The Bubbleator inside the Coliseum during the 1962 Worlds Fair in Seattle. At left in striped pants in Ken Robinson.

Ken's View: Mayor's race and the stadium question

By Ken Robinson

A mournful mayor

Patrick Robinson’s powerful image of Mayor Ed Murray expresses the pain of his decision to not seek re-election. The burden of bearing an accusation of crimes committed many years ago, based on assertions alone, have had a withering effect on him for sure.

If any among us were similarly accused, we might also be crushed by the words. His decision is a courageous one, meant to spare both him and his family from additional humiliation. The shabby part of this is the notion that an accusation is a conviction. His dynamic tenure as mayor of one of the great cities of America will be discounted.

Seattlites seem anxious to distance themselves from scandal as it reflects on the populace. More than a dozen local citizens have tossed their hats into the ring to be our leader. Best known before the mayor was sued is Mike McGinn, first to announce he wanted his old job back. It would be a tough row to hoe for Mike after the relentless pounding the Seattle Times gave him when he was mayor. And his reputation for being pugnacious with the council won’t help either. He was an active community-oriented guy, often stepping out of the office to allow the peasants to touch his hem in places like Ballard and West Seattle. But voters here were not sorry to see him go.

A parade of candidates includes some notable civic activists. This is a great thing for the city. Whether any of them should be mayor is a wild card. Sometimes a player is better suited for the team effort by staying in the position they play best. Richard Sherman is a terrific cornerback for the Seahawks. But he should not be quarterback too. Dad used to say, “Let the shoemaker stick to his last.”

The brightest applicant for Mayor of Seattle is attorney Jenny Durkan. Westside Seattle staff writer Lindsay Petyon’s background story on Durkan tells of a person who has been auditioning for this role her entire life. She is a member of a powerhouse political family of whom we have been aware for many years as they served various roles in public life. She does not need to trot out her bona fides. We believe Jenny Durkan is an exceptional human being who this community would be proud to have as our leader.

The stadium controversy

From the outside looking at the choices presented to the Seattle City Council by two groups who want to use the old Coliseum for a sports venue, we are dismayed. Shouldn’t one of the choices be None of the Above? Do we have to have another stadium plunked downtown, forcing us to jam up the roads to get to it, often at rush hour? Do we have to commit public funds to another outside entity that wants to use our land or facilities to make a buck?

Full disclosure: I used to work in the building now called Key Arena. I was a guide on the Bubbleator during the 1962 World’s Fair.

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