Ballard town hall turns into an angry shoutfest

Seattle homelessness, housing, taxes and growth are controversial enough on their own, but when you combine them all in a town hall meeting led by Seattle councilmembers, get ready for fireworks. Or worse.

That’s what happened Wednesday night at the “North Seattle Town Hall: Progressive Tax on Business” event at Ballard’s Trinity United Methodist Church. Led by Councilmembers Mike O’Brien, Teresa Mosqueda, Lorena Gonzalez and Lisa Herbold, the gathering devolved into a bizarre shoutfest that some reporters say they’ve never experienced in a Seattle meeting before.

KUOW even went as far as to say, “Let May 2, 2018 be known as the day that Seattle Nice died.” There was even a fake homeless encampment set up outside.

Adding fuel to the fire, a few hours earlier Amazon announced it was pausing construction over the proposed head tax. At first, O’Brien suggested that people text their questions to the panel, but many in the audience were prepared to speak their mind out loud — loudly.

Not much was accomplished over those 90 minutes, which KOMO News recorded in full, other than underlining how contentious these issues are in Ballard — the Old Ballard vs. New Ballard arguments are more intense than ever — and the rest of the city.

Here’s a sampling of coverage and perspectives:

KIRO 7 News: “O’Brien appeared to be surprised by the anger. ‘The tenor frankly in this country right now of whoever yells the loudest or says the most horrific thing, and that gets covered in the press, it’s really awful,’ he said. ‘I hope that attitude is not about to be here in Seattle.'”

The C is for Crank (Erica Barnett): “What I witnessed in Ballard tonight, at what was supposed to be a panel discussion, with a moderated Q&A, on a proposed business tax to pay for homeless services, was not just a crowd of angry neighbors wanting to be heard by their elected representatives. It was an organized mob that showed up with a single goal: To shut down dialogue, create chaos, and prevent people with opposing views from having a voice.”

770 Radio’s (Jason Rantz): “When you’re out of excuses for why you keep failing, and your only talking points are flat out lies, it’s no wonder O’Brien tried to shut up Seattleites from speaking at the town hall event. Thankfully, he’s fighting a losing battle.”

Geeky Swedes

The founders of My Ballard

77 thoughts to “Ballard town hall turns into an angry shoutfest”

  1. Expressions is healthy. Town halls where lives are made and broken carry high stakes, and shouting is not nearly as the same galaxy as the sins against sanity committed by our “leaders”.

    The tone policing “usual suspects” like Barnett better get used to it.

  2. When you feed the stray, they will stay. And they tell thier fellow stray cats how good it is here.

    Granted, there are those who are homeless due to a city that grew to fast. My heart goes out to them. I know a few of them.

    But, let’s talk about the ones that moved here becuase it’s a free ride. Because the police don’t respond to a call about theft. Because it’s ok to camp where ever you want and trash the area you live in. Those aren’t the our fellow Seattlelites that fell on hard times, they wouldn’t do this to our community, their community.

    These strays are giving the folks of our city that need help a bad rap. How do we curve this?

    Yes, I expect to get trolled, but troll me with a convincing argument.


  3. town hall meetings involve Q and A, face to face.

    cowardly smirking oB changed the format to avoid difficult questions. he is a smirking smarmy POS. feed him to the bums…

  4. For some inexplicable reason, some people desperately want to turn Ballard into Crapitol Hill.

    They then raise taxes (!), mock locals for wanting a safe/clean neighborhood, and SHAME people for shouting at these corny town hall meetings.

    The “leadership” in Seattle is a lush panoply of personality disorders on full display. Each one really thinks they are saving the world while they ruin Ballard and the rest of Seattle.

  5. I hope this just the beginning of civil unrest in Ballard and elsewhere in Seattle. O’Brien deserved every negative word he heard, It certainly has been a long time simmering. This guy does not represent the interests of taxpayers of District 6 very well and never will.

  6. Seattleites are finally starting to realize how liberal the council really is. I just hope the council doesn’t totally destroy this city before the next elections. The city needs some conservative voices on the council.

  7. Erica Barnett may not edit some fancy sailing newsletter, but she says it like it is.

    The meeting was embarrassing as a long-time Ballardite. It seemed less like a sophisticated Scandanavian crowd asking critical questions and more like a bunch of chimpanzees jumping up and down squawking and slinging poo– all proud of themselves.

