John & Shari support 10-minute limit for Seattle councilmember speeches

Dec 20, 2021, 12:40 PM
seattle city council, 10 minutes...
A Seattle City Council briefing in early 2020. (Photo courtesy of Seattle City Council/Flickr)
(Photo courtesy of Seattle City Council/Flickr)

The new rule for Seattle City Councilmembers is that they’re not allowed to talk about anything for longer than 10 minutes.

KIRO Radio host Shari Elliker says they wanted to make it no more than five minutes, but that didn’t pass out of committee, “so they settled on 10 minutes.”

John Curley has a whole personality building up around his new hat

Host John Curley was once on the Sammamish City Council, which he says had a reputation for going longer than most other city councils.

“We would start at like 7 o’clock or 6:30. We would have those things go until 1:30 in the morning,” he said. “And here’s what you get: You get nine people, or seven people, one person says something, someone else feels like, ‘oh, I should probably say something,’ and then that person speaks. Then somebody else goes, ‘well, I should probably say something.'”

“So what happens is the first person that says something, let’s say they have a need to say it, at like a 10,” John continued. “By the time you get to the fifth person, they’re kind of just, ‘I’d like to piggyback on something that was said earlier.’ … No, you don’t need to say anything. You just sit there. But you have this weird feeling like, ‘gosh, I got elected too, so maybe I should say something.'”

John says they “were famous” for talking and talking.

“The poor people that work for the city,” he recalled. “[They] worked all day, got there at 8 o’clock in the morning and now it is 1:30 in the morning. And she’s sitting there taking notes, or somebody else from some other department just waiting, waiting, waiting. It was so unfair. It was awful.”

Shari suggested that there should be a 10-minute rule for all meetings.

“Just 10 minutes, that’s it,” she said. “That’s all you get. Everybody’s got to get their stuff in.”

John forgot who it was but recalled that there is an elected official who doesn’t have keep any chairs in their office.

“That’s not a bad idea,” Shari said.

“They have like a high table, kind of like a bar table kind of thing,” John said.

“But then you get a lot of leaners,” Shari replied.

“I’ll take a leaner over a sitter any day,” John said. “I’ve said that once, I’ve said it a million times.”

Listen to the John Curley and Shari Show weekday afternoons from 3 – 7 p.m. on KIRO Radio, 97.3 FM. Subscribe to the podcast here.

John Curley and Shari Elliker on KIRO Radio 97.3 FM
  • listen to tom and curleyTune in to KIRO Radio weekdays at 3pm for John Curley and Shari Elliker.

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John & Shari support 10-minute limit for Seattle councilmember speeches