LETTER: Reconsider SeaTac park-‘n- fly rule changes

Dear SeaTac City Council,

My public comments Tuesday regarding the total disregard of the council (4 members) for their own advisory committees, Planning Commission, and Planning staff efforts need further expansion.

In your decision in the Study Session prior, the Council (4-3) killed the proposed rule changes (that actually were a return to previous rules) in a spate of economic naivety and especially the references (by un-elected Mayor Anderson) to non-documented testimony whereas the facts of the matters were discussed in detail over a three year period in the Committees/Commission/Planning by those who have the expertise to make these assessments/policy advisements to the council.

The vote of 4 to 3 to defeat even further discussion of these rules alone adds an additional burden to those who wish to do business within our city, sends a negative message to potential development of any kind and to the advisory committees that they will be ignored on an uneducated whim of some council members with blinders on that there is an airport within our jurisdiction.

The Sea-Tac Airport (Port of Seattle) is obviously within the city limits and is in direct competition with private parking enterprises within our city. The Port has openly opposed any rules that compete with them in a free market. They do not have to meet SeaTac codes in these endeavors (as can be seen by their own construction).

Un-elected Mayor Anderson works for the Port in a managerial position and should by logical inference recuse himself from any such matters regarding airport parking but he has not. I will not speculate on why he has not in this case but he has recused himself on other Port/City of SeaTac matters of much less significance.

The significance of the parking matter is to the tune of $5 to $6 million annually that make up 20 percent of our general fund. The city of SeaTac does not have a Business and Occupation Tax nor a Utility Tax (though being contemplated to pay for salaries) yet businesses are pushed away and the jobs/economic development have gone elsewhere because of regressive policies/beliefs by some current and past council members.

There is a strange irony here. Three of our four current council members in 2011 rode in on a wave of money that dwarfed all previous SeaTac elections from labor groups and other like supporters. They seem to be shooting their supporters in the head when these member's voting/policies have EXACTLY the opposite effect of providing good jobs, good wages, and economic development. The parking issue is just one of these, perhaps the largest.

In an unexpected development in the council meeting, Councilmember Rick Forschler (in new business) requested a re-vote on the parking rules honoring the three years of work by all parties. This was a second chance for some members to pull their head out of a place it shouldn't be.

This again fell by a vote of 4 to 3 (same members). When I cannot draw a logical conclusion for a particular stance/vote by someone I must go to the old adage of "follow the money" and it is the only inference I can draw from this fiasco. This majority decision by certain council members has been publicly called a mistake, shameful, political, and some other words I will not repeat.

In summary, on this issue, SeaTac City Council please reconsider you votes and revisit the facts of the matter.

Earl Gipson

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