SEATTLE -- It was supposed to be a showdown in City Hall Wednesday between the head of Seattle City Light and his loudest critic on the Seattle City Council.

The scene was set for a fiery debate. Seattle City Light CEO Jorge Carrasco emerged from the meeting with an optimistic and politically correct assessment.

It s a great way to invite the public ask questions and address any concerns regarding the recent incidents that have been reported, said Carrasco.

The public was more in the mood for expressing concerns than asking questions.

As long as Mr. Carrasco is the head of Seattle City Light, I would say we are not safe in our town, said one person in the audience.

Carrasco has heard the words of the angry public many times since news broke on his first denying then admitting a request for a major pay raise. But he hadn t heard yet directly from his biggest critic on the council: Kshama Sawant.

When you were lobbying the government for a raise for yourself, how do you feel about it? said Sawant.

I feel it was a mistake and I ve said so publicly a number of times, said Carrasco.

More grilling from Sawant came on his use of a PR firm to shine up his utility s image and other issues.

We clearly used a firm that did not produce the results and service we were after. Would I do that again, no, he said.

Carrasco s quiet, conciliatory tone diffused any expectations of an electrifying encounter between the two Wednesday. The meeting ended with both sides thanking each other for the chance to explain their concerns.

Carrasco said his performance should be judged on the last decade of progress at Seattle City Light instead of two or three recent stories in the media.

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