The Mayor speaks with OlyBlog

I spoke with Mark for about an hour. We covered a lot of topics that OlyBloggers were curious about. I'll be posting more video as time allows.

The NFZ Ordinance


My first question for Mark had to do with the Nuclear Free Zone Ordinance that recently passed the City Council. I asked him why he opposed it. The following clip captures the kernel of his rationale.

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[update 9/8/05]

Mark emailed the following today:

As often happens in an interview there's one thought I forgot to add, or another way of putting it, one important connection I failed to make:

In the twin discussions of (1)"political capital" and the "cost-benefit" analysis of controversial/less-than-necessary initiatives,and(2) Olympia's already-solid reputation as a progressive community and Council, I should then have concluded (3) that spending political capital on marginally-beneficial issues that deeply offend a fair proportion of the community can lead in the long run to changes on the Council that might reverse some or all of the progessive policies I mentioned:

  • Environmental commitment including climate change issues.
  • Land use regulation especially design review and infill/historic properties compatibility requirements.
  • Transportation alternatives especially bike lanes.
  • Civil rights for all including sexual minorities, e.g. equal provision of city services.
  • City employment policies including comparable worth, equal benefits for domestic partners, efforts to have city staff resemble the changing demographics of our community.
  • City contracting policies requiring equal treatment for all employees of major contractors, and "clean (work) clothes" (i.e. non-sweatshop) purchases for/by City employees.
  • Unionized work force providing family wage jobs with benefits,compensated at about the middle of the range for comparable Washington cities.
  • Most City services provided by City employees rather than contracting out.
For example, I understand that at least one current Council candidate is not supportive of the City's protection of sexual minorites. From reading the voter pamphlet, I'd conclude that the candidate was motivated to run at least partly because of the USS OLYMPIA and Nuclear Free Zone issues.

Mark

Urban planning in Olympia


Chris asked a question about how urban planning happens in Olympia, and what role the people play in that process.

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Olympia, Lacey, and Tumwater


Mark describes how Lacey got to be the town with no downtown.

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The Values Ordinance


I asked Mark what his feeling was about the "Values" Ordinance that is presently being discussed by the city council. He said his feeling was similar to that for the NFZ Ordinance:

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State gov't in Olympia


Here is a question from emmettoconnell: "How can the city find a more stable tax-base without some day finding a way for the state government to pay for the services it recieves from Olympia?"

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Parking garage


A question from Rob Richards: "I would ask the mayor: How did a parking structure come to be on the city plan? Does he feel that a parking structure will solve the problems associated with downtown? What does he think about the idea of doing away with Diamond Lots and opening those lots to the public, with meters?"

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Homelessness in Olympia


Another question from Rob Richards had to do with the homeless people living in and around downtown Olympia. I asked the Mayor if he had a plan.

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