Mike O'Brien (wcvoters.org)
Mike O'Brien (wcvoters.org)

[UPDATE 9:36 am: McGinn staffer Aaron Pickus says McGinn would “like to see Mike O’Brien on the Sound Transit board because he knows transportation issues as much as anyone. Saying that, the mayor-elect thinks that the mayor of Seattle needs to serve on this board and plans to do so.”]

[UPDATE: For a more thorough breakdown of coming changes to the Sound Transit board, Andrew Villeneuve has the goods.]

Publicola reports that Seattle’s Mayor-elect Mike McGinn may skip taking a role on the Sound Transit board, instead giving his support to incoming city councilmember Mike O’Brien for the position. Richard Conlin, the city council president, plans to remain on the Sound Transit board. The Sound Transit board is the group of elected officials that makes most major and financial decisions for the agency.

O’Brien would be filling Mayor Nickels’ seat on the ST board. Nickels lost his bid for a third term in the August primary and is currently the chair of ST board.

O’Brien’s financial background (he has an MBA from UW) could be a strong asset on a board looking to scrounge every dollar from the projected revenue shortfalls affecting the Sound Transit 2 expansion plans approved during the worst recession in a generation.

O’Brien and McGinn have a close relationship after working together in a private law firm as well as the Sierra Club and it’s possible the Mayor-elect’s priorities could come through an O’Brien seat. (Publicola has a great article on their relationship.)

Seattle Transit Blog endorsed Mike O’Brien for office, in part for his honest and strong advocacy for transit. He’s a charismatic spokesman for the promise of mass transit and we’d be happy to see him serve on the board.

7 Replies to “Report: McGinn to Place O’Brien on ST Board”

  1. Very good move. McGinn will have his hands full getting up to speed. Also allows O’Brien another opportunity to work closely with Conlin.

  2. anybody get jammed up on light rail this morning? nothing on ST’s site about delays…lame.

    1. It’s going to be a while, but ST has a consultant planning for a site redesign, and I think that’s one of the issues being looked at closely.

      When the electronic readerboards are working, those should also be able to provide delay information to those waiting at stations, but that won’t fix things for people already onboard.

      Do you know how long the jamup was? And where were you?

      1. no idea what the jam was caused by… train, northbound, just slowed to a stop right before stadium station. sat there for about 10 minutes with the “traffic ahead” announcement ringing repeatedly. eventually, operator comes on and says he’ll be pulling into stadium station so everyone can transfer to a bus. 5 more minutes went by, and eventually an outbound train pulls into the center siding/switchover, then we crept to the platform. there were at least two more trains backed up behind mine.

      2. Can Link Control put messages on the onboard reader boards? Do they have PA capability like Metro does for the buses?

  3. Technically your headline is misleading. King County Executive Dow Constantine chooses who will be on the board, not Mike McGinn. The only requirement is that one member be from the largest city, but Seattle has usually had two.

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