Seattle Mayor's Race
4:14 pm
Mon May 20, 2013

Mayor McGinn Appoints Rival’s Partner to City Advisory Committee

Here’s one for the “Seattle is such a small world” file:

State Sen. Ed Murray has been hitting the campaign trail of late in his effort to oust Seattle Mayor Mike McGinn.

But McGinn has just recognized Murray’s long-time partner, Michael Shiosaki, with an executive appointment to the city’s Arboretum and Botanical Garden Committee.

“You bring valuable skills and experience to the Board, and I am sure that the city will benefit from your participation,” McGinn wrote in a letter notifying Shiosaki of his appointment.

Shiosaki is a licensed landscape architect who currently serves as director of Planning and Development for the Seattle Parks Department.

In an interview, Shiosaki said he has served as staff to the committee for the past decade, and is the "logical staff person" to assume the position. The previous appointee, Donald Harris, is retiring.  

Shiosaki said he got to know McGinn during the Pro Parks Levy campaign. He said he has sat in meetings with the mayor but doesn't report to him directly.

Shiosaki's partner, Murray, has represented the 43rd Legislative District in the state Senate since 2006, and previously served 11 years in the state House of Representatives. He is now one of eight candidates vying to unseat McGinn.

So does Shiosaki's role at the city create any conflicts at home?

"We try to keep those things separate," Shiosaki said.

The Arboretum and Botanical Garden Committee provides direction and oversight for the Washington Park Arboretum, a 230-acre urban forest that's managed jointly by the city, the University of Washington and the Washington Park Arboretum Foundation. Three of the committee’s nine members are appointed by the mayor.

Shiosaki’s appointment was approved today by the Seattle City Council.

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