Seattle, WA – The City of Seattle is reissuing the request for qualifications for design work to replace the downtown seawall, following disclosure by a policy advisor in the mayor’s office of a potential conflict of interest.

 

Mayor Mike McGinn announced that safety concerns had prompted him to seek a $241 million ballot measure to expedite replacement of the deteriorating seawall. He met with the City Council last Monday to discuss details of the project, including his proposal for a May special election.

Seattle, WA – The City of Seattle is reissuing the request for qualifications for design work to replace the downtown seawall, following disclosure by a policy advisor in the mayor’s office of a potential conflict of interest.

 

Mayor Mike McGinn announced that safety concerns had prompted him to seek a $241 million ballot measure to expedite replacement of the deteriorating seawall. He met with the City Council last Monday to discuss details of the project, including his proposal for a May special election.

 

Christopher Bushnell, an advisor to McGinn, disclosed that his wife Megan Bushnell is a marine biologist for a consulting firm that was part of a larger group seeking work last fall on the seawall project. Bushnell’s wife was not part of the team seeking the contract and would not perform work on the seawall.

 

However, to avoid the appearance of conflict, McGinn and the Seattle Department of Transportation decided to reject the four existing bids for design work and reopen the process, formally called a Request for Qualifications (RFQ). The new RFQ will include criteria emphasizing speed and public involvement, to align with the mayor’s call for an accelerated work schedule.

 

In addition, McGinn referred the conflict question to the city’s Ethics and Elections Commission for review. Questions about the bidding process should be directed to SDOT Director Grace Crunican’s office.

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