    Like a city councilman could solve homelessness! I’d be laughing my ass off, too as he clearly was

  8. More! More! You guys keep doing you. Magnificent performance.

    The thing Seattle MAGA had most going for it is that most voters don’t know you exist. Now they’ve seen you in action, and this is only the beginning. Next time you all are really going to let that white nationalist loon flag fly, and the city will recoil in horror. But you feed on the negative. Good. Good. I can feel your anger! You guys will be so encouraged you’ll be twice as loud the next time, with twice the crazy. Who doesn’t love a good trainwreck? I’d feel sorry for you but you’re so mean, so callus. What’s not to like?

    All together now: Get Off My Lawn!™

  9. Honestly every place I go now, from a walk along the ship canal to the Woodlawn off leash area and Greenlake there are homeless camps. I was going to sit in a private spot and meditate on the ship canal but I guess someone lives there now. This city is out of control and homelessness isn’t the only issue. My rent just went up $225 a month and the property owner said I was lucky he didn’t increase it $425! Wtf Seattle!? 🤤😣😓😐

  10. Most of the people I knew at that meeting last night did not vote for Trump, but they are pissed off at what their neighborhood has become. Simple as that. Do NOT try to paint this MAGA. More like MBNA (Make Ballard Normal Again). We are ALL sick of this.

  11. I’m surprised if took homeowners this long to pushback. Most of us, though, are focused on job, families, etc. The council has marginalized our valid concerns about property crime, their mismanagement of the homeless issue, and their creative budgeting using our homes as ATMs.

    Sometimes the only time to be heard is to push back loudly.

    Glad Ballard pushed back. Sometimes it the only way to deal with bullies.

  12. @Serena

    Yes, as if raising property taxes, and therefore rents, could solve homelessness. You enjoy the meth Rvs and junkie filth everywhere? Do you own a run a business? Your “muh Scandi sophistication” vanished when the parks turned into zoos for felons.

    Even SF, far left as it may be, is now trying to curb the homeless junkie invasion there. Wake up. Your “leaders” are scamming us all while you snark at your neighbors for going off the “Stranger approved” script.

  13. I will no longer feel like I shouldn’t speak up! Oh no I’m just getting started. It is time for a revolution! Lets kick ass!

  14. $170+ Million was spent on the “homelessness crisis” in 2017. Over a $170 Million. How in the hell? That is such a large amount of money, and yet there are as many signs of a homeless problem all over the city that we all have seen. I refuse to believe that with $170Mil spent EFFICIENTLY, there wouldn’t have been dramatic improvements. Collecting $70 Million more from the the greatest contributors to our local economy is not the answer. Especially when there isn’t already a detailed, published budget that would show how each dollar would be spent and how it’s justified. Enough is enough. We do not need to throw a quarter of a billion dollars annually at what makes up less than a percent of the population of our county.

  15. The meeting was a good start. I’m still concerned about the framing around “homelessness” versus the real problem which is enabling heroin and meth use. Let’s be honest, this is an addiction problem as much as its a homeless problem.

    Today walking across E Howell Street a meth-head came up behind me and was threatening everybody around, so I stepped off the sidewalk to let him pass – but not before discretely pulling a flip-knife just in case. The meth addict proceeded down the sidewalk toward a young woman and little girl – luckily he veered off into the alley before passing the woman and girl.

    Seattle’s devolving into a haven for meth and heroin users because the police arn’t enforcing basic laws. The drug use leads to spikes in property crime and even occasional violence.

    1. The police only do what our government allows them to do ! We have a great police force but they have strict rules they have to follow or get fired trying to clean up the trash from our city !

  16. Knew this was about to happen , then after that citizens will fight against this plague on their own . Forget SPD and city officials , it’s been long enough and the cancer is growing !

  17. “The thing Seattle MAGA had most going for it is that most voters don’t know you exist. Now they’ve seen you in action, and this is only the beginning. Next time you all are really going to let that white nationalist loon flag fly”

    What a lazy cop-out way to address people that don’t agree with you. Anyone speaking loudly and is upset about their local representatives? Let’s subtly call them racist and assume their a hardcore member of Trump’s base.

