King County Councilmember Larry Phillips recently sent out the following e-mail:
King County Parks Levy on August Ballot
I am pleased to announce that today the Metropolitan King County Council approved sending to the voters—on the August 2013 ballot—a six-year property tax levy lid lift proposal to raise revenue for the maintenance and operations of the County’s regional park system, as well as funding for local city parks and the Woodland Park Zoo. If approved by voters, the proposed levy would replace two voter approved measures set to expire at the end of 2013.
The King County Parks system has evolved from 150 acres in 1938 to more than 26,000 acres today, including regional county parks and trails such as Marymoor Park, Cougar Mountain Regional Wildland Park, the Weyerhaeuser King County Aquatic Center and the Sammamish River Trail.
The adopted legislation sends to voters a six-year property tax levy lid lift of 18.77 cents per $1,000 of assessed value – an estimated $56 per year for the owner of a home valued at $300,000. If approved by voters, the proceeds from the levy would go toward funding the maintenance and operation of King County’s 200 parks, 175 miles of regional trails, and 26,000 acres of open space. Levy funds would also be used to expand the regional trails system – including developing the Lake to Sound Trail – and to expand the Community Partnership and Grant program, as well as to support local city parks and the Woodland Park Zoo.
The levy proposal is consistent with King County’s practice to end the use of county General Fund monies on regional parks, trails and open spaces, and on local facilities in the rural unincorporated areas, so the primary source of funding for the parks system is the voter-approved levy. King County also continues its regional business plan for parks with support from non-profit, corporate and community partners.
The beauty of King County and our great natural resources are only surpassed by the energy and creativity of the people who live here, and the community support for our parks system is the perfect example of this fact. Voters will decide in August whether to continue supporting a parks levy that provides funding to operate and maintain parks like Marymoor and Cougar Mountain, and to expand the regional trail system.
Thank you for the opportunity to share this important news with you.
Larry Phillips, Councilmember
Metropolitan King County Council, District Four
King County Courthouse
516 Third Avenue, Room 1200
Seattle, WA 98104-3272
Here is the link to King County Elections to see a map and locations where your ballot can be dropped off today, Election Day, Nov 3, 2009 up until 8 PM.
Here are the King County locations:
•Auburn Library, 1102 Auburn Way S., Auburn, 98002
•Library Connection @ Crossroads, 15600 NE 8th St., outside of Suite K-11, 98008
•Black Diamond Library, 24707 Roberts Dr., 98010
•Covington Library, 27100 164th Ave SE, 98042
•Des Moines Library, 21620 11th Avenue S., 98198
•Earlington Business Center, 919 SW Grady Way, 98057
•Fall City Library, 33415 SE 42 Pl., 98024
•Federal Way Library, 848 S 320th St, 98003
•Kent Regional Library, 212 2nd Ave N, 98032
•Lake Forest Park Library, 17171 Bothell Way NE, 98155 near the lower level mall entrance
•Seattle, King County Administration Building, 500 Fourth Ave., 98104
•Seattle, White Center Library, 11220 16th S.W., Seattle, 98146
•Tukwila, King County Elections Headquarters, 9010 East Marginal Way S, 98108
•Woodinville Library, 17105 Avondale Rd NE, 98072
also these Seattle Neighborhood Service Center locations
•Ballard, 5604 22nd Ave NW, 98107
•Central, 2301 S Jackson, 98144
•Delridge, 5405 Delridge Way SW, 98106
•Lake City, 12525 28th Ave NE, 98125
•Southeast, 3815 S Othello St, 98118
•University, 4534 University Way NE, 98105
Five King County Council races are up for election this year. Officially filing for these seats is June 1 through June 5, 2009. That is only a month away. And so far according to the Washington State Public Disclosure Commission, the only candidates who have filed with the PDC and who are raising money are the 5 incumbents.
The incumbents are:
Position #1 Bob Ferguson
Position #3 Kathy Lambert
Position #5 Julia Patterson
Position #7 Pete von Reichbauer
Position #9 Reagan Dunn
The current composition of the King County County is 5 Democrats and 4 Republicans. Sure, voters last year passed the Republican sponsored measure to make the seats nonpartisan but that doesn’t change the political stripes of the candidates. All that did was make it harder for voters to know what candidates really stood for. Republicans pushed for the change to make it easier for them to fool voters as to their political allegiances.
