For all voters other than the narrow slices representing each candidate’s strident supporters and opponents, the race between Shoreline City Council incumbent Maggie Fimia and challenger Doris McConnell is a real conundrum.
There is no doubt that Fimia brings a ton of experience, but it comes at a steep price. Professing open public process to be her grail, Fimia can show little patience for deviations from her notion of the appropriate path or conclusion. Over the years, that dichotomy has made her a lightning rod, marginalizing her ability to bring sides together. A glaring example was the recent lawsuit alleging state Open Public Meetings Act violations. The issue ended up costing the city nearly a half-million dollars with a defensive and divisive response that the ends justified questionable means.
McConnell is on the front end of a potential political career. She has navigated the rough waters of Shoreline school issues and the city council could be a good next step for her and the city. McConnell has shown the ability to grow, but she does have some work to do. So it is up to the voters, experience with baggage or take a chance on a fresh start?
Bob Ransom has been a longtime public servant in the Shoreline area, but voters should consider passing the torch and this city council seat to Terry Scott.
In recent years, Ransom has proven to be an adept weather vane, but not often a leader on issues. As alliances have come and gone, so has his ability to represent.
A newcomer to politics, Scott says he’ll be an independent voice, beholden to no faction or contributor. If true, it could be the first step in the maturation process of Shoreline politics. Voters should give that hope a chance to become reality — and then watch closely.