  18. You are so right IMO CC. I am liberal and I despise the right wing, Trump-base methods and “dialogue”. But I have lived in Ballard 20 years. The homeless drug problem exploded almost precisely when the police began the experimental reduction in arrest for opiate use and switched to mediation for services. This approach may save lives although I haven’t seen and data supporting that coming from the city council. In contrast, this program has had a really severe effect on the neighborhood. Word has gotten around that Ballard is a safe place to shoot up. I believe that this experiment has failed and I would like some serious information from the council at how they are going to reverse this mess. It certainly serves the city council and mayor to shrug their shoulders and say “its the economy”. But that isn’t entirely true. This problem in Ballard stems directly from the new drug enforcement policies. I would like to hear from the council – are these policies working? What is your metric for what is working and what is not? How did the downtown “sweep” of the jungle affect the numbers of homeless in Ballard. And why aren’t these problems being felt in Laurelhurst – if they are such global economic issues? Maybe if the city were more transparent with their policies then the citizens would have more tolerance for them.

  19. I was there and found it both entertaining and therapeutic for a community outraged by the city’s incompetence. O’Brien is a rich kid who is trying to fix serious problems with ineffective feel-good tactics. He needs to get the people off the streets or he’ll be tossed out of office. I sense that he is accustomed to hearing from the pro-homeless industry downtown because no one from his district will venture downtown to attend council meetings at city hall. He should hold more meetings locally in order to really gauge the needs of the people he represents.

    That the meeting was intended as a “presentation” (i.e. more of their pro-tax propaganda) shows how tone-deaf his entire team is to the needs of his district. Does anyone on his staff even live in Ballard?

  20. Seems O’Brien and Sawant ARE the bullies we’ve all heard so much about. Using our tax $$ to foist whatever down our collective throats is NOT policy. Wetting a finger and thrusting it into the air is NOT policy. This IS what an “ideologue” looks like. As in a cartoon character. “We are a nation of laws, not men/women”. @ Kip; according to you I’m a “right winger”. I despise your votes PERIOD. We want you to own your vote and this mess. It’s not “drug enforcement policies” creating this issue. It’s the idiots in office PERIOD. When you leave for work today, please leave all your doors unlocked. Leave a “free basket” of your hard earned stuff on your front porch. Does a business pay taxes, or does it’s customers? Take your pride and swallow very hard. Part of the problem or part of the solution? You figure this out. I did.

  21. Oh lordy , when has Erica “Arrested for stealing wine” Barnett ever cared about all the Trotskyites Social Alternative buses in to scream in the actual city chambers.

  22. “What a lazy cop-out way to address people that don’t agree with you.”

    Darling, when you’ve all agreed that shouting everyone else down is your golden ticket, how do you expect to be addressed? You’ve all gone and decided that you won’t be reasoned with. You’ve decided that nobody else gets to speak. Crazy person voice: “That Kshama Sawant brings all those yellers to meetings, now that Mike O’Brien is going to get a taste of HER medicine. That’ll teach her! Er, him. That’ll teach him to, uh, not be Kshama Sawant! Charge!”

    You’re outraged at gentrification, yet you say the streets are a dump. You say there’s eyesores everywhere, and also, property values are soaring out of reach. Tack on the racist, white nationalist dog whistles and you’re pretty much ripe for a demagogue grifter to promise you sparkling clean streets and lower property values and everyone you see will be white. I’m not subtly calling you racist. It’s classic racist scapegoating: your life isn’t what you think you were promised, and you falsely blame anybody who doesn’t look like you.

    Your only response to anybody who tries to reason with you is a stream of personal attacks. Neo-nazis post false racist claims here, and when I ask for any evidence, I get called names, belittled, and bullied. But evidence? Nope. People like Erica Barnett sit through hours of these upsetting tirades and report on it, and what do you people say about her? You harass and smear her. Meanwhile, MyBallard sits and does nothing for a day and a half then copy-pastes reports from her and a couple TV stations.

    Listen to yourselves. You’re classic Trumpers. A bunch of entitled white people who want everything fixed, by magic, and it better be cheap, and you won’t tolerate for one second the slightest discomfort. You know damn well you can’t afford to live in a gated community but you act like you’re entitled to all the comforts and convenience. All your problems are caused by the absolute poorest, weakest, most defenseless, most despised people you can find. You’re cowardly bullies who prey on the weak. Nobody cries for a bully.

    You’re going to lose. Again. You’re going to look like clowns doing it. Watching you make fools of yourselves will be hilariously entertaining. Nobody will feel bad for you.

  23. Ah the rabble rousers! They seriously think that the homeless problem is some hyperlocal only problem, intentionally caused by the Council, that if they wanted to, could just wiggle their noses and make the problem vanish. I want know in what universe that arresting, harassing or constantly dislodging the homeless is a solution or even a mitigation to the problem.

    These type of delusional people have existed since the beginning of civilization and when they are given a voice, society stagnates. They act like they are deeply concerned with hot topic issues, yet offer no realistic solutions and just tend to yell very loudly at whomever might be listening.

