Every April 15th, the eleven elected officials of the city (the Mayor, the City Attorney, and the nine City Council members) are required to file a financial disclosure form, detailing their households’ financial holdings and debts as well as their sources of income. Those reports are public records but the city doesn’t publish them; I request them every year and post them so we can all learn and understand whether any of them have financial interests that might affect the way their do their job.
As always, let me start with my usual introduction, copied-and-pasted from previous years:
… 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.
And now, here are links to their disclosure forms for this year:
The ninth City Council member, Abel Pacheco, was just appointed to the Council last night, but since he was a candidate for elected office this year, he was required to file the same form — and last week I obtained all of the candidates’ financial disclosure forms too. So here’s Pacheco’s.
Notes on the disclosures:
- Generally speaking, not much has changed in the last year. For Bagshaw, Mosqueda, O’Brien, Sawant, Holmes and Durkan, their net worth is almost unchanged.
- Two Council members got married since the last time they filed a disclosure: Gonzalez and Juarez. So both saw an explainable jump in their net worth, but there’s nothing nefarious in the details.
- Harrell, by far the richest city official, saw his household net worth jump over $1.2 million, to $13,300,000. Most of that can be attributed to the rise in Microsoft’s stock price over the last year; Harrell’s wife works there, and they hold a significant amount of company stock. In the last year they sold their second home in Bellevue, and bought a home in Boise, ID — suggesting that retirement might be in their future after Harrell finishes his term at the end of the year.
- Herbold’s household net worth grew from $250,000 to $527,000. It’s unclear exactly why, though it’s probably a combination of real estate appreciation (they have property in Seattle and in North Bend), and her husband’s new job as an engineering manager at Oracle.
- Sawant’s husband continues to work for Socialist Alternative as a political organizer, drawing annual wages somewhere between $25,000 and $99,000. The two of them continue to have travel expenses paid for by Socialist Alternative and various Socialist parties in Europe.