Saturday, April 24, 2010

Yet Another Ballot

I will confess, I am a goo-goo. That's Chicago-speak for a Good Government type, who believes in transparency and involvement and checks and balances and feedback and keeping an eye on those in charge.

But, sitting here and looking at yet another ballot, I fear I am reaching the end of my tether.

Yes, it is April, and the end of April of all things, and here I am again faced by a ballot? And not for a slew of important candidates and issues, but just one very, very local one - namely, should King County Fire Protection District No. 37 and the City of Kent create a Kent Fire Department Regional Authority funded by a property tax that would replace (and generally reduce) the existing property taxes for the current authorities.

OK, it makes sense - we're merging our chunk of unincorporated King (which is the 37th) with the rest of the City of Kent. It feels like a no-brainer, or the stuff of a panel and an open house rather than a full-fledged ballot line. But, here we are. And if you live in the area, you probably still have your ballot sitting on the kitchen table as well (they are due in Tuesday, to get to it).

Interestingly, there is opposition - depicting the measure as a complicated tax increase strategy that would be (wait for it) bad for business. The pros and cons are to be found here, along with measures in Black Diamond and Skykomish.

The pro forces, though, are serious beyond all belief in passage of this, such that we've received numerous mailers encouraging that you vote "Yes", along with breakdowns of how the numbers should run, which indicate it would be a break for the homeowners and combine two chunks of government into one.

Update: The measure was one of those that had to pass by 20% in order to work (another pet peeve - supervotes that require 60% majorities). It passed with a 27% yes vote, and about 25% of the eligible population voted.

Which pretty much makes sense for me. So I recommend voting Yes on his measure (for the three people who live in Kent AND read this blog). But I have to confess my reaction to this is "You need us to tell you to do this? Really?"

More later,