  24. You know there are no Godwin Awards, but Godwin’s Law is a real thing. You guys seem to think it says “Nazis don’t exist so you can’t ever mention them”. No. You wish. It’s not your magic talisman that lets you sidestep being called on your shit. Godwin’s Law says that no productive dialog happens after Nazis are mentioned.

    But what if you’re trying to have a productive dialog with one? Godwin’s Law would tell us that no productive dialog is going to happen from the word go. And you guys were given a chance to demonstrate that, and turned it into a shitshow before the pastor could even finish giving a nice introduction to the event. Godwin was right, and Safe Seattle proves it. When the white nationalists show up, the conversation is over. Own it.

    Notice how your knee-jerk response every time anyone points out your racism is to attack that person? Like you did me just now? Instead of addressing the actual racism in what you said to begin with? Instead of giving evidence, reasoning, justifying yourself, you attack. I noticed.

    Everybody else notices too. You’re not fooling anybody.

  25. White people complaining about white bums and white drug addicts in Ballard = racism!

    You’re going to lose your Godwin Award Elenchos.

  26. @Elenchos
    5/5 Stars for rambling word salad, histrionics and projection. You make racist comments about “white people” on a blog devoted to activities in a Scandinavian(!) neighborhood. Do you visit Sweden or Norway and bash the locals and expect them to pony up more money for failed citywide experiment in anarchy?

    Newsflash: many businesses in the area are owned by nonwhite people who are also fed up with being forced to pay for thieves and predators.

    Pretty remarkable stuff. If you’re doing parody I’m very impressed.

  27. Does any one take Erica Barnett seriously, she is a hater and a stooge for Mike obrien. Thank you ballard and the iron workers for speaking up!

  28. @ Ed

    Always love to be lectured by virtue signaling Erica Barnett, an actual convicted thief. Probably why she doesn’t care about crime victims.

  29. I will absolutely guarantee that if this job’s tax passes, the money is collected, in 5 years we will have MORE homeless. In fact, I’ll be a testicle on it.

    Feed a stray, get more strays.

  30. I love how this meeting was held in a church. Take a moment to unpack this passive aggressive tactic:

    In this setting, O’Brien is “moral authority” preaching to “congregation” instead of elected official responding to concerns from constituents. The email/text format for questions is just another layer of bizarro-world; “The People” are right there in front of you, aren’t you A DEMOCRAT who pride themselves on representing the people?

    And of course, since this is in a church, cursing or raising your voice is “sacrilege”. Where do these people come from?Hold the next meeting in Commons Park, Mike! We can all take in the wonders your policies have brought to Ballard.

    Liberal Neighbors, please help get rid of these incompetent, corrupt, council members!

  31. Don’t feed “the strays?!” A person without a home is in my meditation spot?! Amazon doesn’t want to pay taxes so they’re throwing a temper tantrum and putting a lot of people out of work — and it’s the homeless folk’s fault?!

    Neighbors! It has been widely reported that 1,000 people are moving to Seattle EACH WEEK. Mostly because of the tech industry. Those highly successful companies MUST help foot the bill for the housing crisis this kind of rapid growth creates.

    Our homeless citizens have doubled in number since 2014. Doubled!

    I’ve worked with people without homes for decades in Seattle, and I can tell you this. They are not stray animals. They are human beings with deeply difficult stories. And they have more resiliency and resourcefulness than most people who live in homes. These are deeply courageous people who are living truly terrifying lives. Not vermin. Humans! Every person without a home is someone’s son or daughter. Is someones sibling. And apparently, we are totally okay with letting them live like this.

    I’m ashamed at some of the comments in this thread. A heartless Seattle is not the Seattle I know and love.

  32. The Trumpers use the same diversion tactics as Cheeto Jesus himself to deflect their obvious racism. Instead of dealing with the thing they themselves actually said, they shift attention to the somebody else. “It’s not racist because a token minority said it too!” Or “I’m not antisemitic because my lawyer is Jewish!”

    You’re using somebody else as a shield instead of owning what you yourself said. Having Kanye West or Michael Steele or Clarence Thomas or whomever (supposedly) vouch for you is not evidence you’re not racist. Don’t like being called racist? Stop being racist. You. Own it. You said it, you deal with it. Don’t make it some brown person’s burden to absolve you.

