At 2 p.m. today in Council Chambers, Mayor Ed Murray will deliver the annual State of the City speech.
You can watch the live broadcast here and, if you’d like to follow along on social media, we’ll be using the hashtag #SOTC.
Crosscut’s Bryan Johnson sat down with the Mayor in an exclusive interview to discuss how to make sure waterfront projects fit together, what his biggest frustration in office has been and the status of changes to the police department.
The major topic of conversation was the waterfront, including what the Mayor intends to do about a $40 million cost overrun for the rebuilding of Seattle’s Elliott Bay seawall and how a damaged tunnel boring machine might affect progress on the waterfront. Mayor Murray reaffirmed that, despite problems with the tunnel project, work on the waterfront will continue and will do so under the management of a newly created Office of the Waterfront.
“It is a serious problem. It’s one that we tried to raise during the campaign and were told it wasn’t a problem. It turns out that actually the Seattle Department of Transportation had the information that [there] was a 40 billion cost overrun. That came out after the election. It’s now my problem. …
“We are bringing on new project managers, individuals who have had experience managing major mega projects, including tunneling. I think the problem has been, [SDOT] has not had the capacity and the skill level to manage a mega project. So we’re going to bring people in who can help us manage that project and help us keep costs under control.
“I believe in the current budget that we can find the savings to make up the difference for the cost overrun, but that’s just our preliminary look.”
Last night, Mayor Murray sat down in front of a sold-out Civic Cocktail crowd at City Hall with show host and Seattle Times Assistant Political Editor Joni Balter to discuss his vision for Seattle and how he hopes to realize that vision. The discussion touched on several topics, including the process of looking for a new Police Chief and the Mayor’s regional approach to city issues, especially in regards to transit and human services.
The second half was a panel discussion about making downtown a more family-friendly environment. Panelists included Seattle City Council President Tim Burgess, Downtown Seattle Families’ Steve Gillespie, Seattle Chamber’s Maud Daudon and Kate Joncas of Downtown Seattle Association.
Watch the full discussion here:
Mayor Murray also joined Mayor Hancock on the Today Show this morning to announce a national-level Super Bowl wager, this time for a service project in the winning city. The losing mayor will visit the winning mayor’s city for a day of service which will be organized by Americorps. Mayor Murray also predicted a 24-14 Seahawks win for the game.
You can read the full details of the bet in this press release from the Corporation for National & Community Service.
Watch the interview here:
Last night, Mayor Murray made a fun guest appearance on the Colbert Report alongside Denver Mayor Michael Hancock. The two made their Super Bowl predictions (no surprises) and made a friendly wager with a surprise ending.
Watch the debate after the jump…
The Mayor was featured on MSNBC’s Jansing & Co this morning discussing his move to raise Seattle’s minimum wage. Speaking with the show’s host, veteran journalist Chris Jansing, the Mayor emphasized his goal of creating a more affordable and economically diverse city.
“Seattle’s a very successful city. It’s economy is doing great and one of the byproducts of that is it’s becoming less and less affordable, so the people who work hard in Seattle can’t afford to live there. If we don’t address issues of wages and housing, it will simply become a city of the very rich and I don’t think that’s good for the business environment at all,” the Mayor said. “I think we can do this in a way that will help business, not hurt business. I think we need to be sensitive, particularly, to small businesses, but I do think we need to be a city that is economically diverse.”
The Mayor made a brief appearance on this week’s episode of Art Zone with Nancy Guppy. He’s featured around the 20-minute mark where he curates the art calendar, but check out the rest of the show which features Jen Graves, visual arts critic for The Stranger; Architect-turned-community-activist Rex Hohlbein, founder of Homeless in Seattle; and performances by gospel singer Josephine Howell with the Radio Raheem Band.
Earlier today, Mayor Murray signed the first Executive Order of his new administration. As a result of the Order, the City’s Director of Budget and Director of Personnel will start working right away to raise the minimum wage of all City of Seattle Employees to $15 an hour.
If you missed today’s announcement, you can view it in full here: