1993 Hegamin Pledges

As Mayor, I will put to use all of my experiences and knowledge gained in the many years of service to the city and involvement in city politics.  From that perspective, I pledge to do the following:

PRIORITIES:  "I shall address the needs and problems of the people of Seattle as my first priority.  We should not have to beg for the services to which we're entitled.

FINANCE:  "I shall bring the city's debt and taxes under control.  It is the one critical ingredient needed to solve other issues such as public safety, economic development and the homeless.

ACCOUNTABILITY:  "I shall provide the people of Seattle with fiscal and performance audits by calling for a referendum to restore the elective offices of the Comptroller and Treasurer.  I shall also call for the hiring of an ombudsman for the people.

INTEGRITY:  "I shall accept the responsibilities and duties of the Office of the Mayor of Seattle, as chartered.  We should all be alarmed by the accelerating decay of Seattle.  Like the proverbial bad apple, Seattle continues to look "great" on the outside, but is rotting on the inside.  Some of the obvious symptoms are:

1.     Concessions made by government to the financial power of the city.
2.     Loss of single-family residential neighborhoods.
3.     Small businesses being driven out of the city.
4.     Deferred repair and maintenance of the city's streets, parks and facilities.
5.     "Hidden" taxes in the guise of bonds, higher utility rates and service fees.
6.     Higher taxes being collected but fewer services provided, and
7.     A dead and crime-ridden city at night.

"I'm sure all of us recognize the symptoms.  Join me in a commitment to correct the problems of our city."

The second is a statement that was printed in the Seattle Post Intelligencer, which had offered all City Council candidates an opportunity to submit one for the general election that year.  On Friday, October 24, 1997 mine was paired with a statement provided by my opponent, and ran under the heading "Bob Hegamin challenges Jan Drago for council seat."  My statement follows, to wit:

My name is Bob Hegamin and I am running for the Seattle City Council, Position 4.

The people of Seattle expect a safe and well-maintained city.  We want to be known for having a compassionate city government that has a genuine interest in and support for its communities.

We all want safer streets, more vital neighborhood businesses, cleaner parks, cleaner pothole-free streets, library branches that are open on weekends, social services for all who are in need, and the list goes on.  This can be realized only if the City Council is made fiscally responsible in the handling of our tax dollars from the General Fund and the use of Councilmanic Bonds.

From our children to our seniors, to our local veterans, to our many disadvantaged such as the homeless and jobless, to all on fixed incomes, to the physically and mentally challenged, we are all deserving of the best this city has to offer.

I will return integrity, accountability and fiscal leadership to Seattle by representing all of the people and by being a staunch defender of their constitutional rights.

In order to accomplish this, the city must get its financial house in order and prioritize its responsibilities to the people.  It is a prime duty of the council and I will serve as a dedicated trustee and steward of the people.

One of my primary goals is to restore the people's confidence in the administration of the city.  We have a nearly $1 billion backlog of maintenance and repairs for city roads, parks and facilities, yet projects are left undone for lack of commitment from the council.  As the complexity and magnitude of problems increase, solutions are contingent on members of the council to bring into play their varied experiences and expertise.  They must understand and manage the multiple disciplines the solutions demand.  I will provide the necessary diversity of thought and opinion on the council that will prevent serious problems - such as the infrastructure - from being put on the backburner.

As part of my background for the office, I hold Bachelor of Science degrees in electrical engineerin g and general science, and worked as an electrical engineer at Seattle City Light for 20 years.

As an activist, I co-authored statements on various ballot measures for the Seattle Voters Pamphlet and chaired the Shareholders of Seattle, a citizens group opposed to the city's increasing debt by indiscriminate use of bonds and levies.

I was formerly the employee-elected member of the King County Personnel Board, a member of the State Board for Community College Education, and the Chair on the Board of CARITAS, a tutoring and assistance service for children.

Another of my goals is to reduce the City's $500 million debt so that today's children won't have to bear that burden.  We deserve accountability from our government, but our council has eliminated the word from its vocabulary.  Over the years, accountability was eradicated as the city's ombudsman, treasurer and comptroller were removed under the guise of budget savings.

Today, our only source of accountability remains in the city's Ethics and Elections Office, which has a budget that is woefully small for the role it has to fill.

It was with the knowledge that it would not have to be made accountable that it was simple for the council to approve the purchase of the Key Tower to be a part of the new City Hall.  In 1995, the Council paid $125 million for the building, when the King County Assessor had it on the tax roll for only $79 million.  Could we have saved $46 million?

Adding insult to injury, with the assistance of our City Hall, the seller did not pay any real estate excise tax to the state, which places such revenue into a school fund.

The Seattle City Council is supposed to be your deliberative body, making decisions based on facts presented to it.  But, the Council has allowed itself to be politically pressured into making major decisions without ever seriously deliberating the issue or obtaining any serious public input.  Decisions are finalized then presented to the public merely for the sake of appearance.

As your council member, I will demand that procedures be put in place to provide ample time for the necessary public input and deliberation you deserve.