by Mark Neuman
Former KIRO-TV reporter and anchor Susan Hutchison spoke with The B-Town Blog recently. She and County Council Chair Dow Constantine are going head-to-head to become King CountyÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s next Executive.
PRIMARY RESULTS & ELECTION STRATEGY:
As of August 27th, the most recently updated election results show Susan with about 33% of the primary votes. The results also show the four office-holding Democrats in the primary race (including Dow) with a cumulative 62% of the vote.
How will you go about attracting some of that 62% your way? we asked Susan.
Ã¢â‚¬Å“Dow is so partisan. He just sees everything from the filter of his Democratic point of view. (Primary opponents) Fred Jarrett and Ross Hunter represented outsiders, as I did, and they did rather well,Ã¢â‚¬Â she said.
Ã¢â‚¬Å“Most people looking at the vote results would say that the bulk of the votes went to outsider candidates. I would suggest that in fact the vote was very clearly for an outsider candidate.
Ã¢â‚¬Å“I think the way the voters divided us up was Ã¢â‚¬Ëœinsider versus outsider.Ã¢â‚¬â„¢ And the outsiders won big.Ã¢â‚¬Â
Ã¢â‚¬Å“I think a Ã¢â‚¬Ëœrainy day fundÃ¢â‚¬â„¢ is absolutely prudent government management,Ã¢â‚¬Â she said.
Ã¢â‚¬Å“In a (private sector) company, what you have is something called a cash reserve, and the finance department or board of directors is always looking at that cash reserve.
Ã¢â‚¬Å“ItÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s understood that you are going to have good days and bad days. Good years and bad years. YouÃ¢â‚¬â„¢ve got to have the capability to cover using that cash reserve. That is just a basic principle of good accounting and money management in a company. And thatÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s why itÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s essential in government as well,Ã¢â‚¬Â Susan said.
Ã¢â‚¬Å“We are in a budget crisis. We can project now that between this year and next weÃ¢â‚¬â„¢re going to have a $110 million budget shortfall. We have to go back to first principles. That is Ã¢â‚¬Ëœwhat is the countyÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s job?Ã¢â‚¬â„¢ And the countyÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s job is to provide safety and protection to its people.
Ã¢â‚¬Å“It is really essential that we keep that in mind as we go through this process of trying to figure out how to make ends meet.
Ã¢â‚¬Å“This budget crisis we are now in falls directly at the feet of the county council and its chair, Dow Constantine, because the council carries the power of the purse.
Ã¢â‚¬Å“We cannot trust a politician who helped get us into this mess to get us out of it,Ã¢â‚¬Â Susan said.
COMMENTS ABOUT BURIEN?
Ã¢â‚¬Å“Oh, absolutely. I was there recently for two (campaign) forums. Burien has that Ã¢â‚¬ËœMain Street USAÃ¢â‚¬â„¢ feel,Ã¢â‚¬Â she said. Ã¢â‚¬Å“ItÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s terrific. Oh, and thereÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s great access to the airport when youÃ¢â‚¬â„¢re in Burien!Ã¢â‚¬Â
Susan says she supports annexation efforts.
Ã¢â‚¬Å“I just think itÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s important that the choice be given to the people. ThereÃ¢â‚¬â„¢ve been some efforts throughout the county to annex without the residents (of the unincorporated area) weighing in on that decision and I think thatÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s wrong.
Ã¢â‚¬Å“IÃ¢â‚¬â„¢m always with the people.Ã¢â‚¬Â
THE KIRO YEARS:
Susan spent 20 years with the KIRO-TV News department.
Ã¢â‚¬Å“Certainly one my most treasured memories of the job I did there was to write and produce a documentary on Chinese culture and history called Ã¢â‚¬ËœSon of HeavenÃ¢â‚¬â„¢. I spent a lot of time in China doing the shooting and research. It won several Emmy awards and had a year-long run of attention.Ã¢â‚¬Â
Susan recounted the course of events that led up to her coming to KIRO:
After attending the University of Florida, she was working in television in Hawaii in the late 1970Ã¢â‚¬â„¢s. Lloyd Cooney, who ran KIRO at the time, was visiting Hawaii and happened to see her delivering the news on a local channel. Cooney sent her a letter inviting her to consider working in Seattle.
Ã¢â‚¬Å“It was months before I actually met Lloyd, but I eventually came to work at KIRO. I just loved Lloyd when I met him. HeÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s an amazing fellow.
Ã¢â‚¬Å“I still have the letter he sent me. ItÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s very precious.Ã¢â‚¬Â
- The General Election is November 3, and, like the primary, will be an all mail-in election.
- The B-Town Blog interviewed Dow Constantine the night of the August 18th primary and ran the interview the next day Ã¢â‚¬â€œ click here to read it.