Council members file 2018 financial disclosures

Earlier this week was the deadline for the city’s elected officials to file their annual F-1 financial disclosure forms. Here’s what they say.

I’m going to continue the tradition of including a preface to this discussion that I think is important to keep in mind as we sift through these documents:

… I will admit that spending an evening reading the Council members’ financial disclosure forms is sort of creepy, and at times feels downright invasive. Even with confidence that my own finances are above reproach, I would be hesitant to run for public office knowing that I would have to disclose this much information. Nevertheless, they did choose to run for City Council… And they won, and now so do we all because of the transparency this grants us. But let’s be grownups about this, throw some respect their way for giving up some of their privacy in the name of good government, and treat these disclosures with the seriousness they deserve.

Of the eleven elected officials (nine City Council members, plus Mayor Durkan and City Attorney Holmes), all but two have filed: Gonzalez and Mosqueda missed the deadline. We’re not totally in the dark on either because both had to file the same form last year as candidates in the November election. But Gonzalez got married since her last filing, so she must now report on the financial interests of her husband as well.

Here are the Council members’ disclosure forms (I’ll keep checking for updated filings for Gonzalez and Mosqueda):

Bagshaw

Gonzalez (2017 form)

Harrell

Herbold

Johnson

Juarez

Mosqueda (2017 form)

O’Brien

Sawant

For comparison, here is my writeup of last year’s financial disclosures, with pointers to the forms.

With Tim Burgess leaving the Council, there are now three millionaires: Harrell, Bagshaw, and O’Brien.  Harrell is by far the richest of the Council members, declaring his household’s net worth at over $12 million. None of the Council members got poorer over the last year; Harrell’s fortune grew the most (by over $1 million), and Sawant’s household net worth is now just shy of half a million dollars (it was a good year to own stock and/or a home in Seattle).

It should be noted that Sawant also got married last year, so her latest financial disclosure now gives more details on her husband’s financial interests. Sawant’s filing is the most interesting of the set, and I’m writing that up separately.

For completeness, here are the financial disclosure forms for Durkan and Holmes. Durkan’s is a special situation: because she is a former federal prosecutor, which makes her and her family a target for threats and violence, her home address and personal information about her children are not included — a very sensible precaution that required special approval from the Seattle Ethics and Elections Commission. Both Durkan and Holmes are also in the millionaire’s club: Durkan with a net worth of $5.75 million, and Holmes with $1.7 million.

Once again, thank you to our elected officials for their willingness to serve and to share their personal financial details in the name of good governance.

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