This post originally appeared on Orphan Road.
Last Thursday, the Mayor proposed a property tax levy, to be approved by referendum, to fund the replacement of the seawall. His reason:
“The current plan leaves the existing seawall in place for far too long,” said McGinn. “Replacing our deteriorating seawall, before it fails, is one of the basic needs for our city. One of the first briefings I had during the transition was on the seawall. It was alarming. The current plan will not see the completion of a new seawall for at least another six years. Based on what I know now, that’s not good enough.“
The city council has concerns. At the very least, they want to be consulted:
“We want to make certain that the City’s Central Waterfront Partnership Committee has full opportunity to participate on this issue,” councilmembers said. “Legitimate questions have been raised about how to best restore some ecological function to the central waterfront shoreline as part of the seawall replacement…the Committee members’ input is vital to the success of the project.”
Why wouldn’t McGinn get the council’s support before announcing this? What is he thinking? If the seawall is in as bad shape as McGinn claims, surely it would be easy to win the council’s support, no?
Finally, there’s a sense that this is disconnected from the overall viaduct debate. Is that intentional? To be sure, the replacement of the seawall has always been a separate, city-funded project, but it’s still referred to by WSDOT as the “Alaskan Way Viaduct and Seawall Replacement” project. The two have been considered, heretofore, as interdependent projects. McGinn would seem to be attempting to disentangle them.
But again, why blindside the council here?