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A Missed Opportunity: The Recent City Council Appointment

We here at the Clyde Hill Coalition have been closely monitoring recent developments within our City Council, particularly the council appointment made on January 9th to fill the seat left vacant by the election of Steve Friedman as Mayor. The appointment process came down to two candidates, Lisa Slivka and Tim Rattigan. It is crucial for our community to be aware of the factors that influenced this decision, as it directly impacts residents and the direction our city will take.

Concerns Raised: Personal Connections and Impartiality

As previously highlighted, Slivka has close relationships with certain members of the City Council, particularly Councilmember Hachamovitch. Their involvement in the unsuccessful Prop 1 initiative in 2022 – which aimed to change our city’s form of government by shifting mayoral election power from voters to council members – raises concerns about the potential influence of personal connections on filling the City Council vacancy. Public records revealed an email describing Slivka as a “dear friend” of Hachamovitch, emphasizing their pre-existing relationship. Additionally, as we pointed out, Slivka’s involvement in an unsuccessful PDC complaint against former Mayor Klaas and a public records request targeting the City Administrator further raises questions about her impartiality.  

A Strong Contender with Impressive Credentials

On the other hand, as we learned from his application, Tim Rattigan – an outsider from city politics – has a wealth of experience in municipal finance, with 35 years as an Investment Banker who financed $50 billion in capital projects for municipalities. His background includes working with state and local governments on capital needs, budgetary challenges, and financing opportunities. He is decades ahead of any council member in experience for dealing with the state threatening Clyde Hills’ sovereignty. As a 30-year Clyde Hill resident, Rattigan sought to contribute his expertise to better serve our community. His involvement in governmental associations, such as GFOA and NASBO, along with licenses like Series 52 and 53, showcased his commitment to public service. Moreover, his cultural engagement, including serving on the Board of the Seattle Repertory Theatre, demonstrates a holistic understanding of community needs.

City Council Decision: Choosing Slivka Over Rattigan

We encourage you to draw your own conclusions about which candidate is best qualified by watching clips featuring both Slivka and Rattigan’s statements at the January 9th City Council meeting below.

Slivka Statement

(Starts at 25:54)

Rattigan Statement

(Starts at 34:28)

Despite Rattigan’s undoubtedly impressive interview, the City Council chose Slivka to fill the vacancy. 

We believe that the decision, based on the candidates’ backgrounds and their performance during the City Council meeting, is a loss for our community. It’s clear that Rattigan would have brought much-needed experience and expertise to the City Council, benefiting our community. 

Unfortunately, our concerns about insider influence have played out, and the decision appears to be more about connections than qualifications. Councilmember Olson motioned for the appointment of Tim Rattigan and highlighted the need for Rattigan’s deep knowledge and experience. Olson voted for Ratigan, while Sinwell, Muramoto, and Hachamovitch declined. Slivka was then motioned by Muromoto, seconded by Sinwell, and appointed. 

After the vote, Councilmember Muramoto begged Rattigan to lend his expertise to the city. He said, “Mr. Rattigan, if I may make one comment. I would love having you stay involved with the city. Your expertise is just outstanding… please, please, please.” This raises critical questions about the City Council’s decision-making process for Muromoto, Sinwell, and Hachamovitch.  Shouldn’t they be responsible to bring on the best person for the job?  Does insider baseball and politics overshadow the community’s best interests?

In the end, this appointment sends a discouraging message to qualified community members who may hesitate to seek positions of leadership without connections. We, as the Clyde Hill Coalition, will continue to advocate for transparency, fairness, and a truly representative City Council.

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