Monday, April 30, 2007

Charlie, the Uncommon Citizen's Bureaucrat

A reader writes:

I have to add my personal remembrance.
Charlie was from a breed of Federal bureaucrat that once existed in the 1930's and was briefly resurrected in the 1960's, one who worked for the People and not the President or Bureaus.
I found him after I had left the Federal system, in the 1990's, when I was looking for some way to participate in the Civic Good. I recognized in him what I had seen briefly still surviving in a few local federal programs, like the old CETA folks. I was amused to find, as I got to know people working with (and sometimes against) the City that there was another seasoned bureaucrat who had turned his knowledges to the good. He was a fine mentor as I found the most useful strategy in dealing with The City was humor and dogged perseverance. Before it became de rigeur to spend a quarter million to be "competitive" (i.e., eligible for the Seattle times, Post-Intelligencer, Weekly, Stranger editorial boards), Charlie tempted a lot of us neighhorhood types (and who else lives in Seattle if not in a Neighborhood? those who really live in Mercer Island, Bellevue, or Issaquah?) to become a Seattle councilmember.
Well, Charlie did that, even offered himself up for our Mayor, and he should be remembered for his contributions to the Real Seattle that asks "Why? Who's Benefitting or Paying for This Deal?"
Thanks Charlie!
Stephen Edwin Lundgren i Ballard & Seattle

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