Part of the history, or potentially part of the story behind the Seattle City Council's abrupt disavowal of its own hand-crafted bill, was whispered to me by a trusted confidential source. Whether this truly unravels part of the mystery I don't know but in the public interest I think it is important to provide a peek behind the drawn governmental curtains. Aren't these folks supposed to be working for you and me minus hidden or contrary agendas? While theoretically that's probably true, in actual practice it appears to be another story altogether.
This is what I was told:
Working behind the scenes with City of Seattle legal staff, an individual associated with the local taxi industry crafted an agreement where the City Attorney's Office would officially back the legal challenge to the Uber referendum effort. What happened was:
1) Within the highest echelons of Seattle's governmental hierarchy came the word to
2) A second tier authority to quash any and all legal ambitions which
3) Was relayed to the Seattle City Council who essentially acquiesced to the command structure.
By reading between the taxi lines it should be clear who told what to whom. Ultimately the question remains is just why did the dominoes fall the way they did? Who provided the motivation for this chain of linked events? I certainly wish the local media would pick up the mantle and investigate what I believe could result in a very revealing story. Anyone interested in a Pulitzer Prize for investigative reporting?
PS: More Schell
A small obituary mention in today's Tacoma News Tribune has prompted a few more lines upon the late Seattle mayor. Call this a little post-mortem remembrance.
While much is made about Schell's contribution to Seattle's library system and the arts, nothing is said about added functionality, Seattle's main DT branch externally is a real architectural beauty but internally is where the questions arise. Why spend hundreds of millions of dollars resulting in less not more efficiency, an enduring if not quite sensible legacy?
Articles also make reference to the WTO riots occurring during his administration's tenure. Working the WTO conference like any other large revenue generating event, I was driving my taxi in the curfew-bound DT and greater Belltown and observed a small squadron of armor-clad police bear down upon some crack dealers who clearly had not gotten the word to get out of there. I turned the corner quickly, not wanting to observe the inevitable.
A little bit later, now driving down Broadway East on Capitol Hill, two very conservatively dressed black business women jumped into my cab, having just been accidentally gassed by the SPD. Turning west onto East Mercer, then north upon Harvard East I stopped at the corner of East Roy and Harvard East only to come across a platoon of fully-outfitted Seattle police officers marching east up Roy in complete drill-like unison, precisely lifting their clubs in machine-like orderly fashion. The Sargent in front, noticing my presence at the stop sign, lifted up and pointed his shotgun directly at my wind shield. I was astonished!
Yes this is all true, thanks to Schell's disjointed response I might have received a face full of shotgun pellets. My passengers, by the way, were horrified. Once the cops passed by, we got the hell out of there. The gas victims kept asking how did this all happen? Why, didn't they know, courtesy of Seattle's voters, who else? How else did this fiasco occur?