Saturday, January 30, 2010

Local Politics

It is election time again, and if you're in King County, you've received your ballot and Voter's Guide.

What, so soon? Didn't we just have an election four months ago?

Yeah, but democracy never sleeps, and thanks to the arcane nature of how we do things out here, you're being asked to vote on a lot of small but important issues. In the case of up here in the Panther Lake area, we're being asked to replace expiring School Programs and Operations Levies (that would be Props 1 and 2 on our ballots, but they may vary for you).

I recommend voting Yes on the levy rates, for this and for similar measures, but I will add a whining complaint. We get the "choice" of properly funding our schools through ballot measures, but don't seem to get that choice when it comes to other bits of budgetary madness - I mean, when were you asked about giving the local officials a raise or tax subsidies for businesses? No, but whether your kids' classrooms get globes that don't identify Vietnam as "French Indochina", THAT you get to vote on.

It's sort of like a breed of environmentalism that endorses the idea that we only save the CUTE animals.

The other major measure for our neck of the woods is King Country Rural Library District Proposition No. 1, which, in a similar vein, is seeking to head off additional closures and cutbacks by restoring funding curtailed by I-747. Again, I am supportive of the Yes vote, with the note that this is what you end up with when you try to enforce budgetary discipline by ballot initiative. Sacnoth has more and better commentary on this issue this time out, and since the District is apparently huge, you should give it a read.

There is one element that I'm not voting on, but which is library related. There is a proposition regarding Renton Library joining the King County Library system. There may thrust of this is economic - The library doesn't have enough money, so it can join a larger group that also doesn't have enough money. A better and more cogent discussion of the entire matter can be found at Renton councilman Randy Corman's blog. I don't have a dog in this fight, and do not feel sufficiently knowledgeable to make a call either way, but if this is on your ballot, Corman's site is a good place to start.

And remind me, do we get to vote the next time we decide to start dropping bombs on people?

More later,