Of the incumbents running this year, Bob Ferguson and Julia Patterson are Democrats. Kathy Lambert, Pete von Reichbauer and Reagan Dunn are Republican.
Of the remaining King County Councilmembers not up for election this year, Dow Constantine, Larry Phillips and Larry Gossett are Democrats. Jane Hague is a Republican.
Both Phillips and Constantine are running for King County Executive to fill the seat being vacated by Ron Sims who is going to serve in the Obama Administration as the Deputy Secretary of the US Department of Housing and Human Services. Also running for County Executive are Democrats Ross Hunter and Fred Jarrett. Susan Hutchison is representing the hopes of the Republicans and was a supporter of Mike Huckabee for President last year.
Anyone wanting to run for King County Council this year and challenge the incumbents will have some catching up to do in fundraising. The incumbents are not sitting by doing nothing. Here are the figures for their contributions received followed by their expenditures to date.
Bob Ferguson $76,766 …$51,895
Kathy Lambert $49,458 …$15,875
Julia Patterson $86,825 …$16,803
Pete von Reichbauer $146,210 …$21,135
Reagan Dunn $229,810 …$126,970
Democrats are missing an opportunity to challenge the incumbent Republican candidates by not fielding opposition candidates. You can’t increase the number of Democrats on the King County Council if you don’t challenge the Republicans. Based on the past votes for Democratic Presidential candidates in King County, certainly one of these Republican occupied seats could flip Democratic if a real challenger emerged .
Two years ago Democrats missed an opportunity to pick off a Republican when they didn’t file a candidate to challenge Republican Jane Hague who was arrested on a DUI. It looks like once again 3 Republican King County Councilmembers will go unchallenged.
The Primary this year is August 18, 2009. The General Election is November 3, 2009.
Jason Osgood, the recent Democratic candidate for Washington Secretary of State has tossed his hat in the ring to become King County’s first elected Director of Elections. Jason Osgood joins a growing list of potential candidates for the new county office approved by voters in the November 4, 2008 election.
The nonpartisan office was created by voters in the General Election when they voted to approve King County Charter Amendment 1 by a 56.25% yes vote. The first election to fill the office will be held on February 3rd. Filing for the office will occur from Dec 10th -12th. There will be no primary vote. Whoever gets the most votes wins.
Jason Osgood, speaking at the 46th District Democrats meeting on Thursday night announced to the group that he is running for the office.
Osgood in his race against Sam Reed for Secretary of State received 47.8% of the King County vote – some 390,934 votes. This gives him a good base to start form and name familiarity in the race. He has also been thoroughly vetted on election issues as a result of running for Secretary of State.
The Seattle Times reports that at least 7 other people besides Jason Osgood have expressed an interest in running. They run the range of the political spectrum political – including some far right candidates whose divisive politics hardly seem a good fit for what is supposed to be a nonpartisan office. People whose names were mentioned in the Seattle Times include:
“Chris Clifford, a local-government watchdog who is leading an effort to recall Seattle Port Commissioner Pat Davis, this week became the first announced candidate for elections director. …Among those thinking about running are veteran politicians state Sen. Pam Roach, R-Auburn; former King County Councilmember David Irons; and Seattle Port Commissioner Lloyd Hara….Other potential candidates are:
• County Council Chief of Staff Ross Baker, who says he has gone “two-thirds of the way” toward deciding to enter the race;
• Joe Fain, chief of staff to County Councilmember Pete von Reichbauer, and chair of the successful campaign to make elections of the council, executive and assessor nonpartisan;
• Anthony Hemstad, a management consultant, Valley Medical Center commissioner and former Maple Valley city manager.
With so little time for candidates to raise money and campaign, Nixon said it will be difficult for political newcomers to take on experienced politicians whose names are familiar to voters.”
Osgood just having been before the voters and running on election issues should be able to get a good start over the other candidates, especially those who ave never run for office before or that never ran county wide or those that are not mainstream candidates.
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