Clear Fog Blog

Political musings from Warren E. Peterson

Some Election Suggestions

Posted by Warren Peterson on October 24, 2008

King County Charter Amendments:

#1 – Elected Elections Director – This is in response to the King County elections scandal of 2004 when votes for Gregoire kept appearing until she had enough to declare victory. In the long run, it solves nothing. In a Democrat or Republican controlled county, the election of a partisan as elections director is as much or more likely than an executive appointed council approved director. VOTE NO.

#2 – Prohibiting Discrimination – Who can be against banning discrimination by King County against homosexuals or the disabled? Ask the Boy Scouts who would not be allowed to rent or use county facilities because they don’t let gay men be scout leaders. Some way to allow exceptions to the rule is needed. VOTE NO.

#3 – Regional Committees – VOTE YES.

#4 – Additional Qualifications for Elected Officials. – Now get this, before someone could run for sheriff, assessor or elections director (see #1), they’d have to meet qualifications set by the County Council. Surely they jest. What an opportunity for political mischief. VOTE NO.

#5 – Establishing Forecast Council and Office of Economic and Financial Analysis – A country economist, if truly independent, would be useful for planning and budgeting. Hopefully, the office could support other local governments. VOTE YES.

#6 – Budget Deadlines – VOTE YES.

#7 – Charter Amendment by Citizen Initiative – This would make it more difficult for voters to change the county charter by initiative. Power to the People. VOTE NO.

#8 Non Partisan Elections – This would make the County Council, County Executive and Assessor non-partisan offices. The Seattle mayor and council are non-partisan, right? Sure they are. Deleting political parties does not guarantee good government but it does remove one more bit of information voters can use to judge candidates. Information that may indicate the most likely candidate view point on issues like land use, business climate, government programs, taxes and spending. VOTE NO.

Sound Transit Proposition 1 to expand mass transit – This puts us close to a 10% sales tax and spends billions (they say $17.9B) primarily to push light rail across I-90 to the East side, north to Northgate and south from Sea-Tac to Redondo/Star Lake. The list of reasons to vote no is too long to list but let’s see how well the current light rail works before we plunge into another light rail gamble. VOTE NO.

City of Seattle

Proposition 1 – Pike Place Market and
Proposition 2 – Six Year Property Tax for Parks

This is not the climate for raising property taxes. Try taking a hard look at the city budget to see how much is allocated to basic services such as fire, police, streets, parks and libraries before yielding to the all too common practice of using special levies for the popular programs while spending freely on items extraneous to the core mission of the city. VOTE NO.

State of Washington

Initiative Measure 985 proposes several measures designed to increase traffic flow such as use of HOV lanes in non rush hour times, synchronization of traffic lights and dedication of certain traffic related income to traffic flow purposes. There is just too much handcuffing detail in this measure. It is planning by initiative, which rarely works well. VOTE NO.

Initiative Measure 1000 is death with dignity or assisted suicide similar to the Oregon law. Today one can get hospice care, decline artificial means or heroic efforts to keep one alive, receive pain-killing drugs and refuse treatment. Adding suicide is too far down the slippery slope. VOTE NO.

Initiate Measure 1029 Certification of long-term care workers. Sounds good but raises serious concerns for family member care givers. The Legislature should work on this one. VOTE NO.

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