The speech that King County Executive Dow Constantine gave at the Rotary Club of West Seattle‘s weekly lunch Tuesday was really two speeches. For the first 11 minutes, it was largely a recap of achievements in his first full term, as he approaches a re-election bid, without a major, campaigning-all-out opponent. For the seven minutes after that, he turned to the disappointment of being left by the Legislature without a means to avoid cuts in Metro service when two temporary funding sources run out next year without – at this point – replacement. Constantine talked about the rise in West Seattle bus ridership “going down the drain because the State Legislature just walked away without doing anything about transportation.” But, he said, a regional coalition will “continue to push (for a transportation-funding solution) because we don’t have an alternative.” A transportation-funding package made it out of the State House before the Legislature’s second special session ended last month, but it hit a dead end in the State Senate.
ROTARY NOTES: The West Seattle club’s new president Len Burton-Hardin (right) is in his first month of presiding, after an installation banquet two weeks ago. In a message to club members, he declared that the theme he has chosen for his year is “Celebrating Us,” in honor of Rotarians’ ongoing community efforts including the holiday-season Children’s Shopping Spree. The club also participated in the recent West Seattle Relay for Life cancer-fighting fundraiser and is gearing up to present another edition of the Kiddie Parade preceding the West Seattle Grand Parade on July 20th (details here).