    The claim that white people in Seattle are persecuted while minorities are allowed to break the law is contradicted by mountains of first person testimony, video evidence, and statistics collected by the police and by many independent organizations. It’s a no brainer and if you insist whites are the true victims of systemic discrimination, you’re demonstrating obvious racism. You saying exactly the same things as white nationalists everywhere.

    It is exactly what the Nazis claimed about the Jews. Word for word, exactly the same thing. Why is your privileged group of middle class whites the “true victims” of systemic discrimination? Because of an absurd conspiracy theory connecting liberals, communists, foreigners, big business, banks (wink wink) and corrupt politicians. The whole bizarre conspiracy theory behind the city council wanting more crime and more homelessness to drive down property values (even though values keep rising…?) in order to enrich developers somehow…? Somehow? Where does it come from? Straight out out of the Protocols of the Elders of Zion. Same old same old.

    Trump uses the same dog whistles. The MAGA Trumpers use the same thinly veiled racist conspiracy theories to put up a false image of white victimhood. They make the same demands: tax cuts, persecution of immigrants, and police state tactics against everyone who “doesn’t belong”. Your personal economic problems are blamed on a shadowy “Other”.

    You walk like white nationalists, you talk like white nationalists, you have the same goals as white nationalists, and employ the same tactics as white nationalists. What does that make you?

  33. “Amazon doesn’t want to pay taxes ”

    Amazon pays B&O taxes, property taxes, sales taxes on products and materials it buys and uses. What taxes does Amazon not pay that other businesses do?

    “with deeply difficult stories.”

    So rent is the least of their problems.

    Keep feeding this pigeons, just be sure they only sh*t on your property.

  34. “Every person without a home is someone’s son or daughter. Is someones sibling. And apparently, we are totally okay with letting them live like this.”
    Everyone is someone’s son or daughter, someone’s sibling. Most of us are fortunate enough to never know the sting of homelessness. Some of the homeless deserve better. But the ones who end up on the radar, the ones that get people angry, are the ones who are homeless though poor life choices – predators, criminals…crappy people. This makes them unemployable, and thus, more prone to committing further criminal acts. Are they still someone’s son or daughter? Yes. Do they deserve the same level of compassion as those actually trying to improve their lot in life? No. Crime is a choice. Stealing to support an addiction is a choice. Being forcefully relocated because of these choices is an effect of those choices. That’s simple.
    If we could separate the deserving homeless from the criminal element, I think a lot of people would change their tune of social programs. But since Seattle decides a fresh coat of paint over all the homeless will fix the problem, the problem never gets fixed. When change includes different levels of support for different levels of the homeless, maybe then neighbors will get on board. Until then, probably not so much.

  35. @Rachelle
    Do you own or operate a business? Have you been to other comparably sized cities?
    Coming back to Seattle from other parts of the country or Europe is like coming back to the Twilight Zone.

    We have the worst hobo junkie problem in country because WE SUBSIDIZE IT, and your credentials would indicate that you have worked in this “nonprofit” industry, so excuse me if I just chalk your bleeding heart guilt tactics as a clear conflict of interest.

    WE PAY ENORMOUS TAXES on property (rent), sales, alcohol, B&O, and whole slew of other registration fees and tolls. What do we get in return? NO LAW ENFORCEMENT and a guilt/shame tactics for our outrage. I’m no fan of Amazon but this incredibly stupid head tax will have many consequences for all businesses in the area.

    It’s amazing to me that people who try to wrap their heads around big systems like climate, world politics, biology etc have such a dense, simplistic view of the local economy. Taxes go up, rents go up. Businesses leave, jobs leave. This has nothing to do with Trump or your bizarro, purple haired social justice “Stranger” kid-on-a-mission-to-upset-their-dad nonsense.

    Do some traveling and get back to me about how well this mess is going. You’re “ashamed of the comments here”, well I’m ashamed that people with a community college level sophomore grasp on the issue spend my taxes on junkies and six figure “consultants”. At least we have that in common.

  36. While I am not s supporter of yell-tests, and I wasn’t at this meeting, I can imagine the scene. Clearly, we have had enough in Ballard. I’m all for keeping it up. I’ve tried to speak my concerns with Mike O’Brien several times, and all I get is a smile and a “yes, what is your vision. . .” My vision? Heck, he’s the elected representative. My emails consistently are unacknowledged.

    I’ve had it up to here with needles, urine/feces, camps, RVs with raging pitbulls, and our parks taken over by the homeless who have interestingly expensive bicycles.

    I’m done. I’m through. I’m disgusted. I will never vote for Mike again.

