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July 27, 2014 at 10:33 AM

Former Mayor Paul Schell dies

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Former Seattle Mayor Paul Schell died Sunday morning at Swedish hospital. Schell, who served as mayor from 1998 to 2002 was remembered as a “great city builder” by Mayor Ed Murray, whose office announced the death. Schell was 76.

Schell’s rocky term as mayor was marked by public-safety and political crises including the chaotic 1999 WTO protests and 2001 Mardi Gras riot — events that doomed his reelection bid.

But civic leaders praised Schell as a visionary civic leader who left a lasting imprint on Seattle, starting decades before his election as mayor.

“As a citizen activist, lawyer, director of community development, port commissioner, dean of architecture and mayor he directly shaped the civic infrastructure of Seattle for more than 40 years,” Murray said in a news release.

As mayor, Schell led a successful $196 million Libraries for All bond campaign that funded a new downtown library and rebuilt many neighborhood branch libraries. He also championed a $198 million levy for parks and the zoo, and a $72 million effort that mingled public and private dollars to renovate the Seattle Center Opera House and community centers.

“He had a vision for the city that got articulated in bricks and mortar,” friend and former Mayor Charles Royer said in an interview. “I think if it were not for a couple of those bumps, he would have been been regarded as much more effective than he was given credit for. And he is, in my book, one of the most productive mayors we’ve ever had.”

But Schell’s only term was marred by a string of bad news. The 1999 WTO ministerial conference, which Schell had sought for the city, turned into a fiasco of tear gas, property damage and mass arrests. Two years later, during Mardi Gras, a young man was beaten to death in Pioneer Square while police remained on the sidelines of the unruly crowds. As if that weren’t enough, Boeing announced its corporate headquarters would move to Chicago.

By the time Schell ran for reelection, voters were fed up. He placed third in the 2001 primary, behind then-City Attorney Mark Sidran and then-King County Councilman Greg Nickels, who went on to win the general election.

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Comments | More in General news, Government, Politics | Topics: Former Mayor Paul Schell, Mayor Ed Murray

July 2, 2014 at 4:12 PM

Murray names new city transportation chief

A former big-city transportation deputy with experience in developing transit, street cars, bike lanes and pedestrian routes is Seattle Mayor Ed Murray’s choice to lead the city transportation department. Scott Kubly, who was previously a deputy transportation director in both Washington D.C. and Chicago, will take over the Seattle Department of Transportation (SDOT) July 28 on an interim basis…

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Comments | Topics: Peter Hahn, Scott Kubly, Seattle Department of Transportation

July 2, 2014 at 3:28 PM

Forward Seattle delivers referendum signatures to oppose $15 minimum wage

Forward Seattle supporters this afternoon delivered what they hope are enough signatures to qualify a referendum for a public vote on the city $15 minimum wage. The group needs more than 16,500 valid voter signatures to qualify the measure for the November ballot. City Clerk Monica Martinez Simmons said her staff likely will not finish counting the…

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Comments | Topics: $15 minimum wage, Forward Seattle

July 1, 2014 at 3:55 PM

Officials asked to investigate whether signature gatherers made false claims about minimum wage

Supporters of a $15 minimum wage in Seattle have asked King County prosecutors to investigate allegations that signature gatherers for a referendum that would put the measure to a vote in November are making fraudulent claims. Signature gatherers for Forward Seattle, which opposes the $15 minimum wage, have told  people that the measure would raise the…

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Comments | Topics: $15, minimum wage

June 12, 2014 at 2:03 PM

Pete Holmes apologizes for charter amendment gaffe

Seattle City Attorney Pete Holmes today apologized for his office’s failure to recognize that a 15 Now charter amendment couldn’t appear on the city ballot until 2015. “I have apologized to our city clients for not spotting the voter-proposed charter amendment issue sooner, and for not concluding our research sooner. I am committed to ensure that the CAO…

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Comments | Topics: 15 Now, minimum wage, Pete Holmes

June 6, 2014 at 4:21 PM

Mayor Murray calls for action on gun violence

At an emotional news conference this afternoon, Seattle Mayor Ed Murray said he would call a special meeting of the City Council in the coming weeks to address what he called a “senseless epidemic of gun violence.” Murray said he met this week with the families of two Central District murder victims, killed early Sunday morning, and attended a…

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Comments | Topics: Ed Murray, shooting

June 5, 2014 at 1:23 PM

Pushback builds against $15 minimum wage

Anti-tax activist Tim Eyman filed an initiative Wednesday that would make the state the sole authority for setting the minimum wage and remove Seattle’s ability to strike out on its own. The measure, which could be voted on by the entire state or enacted by the 2015 legislature, makes the state’s power retroactive to any ordinance…

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Comments | Topics: $15, Forward Seattle, minimum wage

June 4, 2014 at 4:49 PM

City Light head could get $110,000 raise

A Seattle City Council committee today approved a raise of up to $110,000 for Seattle City Light CEO Jorge Carrasco that would bring his salary to $364,000 a year. Carrasco already is the highest paid employee in the city, but other heads of public power companies make significantly more, the city personnel director Susan Coskey told the council…

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Comments | Topics: Jorge Carrasco, Seattle City Council, Seattle City Light

June 4, 2014 at 2:33 PM

New voter’s guide wording for Seattle Parks District proposal

The Seattle Ethics and Elections Commission Tuesday agreed with opponents of a proposed Seattle Parks District that the wording submitted for the city voter’s guide wasn’t adequate. The commission voted 5-0 to add language that gives the maximum property tax that can be levied and notes that a new parks district can levy taxes above the current…

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Comments | Topics: Seattle City Council, Seattle Displacement Coalition, Seattle Ethics and Elections Commission

May 31, 2014 at 10:14 PM

Man stabbed in Occidental Park

A man was stabbed in Occidental Park about 6:30 p.m. tonight. He was transported to Harborview Medical Center with non-life threatening injuries, according to Seattle police spokesman Officer Patrick Michaud. Despite numerous witnesses, police couldn’t find anyone who would talk about the incident, Michaud said. The victim initially told police his attacker was a Hispanic man…

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Comments | Topics: occidental park, Seattle Police, stabbing

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