Seattle City Councilwoman Margaret Pageler is the steady incumbent on a rocky council, a quiet, thoughtful leader who grasps the broader issues of the region. She is endorsed by The Seattle Times for a fourth term.
Her highly qualified challenger is Tom Rasmussen, aide to former Councilwoman Jeanette Williams. Rasmussen, director of the mayor's office for senior citizens, knows city matters well.
Pageler was not caught up in the imbroglio over Rick's strip club in Lake City. She is sensitive to neighborhood concerns but also business-oriented. She supported most downtown-revitalization efforts in years past and today backs economic development efforts at Northgate and South Lake Union.
She is politically adroit enough to work with a prickly mayor. She has the perspective to see how mayor-council relations overall might be improved.
Rasmussen should have taken on a weaker incumbent. He is encouraged to return again for another try. In weeks ahead, Rasmussen can sharpen Pageler with tough questions about her enthusiasm for the job and willingness to meet with varied community interests.
But Pageler has a sturdy record. She often tries to ensure the council does not draft loopy group letters; she often urges colleagues to avoid resolutions that embarrass the city.
Pageler, chairwoman of the utilities committee, has done good work on water conservation.
A work horse, not a show horse, she has earned another term.
Copyright © 2003 The Seattle Times Company