  37. I don’t care what some ding-dong on the internet says I am, because I know what I am and what I believe. Homeless people – whether they are that way because of economic, mental health or addiction issues – deserve compassion, services and offers of clean, safe, effective shelter. Regressive taxes should be reduced and progressive taxes on wealthy people and profit-rich businesses should be instituted. But if you think for one minute that Mike O’Brien deserves to be re-elected, after wasting our money on failed schemes and condescending to us time and again, it doesn’t make sense to me. Get O’Brien out and bring in some people who know how to bring everyone together to help and who are willing to part ways with failed programs and providers, not gleefully exacerbate the divides that can wreck a city. I wouldn’t vote for Trump to save my own life – seriously, sometimes your values really do matter. But I’ll be damned if this hair-brained councilman will get my vote either. #NOBRIEN2019.

  38. @NW 64th Resident

    We’re dealing with people who flatly refuse services because they want to camp and shoot drugs. I support the idea of housing the homeless, but if you look into the “reasons” why many stay on the street they include “my pit bulls aren’t allowed at shelter” or “I can’t sleep with my bf/gf at shelter” and many other bizarro, mentally deranged reasons. We can’t forcibly commit the mentally ill. So, yeah, once they’re here they’re a cash cow for the O’Brien clique. We’re inviting these people from all over the country because word spread long ago that Seattle was easy for them. Have you ever tried reasoning with a hoarder or someone who is morbidly obese? We’re dealing with similar types of mental illness with our neighbors in the parks and sidewalks.

    Building shanty shacks and letting the rest crap and do drugs in our formerly “sacred” green spaces is not a solution. Now all of us have been put in no-win situation of being viewed as “heartless” or being suckers for another insane tax increase. No thanks.

  39. @Sockpuppet:

    Whoa, a petition to “get Mike O’Brien to listen to us”?

    Let me guess, it’s by the same people behind “Safe Seattle”, “Visualize Recall” and “Weatbrook’s gonna win in a landslide because people hate O’Brien”? The extremely vocal minority that do not in any way represent the view of the vast majority of Ballardites and Seattleites?

    And of course, the petition signers are not 95% sockpuppets like yourself and your split blog comment personalities, right?

    Are these all just rhetorical questions?!?

    Coming back to Seattle from other parts of the country or Europe is like coming back to the Twilight Zone.
    WE PAY ENORMOUS TAXES on property (rent), sales, alcohol, B&O, and whole slew of other registration fees and tolls.

    You go back and forth between negatively comparing us to Europe and negative contrasting us with Europe. Which is it?

    In Europe they pay 50% INCOME tax, plus ADDITIONAL VAT, property tax, etc, we pay nowhere near the ENORMOUS (I can play the caps game too) tax rate they do. In addition, tax cuts on the wealthy in the past 50 years, from an 80% marginal rate to a 39% marginal rate have resulted in the slashing of homeless, drug and mental services. The GDP Americans are producing is not staying with the 99%; something like between 30-40% of the GDP is concentrating with the 1% nowadays, versus being distributed as increased wages or safety net services. We were told something would trickle down and we’re now seeing it.

    Those are the reasons why they don’t have a homeless, drug or mental illness problem like we do, not the local councilmember for a specific district. You either can’t seem to comprehend those simple facts or you just conveniently ignore it so you can continue to spew your false garbage on a neighborhood blog.

  40. @Truth
    The problem with the junkies is worse here than most other American cities by several orders of magnitude. Yes, I know quite well the taxation system in some European countries, but the cleaner ones are also law-and-order places that don’t permit flagrantly antisocial behavior taking over their cities.

    Here, I invite you so sign up. Maybe you can be the 2000th signature:


  41. The no youth jail people are insane.

    I don’t understand the problem. Just enforce the vagrancy laws and things will sort themselves out. Doesn’t seem like rocket science.

  42. @Truth

    “The extremely vocal minority that do not in any way represent the view of the vast majority of Ballardites and Seattleites?”

    Preach it brother/sister!

  43. @Andrew Daisuke
    >mocks neighbors
    >defends drug addicts and felons
    >tries to shame victims of assault and property for being “uncivil”

    Real nice bunch of people.

    I invite you to send a message to the corrupt O’Brien Clique that this city is exists by and for its taxpaying citizens, and that the decline in public safety and health is unacceptable. Do the right thing, Andrew.

