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8/16/2011 – Official Primary and Special Election – Seattle, King County, Washington

Finally, a short ballot! But still, an important one. Please, if you do nothing else, please vote REJECTED on Seattle Referendum 1. Let's do whatever we can to stop the insane tunneling project.

  • King County Proposition No. 1 - Veterans and Human Services Levy - Approved

  • Count of Appeals, Division No. 1, District No. 1, Judge Position No. 2 - Michael Spearman

  • City of Seattle Council Position No. 1 - Michael Taylor-Judd

  • City of Seattle Council Position No. 9 - Dian Ferguson

  • City of Seattle Referendum 1 - REJECTED

  • Seattle School District No. 1 Direction District No. 3 - John Dunn

King County Proposition No. 1 - Veterans and Human Services Levy - Approved

This continues an existing property assessment used to fund services for veterans and other populations that share their needs. I haven't been able to find good material on just how well this money is used but given the statistics around the problems that veterans, above and beyond the general population, face, I'm willing to vote for this.

Count of Appeals, Division No. 1, District No. 1, Judge Position No. 2 - Michael Spearman

Since he is the only one running, he wins.

City of Seattle Council Position No. 1 - Michael Taylor-Judd

Michael Taylor-Judd - Is against the tunnel (yes!) and generally says nice warm fuzzy things. He wants to bring back the families & education levy and supports parks and libraries. He also wants to support more low income housing and planning that makes it possible for people who aren't filthy rich to live in Seattle. I suspect that his muni league rating of 'adequate' is deserved. He hasn't proven his ability to deliver in any other position. But at least he speaks clearly and most of what he says I agree with so I'll go with him.

Maurice Classen - A former prosecutor who wants to bring us more law and order. Because, hey, with more people in prison both per capita and in total than anywhere else in the world what we need is more law and order. Next.

Jean Godden - She is a strong supporter of the billion dollar monster known as the tunnel. Given Michael Taylor-Judd's in the race I can say - Next.

Bobby Forch - Nothing about the tunnel and his 'on the issues' link is basically content free. Next.

City of Seattle Council Position No. 9 - Dian Ferguson

Fathi Karshie - His candidate statement says nothing about what he is going to do. His website is equally content free without so much as an on the issues link. Next.

Sally J. Clark - I like the Bank On Seattle/King County project to bring fairly priced banking services to poor people. And her community planning work also appeals to me. But nothing about the tunnel. Now, I admit the Tunnel is not the be all/end all of existence but it is one of the biggest expenditures facing the city and I think anyone running for city council needs to have a clearly stated position on the issue. According to the Stranger, however, she supports it. Unfortunately there is no equivalent to Michael Taylor-Judd in this race so I can't just say next. So I looked more and I see someone who seems to mostly be focused on buildings rather than people. Our schools are in trouble. Our city services are in trouble. But I don't see much from Ms. Clark on how she would address any of this.

Dian Ferguson - Her candidate statement says more about what she doesn't believe in than what she does. Her website was more useful. She now supports the tunnel. No she doesn't like it but feels its a done deal. Personally I'm not willing to buy that. But still, I read the rest of her issues page and really there isn't much there. Although I do like her saying that Yesler Terrace low income housing does need to be replaced and in a single location. I listened to some of the videos where she calls out issues (expense of living in the city, school issues, etc.) but doesn't really offer anything in the way of concrete solutions. She isn't saying what I want to hear (neither is Clark) but at least she seems to have the energy to perhaps make a difference. I'll just have to blindly hope it's a good one.

City of Seattle Referendum 1 - REJECTED

In order for the Alaska Way tunnel disaster (no bias there, ehh?) to proceed the city has to issue certain notices which will then trigger state and federal processes. To make this possible the city passed an ordinance which gives it the right to issue these notices by a council decision. A petition was held to put the ordinance on the ballot. The courts decided that only one section of the ordinance, the one that gives the city the right to issue the notices, could be put on the ballot. So that's what is being voted on.

A rejection means that the city can't just issue the notices. Instead they will have to pass a new ordinance which will empower them to issue the notices. But by issuing a new ordinance it's possible that the ordinance could be rejected (unlikely) or put to referendum (a possibility).

An approval of this ordinance will give the city the ability to issue the necessary notices and we will be stuck with this multi-billion dollar boondoggle. A city that can't keep its class sizes down, can't keep its libraries open, barely can keep its road passable and is cutting social services left and right has no business building this nightmare of tolls, taxes and congestion. We need other options, it's time to kill this kick back vehicle for construction interests and look at real options that can meet the city's need without saddling its citizens with yet more taxes, especially since any cost overruns, and on a project like this 100% cost overruns are nothing special, will be billed by the state to the city of Seattle.

Seattle School District No. 1 Director District No. 3 - John Dunn

John Dunn - Other than saying that there should be an external auditor for the school system's finances (a no brainer given recent history) his candidate statement and website saying essentially nothing. I did manage to get some insight into his beliefs from a questionnaire available here. But even the data in that link doesn't make it clear where he would really take things in the district. Then again, none of the candidates really seemed to say much about anything. At least Mr. Dunn has a ton of experience as a teacher and former head of the teacher's union. Not usually my favorite recommendation but given the other candidates he gets my vote.

David Blomstrom - Hum... I would suggest reading his candidate statement for the entertainment value alone. But in the end his ranting and raving never really addresses if he would be a good candidate for the school board. Next.

Harium Martin-Morris - Just a note, candidate statements in the third person sound really stilted. He makes a couple of good claims about rejecting bad board policies but of course the policies went ahead anyway which I suppose says something about his effectiveness. Still, it's good to say no. I checked out his website but I couldn't find anything substantive in terms of what he wants to actually do. Mr. Dunn seems more qualified.

Michelle Buetow - In her candidate statement she wants lots of programs, but says nothing about how she will pay for any of them given the Seattle School District's finances. And unlike the other candidates who at least in their candidate statements honored the nonpartisan nature of this office, Ms. Buetow decided to plaster her entry with a bunch of Democratic Party supporters. Next.

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