Ken's View: If you’re so smart…
by Ken Robinson
The role of mayor in Seattle has been a real test of strength for Jenny Durkan. Previous holders of that office had it much easier. The worst thing that happened to Greg Nickels is that it snowed here heavily one year and drivers blamed him for the traffic issues that resulted. Mayor Mike McGinn couldn’t seem to get along with the city council and The Seattle Times and lost favor.
But Mayor Durkan has faced much harder problems. Endemic problems with our police department, Black Lives Matter protests that turned violent, what looks like daggers from the city council poised to stab her, the closure of the West Seattle Bridge and now a recall effort by a group that thinks the mayor was weak on violent protesters…pretty tough stuff for any elected official. Oh yeah, the pandemic, the closure of many businesses and recently all shrouded in a smoggy coat of particle from fires in three states.
Jenny Durkan has been a friend of the family for many years. Her mother, ‘Lolly’ was once an associate editor at our Ballard paper, the News-Tribune. We have been fishing in Canada with her dad, the noted legislator Martin Durkan. This history colors our opinion. We support and believe in her. But we do not envy her as she moves from big problem to big problem in her elected role.
What we do is put ourselves in her shoes as many countervailing forces come into play across her desk at city hall. In this, we think she has done a remarkable job.
We will continue to watch as she applies her experience and skills to knotty difficulties coming at her like meteorites.
Like my own Dad used to say: “It’s easy to criticize.”
About the Op-Ed on the bridge
Now, read the authoritative Op-Ed that digs into the history of the construction of the West Seattle Bridge and how it might be salvaged in its present configuration. Structural Engineer Adam Ludwig presents a picture of the how we might get back on that road sooner than has been imagined.