Schram: Hope those Belltown trees grow money


By Ken Schram

SEATTLE -- My bet is that Sharon Nickels is in charge of the family budget.

My guess is that the Seattle mayor's wife is far more astute at finagling finances than Hizzoner.

To support my theory, I offer you Mayor Five-pennies latest fiscal fiasco.

He wants to pony up $2.5 million to turn a stretch of downtown Bell Street into some sort of tranquil urban oasis.

The grand plan calls for removing a lane of Bell Street traffic between 1st and 5th Avenues.

Sidewalks will be expansive at almost 30 feet wide and there will be new landscaping and new lighting to discourage crime.

This might not be too bad an idea if these were financially flush times.

It might not be a bad idea if the city wasn't already telling people that another 400 trash cans are being yanked from popular city parks because the city can save $160,000 by having people to haul out their own apple cores and yogurt containers.

It boggles the mind what Mayor Five pennies can find to spend tax payer money on in the middle of a budget crisis.

Which is what leads me to believe his wife handles the checkbook at home.

Otherwise I suspect Hizzoner would be sleeping on the couch in that sumptuous office he so richly deserves.

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