Some believe that the responsibility for what happens in Tukwila lays at the feet of its citizens. In a representative democracy, we are responsible for whom we elect. However, we are not responsible for all decisions made by council and mayor. The evidence is clear from low participation levels that residents do expect elected officials to look after their best interests. It is also clear that the level of public involvement tends to correlate with specific issues. Think casinos, think Tukwila Pool, think Tukwila Village, think Tukwila International Boulevard. Most times it is collaborative; sometimes adversarial. After all, elected individuals can make mistakes. Tukwila International Boulevard Action Committee is a great example of sustained organized citizen involvement.
Some believe that policy makers automatically give a thumbs up to staff recommendations. This belief is simplistic. Staff is critical to a decision-making process. Their work is expected to be thorough and buttressed by multiple considerations. Staff recommendations often reflect the earlier input of council and the public. Lastly, the City Council makes decisions in a public setting. While nothing is perfect, we have a good staff and a good process.