OLYMPIA - Former City Councilman Matthew Green said Wednesday that he will run again for the council, seeking the seat that Councilwoman Laura Ware is vacating.
Green, who was on the council from 2002 to 2006, said he decided to run because the three council members who are the most liberal and have the most experience aren't running again.
Leaving next year are Mayor Mark Foutch, who has been on the council since 1992; Ware, a councilwoman since 1996; and TJ Johnson, who served an appointed term from 2000 to 2001 and was elected in 2004.
"We are losing the strongest progressive voices on the council, definitely," Green said.
If Green is elected, he will be paid $16,640 per year, the result of a pay raise that council members approved Tuesday night. Pay for council members is $8,644, but members elected in November will earn more.
Ware and Johnson have endorsed Green.
"I think he's precisely the type of person that the City Council needs," Johnson said.
He cited Green's council experience supporting environmental and open-government issues.
"He'll be an independent voice that won't go along just to go along," Johnson said.
Green, 38, is an aide to state Sen. Ken Jacobsen, D-Seattle. He said he hopes to bring a slew of issues to City Council if he is elected.
"My biggest concern with the council right now is what they're not doing," he said.
He wants to keep free parking in downtown, eliminate development fees for downtown redevelopment and create a community arts center.
The city should market downtown better, and more walking police patrols are needed, he said.
Green said he opposes the Pedestrian Interference Ordinance and favors the council spending money on transitional housing for homeless people. He said the city also should support efforts to find a permanent site for Olympia's tent city, Camp Quixote II.
Green said his council experience distinguishes him from the other candidates. He said one of his top accomplishments as a council member was stopping a proposed conference center, "thus saving millions of taxpayer dollars, dollars now being put to better use for the Hands On Children's Museum and more ball fields," according to his candidacy statement.
He also cited his work requiring public hearings before budget discussions instead of after, pushing a successful voters' initiative to add more parks and pressing for more environmental protections. Earlier controversy
With his new council run, former Councilman Matthew Green will have to face demons of his past term. In 2003, then-Councilwoman Jeanette Hawkins filed a harassment complaint against him after a heated argument during a break in a council meeting.
The council suspended Green from committee and multiagency meetings while he was investigated. A report that cost more than $15,000 found six incidents in which Green became visibly angry toward others and sometimes used profanities.
Green apologized and said he has learned his lesson.
"I lost my temper in a council meeting," he said Wednesday. "That was stupid, inappropriate and wrong. I needed to apologize, I did apologize and I learned from that." Other candidates
Matthew Green will face four other candidates seeking Councilwoman Laura Ware's seat: Olympia Planning Commission Chairwoman Amy Tousley, Thurston County Planning Commissioner Craig Ottavelli, restaurant manager Toren Wilder-Valimir and Olympia fleet manager Dave Seavey.
Two candidates have announced they're seeking TJ Johnson's council seat: South Capitol Neighborhood President Jeanne Marie Thomas and Thurston County Planning Commissioner Rhenda Strub.
Running for mayor are Councilman Doug Mah, homeless advocate Meta Hogan and construction worker John Kangas.