  44. The council just want more money and want to tax the rich companies who profit the most from the boom. In itself, the argument might hold. That is their spin. But the devil is in the detail. What solution is that money funding and what is the reasoning behind it. Is that solution going to solve the homelesness problem or not? That is what the people from Ballard are really asking and they are not getting any answers. What options for the homelesness problem were at the council’s table? Probably and hopefully not only one. What made them accept the chosen one?

    How do you plan to keep law and order in the city, your basic reason for being, council? Stop everything you are doing right now and work on fixing this crisis while you still can!

  45. I think the people are frustrated. We keep hearing about our city and county governments overbudget on every project. Not just double or triple but 6 times more than average, 10 times more – and there is no accountability. 12million per mile for bikelanes when they should be $850,000? 500million overrun on Sound Transit partly due to building parks and plazas and moving into expensive downtown office space? 100’s of millions thrown at the homeless problem and the number of homeless only increase? Our RV lots cost 6 times more than those in San Diego and SF but have almost no homeless leaving to enter housing. And the initiative against Safe Injection Sites not allowed to get on the ballot even though all the signatures were turned in on time?

    Our government is showing disrespect by not caring that our money is being wasted. Our government is not listening to the voice of the people who want to vote on the Safe Consumption Site Issue. Our government is not holding all the homeless service providers accountable with metrics. And our government makes it very difficult to see how all our homeless dollars and transportation dollars are being spent – and where the waste is happening.

    Our government holds sham meetings where nobody is allowed to state a concern or get a question honestly answered about where the money is going. And the people showed they are tired of nobody listening.

  46. @Sockpuppet:

    The problem with the junkies is worse here than most other American cities by several orders of magnitude.

    Either you haven’t traveled much from the 10 block radius you call home or you (most likely) are spewing horribly false observations in an attempt to make some point that you can never quite seem to make.

    Oh and congrats on your 2,000 signatures! Assuming those signatures are all real voters of District 6 (haha, right?), you’re 1/6 of the way to Weatbrook’s 12,000 votes when O’Brien won in a landslide!

  47. I will never vote for Mike O’Brien again. There is never an acknowledgement of an email and I have been singularly unimpressed with him in person. He sure doesn’t care about my neighborhood. I’ve had it with the garbage heaps, the theft, the trespassing, the needles, and on and on.
    He’s a little too slick and without any real substance.

  48. One more thing……Don’t fall for Amazons pausing massive project bullshit. its just a bluff – and a lame ass one at that. The truth is you couldn’t pry Amazon out of Seattle with a frikking crowbar.

  49. The so called head tax is a bad idea because the city has wasted millions already. You see increased problems with garbage, syringes, tent campers on the freeway right of ways. The city really looks bad and wasted millions creating a demographic of addicts and bums. They don’t work and stand on their own two feet.

  50. @Truth
    Urban camping = open heroin and meth use, human waste and toxic dumping in parks and green spaces
    Meth Rvs = organized theft rings, prostitution (human trafficking), and sometimes murder

    So, I guess all the hippie nonsense about recycling and conservation is just talk? How about the leftie outrage about human trafficking? No biggie, huh?

    Please tell me what great plan the city has for this head tax? These morons have already allowed this situation to fester to this point. I don’t hear any solutions from Durkan or O’Brien other than “gimme more of your money”.

    Permitting a once fine city to degenerate into a place where 89 assaults have been committed OUTSIDE THE COURT HOUSE IN A SINGLE YEAR is an absolutely unforgivable crime. That anyone would defend this insanity out of some purely defensive ideological devotion is just pathetic. The city needs to restore order immediately and take ownership of this mess and stop robbing taxpayers.

  51. Tired of the unsanitary campers along the Burke Gilman trail, tired of the garbage piled next to the freeway, tired of the junker RVs in the SoDo area, tired of the crime around the Licton Springs shanty town, tired of the harassment around the King Co. court house and tired of supporting do nothing bums that get high all day. Quit making excuses.

  52. @Sockpuppet: Turn the question to you:

    How do you propose we solve your sensationalist claim of a problem? Let me guess: arrest them or force them to leave?

    Yeah, I knew you have no solutions, only griping…same ol’ suckpuppet ¯\_(ツ)_/¯

  53. Yes, yes, yes! Solution #1: Arrest them all for littering, environmental damage, drug use, car prowling, bicycle theft, arson and check them outstanding warrants. That’s what we’ve been saying for 5-10 years now. Vagrants are illegally camping on state, county and city property. Arrest them. Didn’t they clean up 1,000 syringes at 58th and 5th NE last week? The bums are not good citizens.

