Wednesday, December 14, 2005

A Hero is Leaving the Game

I like Jim Compton. Of all the Seattle City Council members he is easily my favorite. Smart, witty, and forward thinking... I appreciate his presence on the council and proudly voted for his second term in 2003 (I may have voted for him in his first bid, but it was so long ago there is a good chance I was still registered in Woodinville). Well, the Seattle Times reports today that he is bowing out of the game.

Compton says he has a unique opportunity to return to Romania and Egypt for studies and teaching. The Times suggests that Compton's recent ethical violations (a flight on Paul Allen's private jet and failing to disclose a meeting with strip clubs) has stained Compton's career and diluted his political abilities. I suppose it's possible, but he wouldn't stand for reelection until 2007, so I don't see how those indiscretions would really impact anything.

Perhaps most sad is that it leaves the city's broadband initiatives without a champion. Compton single-handidly brought together a taskforce last year that proposed wide scale revisionsing of the city's broadband future. I've written about this before, having been to almost all of the taskforce meetings, and suggest that the recommendations not exactly a good idea. But they were ideas all the same. Now I wonder who will pickup the torch and carry on the fight... absent a new champion, I fear we may fall behind as other cities embrace the future.

1 comment:

srcastic said...

I never really viewed Compton as a hero or leader on much of anything, and his ethical lapses, while not hurting his reputation much in my eyes, certainly didn't help.

I bet Steinbrueck or Licata are forward thinking enough to take up the torch. You should try to get a meeting with them - if you schedule it, most councilmembers are happy to meet with constituents.