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Do you want MID in Belltown?

Both the Belltown Community Council and the Belltown Business Association have rejected the expansion of MID into Belltown numerous times; 1999, 2004, and 2007.

What the heck is MID? You’ve probably noticed their yellow clad bike security team mumbling through downtown Seattle. They’re also responsible for picking up trash, calling 911, and generally making a presence in the downtown Seattle area.

Metropolitan Improvement District bill themselved as  a non-profit service organization that provides maintenance, safety, and and hospitality services. They also seem to have a knack for creating pretty graphs.  Some of the services that MID provides are admirable. During the last month, they witnessed 22 crimes and made calls to 911. They also managed to cart 180 cubic yards of trash out of downtown Seattle. Sounds pretty good right? So what are the negatives?

Increased taxes to Belltown businesses, apartments, and condo buildings.

I’ve always thought that the MID security guys jetting around downtown were kind of a noble joke. I’ve long wished that they were actual bike police officers. Glorified security guards don’t pose a real threat to drug dealers and thugs. The ineffiveness of their presence can be observed on a daily basis in Westlake Plaza in downtown Seattle.

I’m going to have to agree with the BCC and BBA on this item. Before a “non-profit” corporation is brought in to increase its’ “non-profit” footprint with a current annual budget of $4.7 million dollars the Belltown community should think long and hard. Is this REAL money better used to fund REAL police officers?


1 Comment on "Do you want MID in Belltown?"

  1. Wish I’d seen this earlier, but I’ve got some stuff to share about the MID. I was an employee of the MID for over two years, I was in charge of a team of those yellow jackets actually, and made a bid for the director spot, which ended up going to the then former head of security for Pacific Place. The MID started off as a tourist info only kinda thing, but changed after the sit and lie ordinance was enacted. After that it just went down hill from there. Choosing a former cop and security guard to direct the Ambassadors sure didn’t help. The program could be a good one, I tried to make it a good one, spending more energy on education the ambassadors on Seattle site s and tourist attractions. But sadly that isn’t were the rate payers wanted it to go, the rate payers all wanted more cops, and they tried there best to turn a bunch of untrained retirees into those much needed cops. Today I try and avoid the Ambassadors completely, I just got sick of listening to each one complain to me about the MID and what’s happened to it, as if I could do something to help. In short it’s a bad idea for Belltown, Bad idea for Seattle really. It was a good idea once, but it’s just so different now then when it was born. The last thing Belltown needs is two (likely all they would assign daily) ambassadors roaming around Belltown with no security training, no personal safety training, and few if any people skills.

    Just for the sake of disclosure I was fired from the MID for too openly expressing my opinion of my boss, an opinion I still strongly believe, but would no doubt be charged with liable if I shared it with you here. He quit after working for a month, then going to NY for three months, I’ve no idea who runs the program now.

    I’ve already voiced my opinion about the MID to the BCC, and plan to keep doing so until the issue has once again failed in Belltown. Which when property owners see the cost, I’m sure it will.

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