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Mike O'Brien to Sonics Rising: "We are still working on the schedule"

We are very close to the finish line for the SoDo arena. It's taking a long time, but we will cross it. Seattle City Councilman Mike O'Brien tells Sonics Rising the schedule for a street vacation vote is being worked on.

Occidental Avenue needs a vacation.
Occidental Avenue needs a vacation.

It really ticked me off when I found out there will be no street vacation vote for the SoDo arena in January. I'm sure I wasn't the only one.

However, this is nothing to panic about. Nor is it anything to be surprised about. We've dealt with the Seattle process on this project for most of the last three years. Why would the finish line be any different? Remembering that truth helped me to allow my anger to dissipate.

That's not to say I'm not frustrated. The following preview for the movie Zootopia perfectly captures my feelings on the matter.

The Seattle process is slow. Really slow. Painfully slow. Deathly slow. It proceeds at the pace of a snail or, indeed, a sloth. But it does proceed and this will get done.

Sonics Rising's Mike Baker recently asked council members when we might expect a schedule for the vote. Councilman and Transportation Chair Mike O'Brien sent him the following answer today.

Hi Mike-

We are still working on the schedule. There are a number of requirements including a public hearing and 28 days advance notice for the public hearing that we are working on understanding so we can get a schedule we can share.

It's important to note that O'Brien could have just not responded. He could have let Mr. Baker just sit around and stew about it. He could have told him the arena just isn't that important.

But he took the time to respond, and the response is a valid one. This deal is so large and so complex that it must be handled properly and delicately at every phase. Even in the final phase. Especially in the final phase.

So Mr. Baker responded in typical Mr. Baker fashion with a Young Frankenstein reference: "Perfect. I'll hold off the the villagers' with their pitchforks and torches."

Riots are ugly things that are hard to stop. I'm not sure how Baker intends to do pull this off, but I'll be behind him all the way if we do have a riot. Right behind him.