Letters 5/26

MCC has rubber teeth

Dear Editor:
It is getting a bit old the ongoing published reports by the Magnolia News about how the Magnolia Community Club ("MCC") is aggrieved about some action either the City of Seattle or the Port of Seattle is taking that impacts Magnolia. These reports are always followed by the announcement that the MCC has either written a letter or is holding a community meeting about the issue. These news reports give the entirely false impression that the MCC is acting one, on behalf of Magnolians, and two, that the MCC is exercising the powers of intervention it should have with the City and the Port. Neither of these assumptions is true. The MCC in substance is its board, the seven to nine people that act in their own interests, not in Magnolia's interest.
In 2006 the MCC board rewrote the organization's bylaws to ensure that it had no obligation to actively protect the general welfare of Magnolia. This reflected the beliefs of the then MCC president and his allies on the MCC board. They specifically rewrote the bylaws to establish that the MCC had an informational role in the community only, and to double ensure that board members would never again strongly push for the MCC to take substantive, administrative, or legal action regarding a land use or transportation matter that affected Magnolia. They also rewrote the bylaws so that the board could unilaterally remove fellow boardmembers that advocated for stronger positions by the MCC.
The Nickerson Street rechannelization is only the latest in a long line of City led depredations against the quality of life of Magnolians that the MCC board has failed to stymie. The biggest loss for Magnolians was the Alaskan Way Viaduct/Deep Bored Tunnel project. As far back as six years ago the MCC president and board refused to support or oppose the tunnel or the elevated option, and then failed to strongly push for Magnolia's access rights along the Alaskan Way corridor via Elliott and Western avenues regardless of the. Instead, the MCC boardmembers have sought to sit on WSDOT and City convened advisory councils that are convened for the tunnel project, the project that will eliminate the Western and Elliott access points that Magnolians have used for decades. The MCC currently sits on the advisory group for the Tunnel's North Portal Group and acts in complicity with State and City to bring about the tunnel and Central Waterfront projects.
The Fort Lawton Reserve Property/BRAC project is another good example of the MCC's failure to represent Magnolia's interests. Its president was handpicked to sit on Mayor Nickel's Technical Advisory Group for BRAC, he gave MCC's approval that it would not oppose the creation of a 180 unit housing development right next to Discovery Park. Offered the chance to participate in the lawsuit that ultimately stopped the project, the MCC refused to participate.
It is no coincidence that the more the MCC board has sought to establish themselves as consummate insiders, sought to be the sole representative voice for Magnolians, to the exclusion of other groups, that the nature and volume of City land use and transportation incursions which negatively impact Magnolia has increased. [[In-content Ad]]