Questions That Lead To More Questions

Though I’m not one of the official McGinn transition ambassadors, how could I not post the three questions?

  1. How do we build the strongest possible team to achieve the policy objectives and values set forth by the campaign (grass roots community involvement, transparency and neighborhood focus)?
  2. How do we build public trust in the new administration?
  3. What do you view as the incoming administration and the city’s greatest challenge – what should we do first out of the gate?

My kneejerk reaction to McGinn’s proposed transition process is lukewarm—I am skeptical that anything groundbreaking will be learned, and I would rather see the transition team’s limited time and energy spent defining goals, and working out the big picture strategies for achieving them.  But I am trying to control my skepticism.  Because McGinn has surprised me before—e.g. although I was an early supporter, all along I was skeptical that he could actually win.

I’m not going to attempt to answer the questions here but would love to see ideas batted around in the public forum of the HAC comments.  And I think it’s safe to say the McGinn team will be looking on.

8 Responses to “Questions That Lead To More Questions”

  1. Dennis Saxman

    David Hiller as an ambassador – that’s rich. The other day at City Hall Hiller told me to get out of Seattle and go to the effing suburbs. So much for an open administration that wants to hear everyone’s voice.

  2. Joshua Daniel Franklin

    From my recent experience with neighborhood meetings, I’d say a variety of means for involvement and feedback would help with all three questions. There are a lot of people who cannot or do not want to attend in-person meetings on school and workday evenings (or during the day at City Hall) and hear the same people make the same comments that they’ve been making for years. The recent Planning Commission online questionnaires are a step in the right direction. I would also like to see involvement methodologies that reach more working adults who may not take the time for a full survey, such as the pioneering work of Elfreda Chatman on information flow in small social worlds.

  3. Wells

    1. How do we build public trust in the new administration?

    2. What do you view as the incoming administration and City’s greatest challenge? What should we do first out of the gate?

    3. How do we build the strongest team to achieve the policy objectives and values set by the campaign, (grass roots, community involvement, transparency, neighborhood focus)?

    I put the trust in government Question first because IMO many who HAVE trusted government last, voted for McGinn.

    Question #2 folks, IS the question. State priorities now. I favor Tunnel-lite, sounds very Seattlie. AWV hasta go. Alaskan Way would be more structurally sound. Better evacuation plan. Streets rebuild years sooner. Serves Ballard. Doesn’t Disserve Lower Queen Anne. Possibly cost less by $1 Billion….

    Question #3, How do we build the strongest team to achieve policy objectives? Ahhhhh, grass roots, community involvement, transparency, neighborhood focus. Find leaders who are ‘able’ demonstrators and can ‘fully’ explain things.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nSlTMUd8cVk

    Enjoy the year’s worst video…

  4. mdb

    @1 i guess those in glass houses…

  5. jeff

    I have talked to a lot of people who are generally supportive of McGinn but worried that he will spend all of his time fighting others. Early on he should find projects to work on with the council, Constantine, Gregoire, Murray etc. to show that he can play well with others.

  6. slag

    1. How do we build the strongest possible team to achieve the policy objectives and values set forth by the campaign (grass roots community involvement, transparency and neighborhood focus)?

    This question seems to be all about management. For that, the lessons of the book Good to Great might pay dividends: http://www.seomoz.org/blog/applying-jim-collins-good-to-great-asking-the-tough-questions . Also, Guy Kawasaki’s mantra that “A players hire A+ players” definitely fits in here. But for addressing Seattle’s specific needs, I’d like to see the McGinn folks do more to leverage our vast nonprofit community. We have so many passionate and diverse do-gooders in this city, but I get the sense that it’s a rarely tapped resources. Although trying to get all these folks working with you may be akin to herding cats.

    2. How do we build public trust in the new administration?

    The double-edged sword of transparency may be the best answer here. Build highly visible and accessible means for Seattleites to check in on the process. New media is such a cliche, but it really is a useful means of socializing our rarefied institutions.

    3. What do you view as the incoming administration and the city’s greatest challenge – what should we do first out of the gate?

    Our greatest challenge: organization. The sprawling design of our city reflects our sprawling diversity. What we need now is more centralization and community-focus. Seriously leveraging Ideas for Seattle would be a great starting point for this administration. One way to get more focus on it would be to promise to pick at least one project from it to work on in your first term. Really getting people involved in sharing and investing in their ideas for the city is one of the best ways to ensure that Seattle reaches its potential.

    Also, I like Alex Steffen’s plan for Seattle to be the first city to achieve carbon neutrality. Now there’s a lofty goal I would gladly put my energy behind.

  7. Raincity Calling

    Responding to question #2 “How do we build public trust in new administration?

    I agree with Slag that transparency is key. I would also add that not having former employees of Vulcan join your administration would also be extremely helpful.

  8. DharmaLion

    Ditto to Alex Steffen (and slag’s) call for the city to push for carbon neutrality ASAP. When Joe Szwaja ran for City Council, he proposed a “carbon test” for all decisions, i.e., if the policy in question puts out more CO2, find a better way or don’t do it. That was at least a start. Make the goal of carbon neutrality the guiding star of the new administration.

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