  54. The Seattle City Council is destroying Ballard. They can’t throw enough money at the bums they have attracted by the hundreds, maybe the thousands now, into our neighborhood. I am sick of their labeling people who are largely criminals and bums by choice, as “homeless” alongside the minority who actually are willing to do the work required to become law abiding, self sufficient, productive members of society. They can’t get enough money for the bums, but there’s no money to improve our abysmal public schools.
    And enough of our neighbors agree with their agenda, that they haven’t been thrown out. It’s not just the Council, its our neighbors that enable them, and not just a few. To them, I am just a free wallet, undeserving of everything I worked for. If you don’t like what’s going on here, you better be thinking about somewhere else to live, because there’s no reason to expect it to do anything but continue getting worse.

  55. @Clyde: Ok, let’s play your wacky game. We arrest them. How do we pay for the police sweeps, warrant checks and arrests? Who foots the bill to jail people for camping? How do we then pay for constant enforcement? Who foots the legal bill when Seattle inevitably gets sued and loses quickly due to Habeas Corpus, the 14th Amendment and those other pesky constitutional protections?

    You pearl-clutchers seems so bent out of shape on spending millions for housing, mental treatment and addiction services, but have no qualms spending millions on continual and indefinite arrests and jailing, which solve exactly nothing.

    So please, I’m willing to hear how you think your solution will work!


    I am sick of their labeling people who are largely criminals and bums by choice…

    I’d like to see you spend one night out on the streets. ONE! Then come back here and let us know how the homeless are all there by choice. You wouldn’t last two minutes after dark before you make boom-boom in your pantaloons and come crying back to your safe, warm house. Real tough guy here!

    PS, as a bonus, get addicted to fentanyl and then quit cold turkey, because addicts clearly choose to stay addicted and can quit at any time!

  56. @Truth

    Deputize the National Guard and bring all the campers to unused govt facilities. The felons get sorted from the rest, the junkies forced into rehab, the rest are given beds. This isn’t rocket science, unfortunately Seattle has alienated the Fed because of our sanctuary city (hmmm seeing a pattern here…) recalcitrance so getting funding might be difficult.

    And if the junkie campers are SO MUCH TOUGHER than the rest of us, hey, then they should kick cold turkey. Addicts are weak. And it’s pathetic their CHOICES are something you hold up as some sort of virtue in an attempt to mock those of us who have, or still do, work dangerous jobs instead of sponging or stealing from neighbors.

  57. Remember when Rush Limbaugh would go on every day about rounding up all the addicts and putting them in concentration camps, and we found out he was popping pills the whole time? Good times. These clowns never stop putting on the same bits.

  58. Komo tv reported 53 million dollars was spent on Seattle’s homeless crisis last year and the mess is getting worse. The city seems to have lots of money, but isn’t getting the garbage cleaned up or the bums evacuated.

  59. @Clyde: Maybe it’s because we are mitigating a problem, rather than trying to solve it? Of course, the real solutions can never happen because when they are proposed (housing, addiction services, mental services, etc), the Next Door people figuratively and almost literally crap themselves in anger. And life goes on…

    …unfortunately Seattle has alienated the Fed because of our sanctuary city

    You really have no idea how a sanctuary city works, do you? I’m guessing that other than the anti-American drivel you hear from Dori Monson or pill poppin’ Rush Limbaugh, you’ve never actually researched it, so I’ll help you out:

    The feds are free to come in any time and round up and deport people at any time. Seattle can’t stop them, King County can’t stop them, Washington State can’t stop them. Seattle has just said that we are not going to spend a dime of our taxpayer money to help them out and I and many other people support that. To use your delusional logic, if you want to help the feds out, they’ll happily take donations. Just look up “Gifts to the United States”.


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  61. Help those that are working and trying to survive ! But get rid of the druggy thuggies that cause all the problems breaking into homes and cars ! Run them out of town any way we can and back the police when they try to deal with the bad guys ! We have a great police force but we need to support them when they deal with the bad guys 100% GO BLUE !

  62. I visited Ballard last weekend. I was excited to see the shops and restaurants, and seeing all the people walking around the town made me felt like I was in a friendly neighborhood. However, when my family walked down Market Street for a burger, I was shocked to see people who thought it was okay to camp out on city sidewalks. I don’t see how this is allowed – tents and cooking dinner next to the sidewalk, a man sleeping in a sleeping bag in the doorway of a shop… Their audacity amazed me. I was just a tourist, but allowing them to camp out is not positive for the residents and shop owners of Ballard.

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