It’s well known that Seattle City Councilmember Sally Bagshaw is behind efforts to stop the clean up of The Jungle, the illegal homeless encampments along Interstate 5. Thanks to a public records request by the Seattle Times, we now know that last month Seattle Mayor Ed Murray got pretty testy with Bagshaw over the issue.
Murray, while out of the city on an overseas boondoggle, engaged in a terse text exchange over the subject that ended with the mayor threatening Bagshaw that he would “stop cleaning up and protecting the city’s streets if she attempted to hamstring his plan” to clear out the homeless encampment. That seems like a imprudent thing for a sober elected official to put in writing.
The Times just reported on the obtained text messages between Murray and Bagshaw. The messages captured the short-tempered Mayor’s bluster. Via the Seattle Times:
Saturday, May 21
MAYOR ED MURRAY 7:27 p.m.: This is Ed Murray could you call me at (phone number)
CITY COUNCILMEMBER SALLY BAGSHAW 7:34 p.m.: Tomorrow ok? Otherwise (9:30)
MURRAY 8:16 p.m.: If you do resolution on homelessness restricting our ability to deal with the rapes and other violent crime and the bike chop shops down there in the jungle I will stop all clean ups throughout the city and pull police off enforcement. We are losing the ability to control our streets.
BAGSHAW 9:02 p.m.: Is this really from you Mr. Mayor?
MURRAY 9:12 p.m.: Yes.
9:54 p.m.: Still trying to reach you. Time difference and we are coming back early so (traveling) all day tomorrow
10:04 p.m.: … we are coming back early which means I will be on a plane all day. So I need to speak with you this evening Seattle time. I am getting media (claims) that you are leading a council effort to stop our efforts in the jungle. I am stunned so I should talk with you before I respond.
Sunday, May 22
BAGSHAW 3:45 a.m.: … I am still gathering information and community comments. I will definitely share a draft with Mike Fong, Scott, Anthony, Maggie and Leslie for their input as well. Have a safe flight.
MURRAY 3:47 a.m.: I assume it is 4am in the morning so I won’t call now. I am absolutely taken aback by your lack of collaboration. Don’t get it.
4:11 a.m.: So I will stay up until I hear from you.
1:29 p.m.: Still waiting to hear from you.
10:46 p.m.: Scott Lindsey said you won’t speak with me because I will yell at you. I have always been with staff when I meet with you and I have never yelled at you.
10:46 p.m.: I have been forceful in my profound disagreement with you on how to approach homelessness, based on the consultants critique of the city.
10:46 p.m.: I am now going to skip a flight in an attempt to reach you.
10:46 p.m.: Sally I don’t know what is going on, but for the sake of the city will you please speak with me?
BAGSHAW 10:56 p.m.: I just tried to reach you. I am planning to meet Hyeok and Mike and Scott early Monday.
Murray stood his ground on The Jungle cleanup and stood up to Bagshaw – and for that he was hoping for some gratitude.
Unfortunately, his newly-grown spine did not last long.
Soon after the exchange, despite having a very public press conference with Jay Inslee on the plan to clean up the illegal encampment,Murray buckled under the pressure put on by far-Left activists demanding a stop to the city’s clean up of The Jungle.
So while having a backbone might be temporary, making (and carrying through) on threats lives forever in text messages.