assure you that it was anything but good for the city.
Operationally, the district council member does represent his or her district, but is significantly influenced by individuals with money and all its temptations.
I will give you an example where the system fails: Developer X wants to rezone property from residential to commercial so he or she can build a commercial building. The residential property is historical and is in scale with its neighborhood. Neighborhood residents are opposed to the rezoning, but the council member is persuaded by the developer with favors to be obtained at a later date that cannot be traced. The other council members end up voting for approval since their existing system is much more difficult to corrupt.
I urge Seattle citizens to keep the system that they have and to look deeply to the pros and cons before voting.
Fritz Wagner, Seattle
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