Author: Timothy

The City Council’s New Rules Will Change Our System of Government

The City Council’s New Rules Will Change Our System of Government

Editorial: We have a rare opportunity to fix City Hall. This is how we will do it.

Let the 2016 election season officially begin as the City Council prepares to vote on a massive public-sector pay raise—with no tax increase so far—in one of this state’s most divided cities.

So we’ve got an unusual, once-in-a-generation opportunity to fundamentally reform our system of government. And, not in the conventional sense.

Why, you ask. The City Council must approve a new set of rules governing all city employees’ pay, which in turn triggers the next stage of our ongoing battle to end this City Hall kleptocracy.

We may be able to do that, because the last time we had a chance to do that—in fact, the last time the elected leaders of Seattle City Hall were forced to negotiate in good faith over pay increases for themselves—we got rid of a city employee’s right to strike.

This time, we’re going to change the rules for all employees, including the most senior and powerful. It’s the first such change in more than 40 years.

We’re not proposing to eliminate the right to strike. We’re proposing to eliminate the ability of public-sector employees to have a job when they choose not to work. Such a move would not only put an immediate end to the City Council’s long-running and expensive struggle to hold down city salaries and benefits, but would fundamentally change the face of government in Seattle.

Our city leaders are not willing to make this sacrifice for the sake of their own self-interests.

But if they are, then all their self-interests will be served, and all the power they have wrested from the people it used to be for will be returned to them.

Such a change would not only put

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