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  Seattle Councilman Conlin flaunting penchant for process
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ContributorRalphie 
Last EditedRalphie  May 27, 2005 08:36am
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MediaNewspaper - Seattle Times
News DateFriday, May 27, 2005 04:00:00 PM UTC0:0
DescriptionYou might think Richard Conlin would want to appear extra decisive these days.

The two-term Seattle city councilman has become an election-year target for political rivals who claim he embodies the city's penchant for endless study, hand-wringing and reconsideration — the so-called "Seattle process" that makes it hard to get anything done.

But Conlin, 57, a former YMCA official with a professorial bearing, isn't running from his image as a fellow who favors lots and lots of process. He's flaunting it.

Last week, he was playing to type, hosting a brownbag panel discussion at City Hall where experts on "consensus building" rapped about ways to make local government even more processy. Among the suggestions: conduct straw polls before major decisions, emphasize "dialogue rather than debate" and set up new citizen advisory groups.

Whether such talk makes for good government or gridlock is shaping up to be the central question of the contest between Conlin and four opponents who already have raised more than $300,000 to challenge his re-election.
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