Monday, October 11, 2004

Electoral Storm - County Measures

I talked about the state-wide initiatives in an earlier message, but in addition, there are a handful of local measures as well that are coming up on the November Ballots. Here's a quick run-down:

King County Charter Amendments 1A and 1B are about reducing the King County Council from 13 members to 9. (We're in the 9th District, King County Council, under Steve Hammond. He's one of the few people not running for re-election this round - that's why you haven't heard about him recently). The reduction is both a cost-reduction effort and an attempt to make things smoother, though the danger exists of reducing minority and rural voter influence through the measure. The only difference between the Amendments is to redistrict by the end of this year for the election of council members in 2005 (that's 1A) or redistrict by the end of 2006 for the 2007 elections (that's 1B). Given that redistricting is such a calm, cerebral refined process nowadays, I'd go for 1B. 1A sounds like we've got a deadline we're not going to hit. Add to the fact that initiative maven Tim Eyeman supports 1A, and 1B sounds even better.

Speaking of Tim Eyeman, the spawn of his initiative-moving womb is haunting us with King county Advisory Measures 1 and 2. Under an earlier- Eyeman-sponsored initiative, no new taxes go into effect unless approved by the people. Well, this breaks down into Measure 1 - which is the county asking if they can fund a traportation plan to ease congestion, and Measure 2, which asks how we want to pay for it. Even though traffic remains a big problem, I think most folk are going to shy away from biting the bullet.

Not that any bullet so bitten cannot be unbitten, these days. Witness Initiative 83, the Monorail initiative. Despite having supported monorail initiatives three times, the anti-monorail forces are pushing a "but are you SURE?" vote. I support the monorail (probably a result of watching Pittsburgh's Skybus project go down in legal flames, and, more importantly, seeing the value of Pittsburgh's eventual similar-but-different Light Rail System), and hope this one goes away (not that it won't stop future challenges). If we can flip-flop on the Monorail, we can flip-flop on any developmental decision, and that's no way to build an infrastructure.

More later,