Election Day, Night Out, and what else is up on your West Seattle Tuesday

August 5, 2014 at 11:22 am | In West Seattle news, WS miscellaneous | 12 Comments

It’s Election Day, Night Out, and more – from the WSB West Seattle Event Calendar:

(WSB photo added at noon: Tisha, Liora, and Benjamin @ West Seattle Stadium ballot van, which had received 100 ballots by 11:30)
ELECTION DAY! Your ballot needs to be in the mail by tonight, postmarked with today’s date, OR turned in at a King County Elections dropbox or ballot-dropoff van by 8 pm. Here’s the list of the latter two options (which do NOT require paying postage, while mailing your ballot DOES) – you’ll find the vans at West Seattle Stadium (off 35th south of Avalon) and Greenbridge (on 8th SW south of Roxbury). If you still need a reason to vote – here’s one – deciding Seattle Proposition 1, a change in the way extra tax money is raised for city parks. That link includes the “ballot title” and basic pro/con statements; the full text of the measure is here. If you’re in White Center or nearby unincorporated North Highline, you have a big ballot measure too, regarding fire district funding. P.S. If your ballot envelope is already “stuck” (ours were), here’s what to do. Tonight’s first and only vote count should be out by 8:15 or so, and we’ll of course report it – the Parks vote here on WSB, the North Highline Fire District vote on partner site White Center Now.

NIGHT OUT! 6-9 pm, it’s block party time, for fun with a purpose – community-building, neighborhood-strengthening, to enhance safety. Preparedness is on many neighborhoods’ agendas, too, as well as crime prevention. Not sure if there’s a party near you? Here are a few notes:

*As previewed here Monday, the Junction Neighborhood Organization invites nearby residents to Junction Plaza Park
*Some local neighborhoods’ events are (voluntarily) map on the Seattle Police website
*For official permission to close your street, you had to have registered with the city before today, BUT if you didn’t, hey, invite the neighbors over to your yard, courtyard, driveway, sidewalk … We’ll be out with live coverage as usual.

Also happening today/tonight:

KALEIDOSCOPE PLAY AND LEARN: Free weekly sessions at High Point Library this month for toddlers/preschoolers 2-5 years old, 1:30-3 pm, details in our calendar listing. (35th/Raymond)

WINE-TASTING CLASS BEGINS: 6 pm at South Seattle College (WSB sponsor); details in our calendar listing. (6000 16th SW)

CANNING-CLASS SERIES BEGINS: 6:30 pm at the West Seattle Tool Library – details in our calendar listing. (4408 Delridge Way SW)

LOTS OF LIVE MUSIC! See the individual venues’ listings on our calendar.

12 Comments

  1. Do you remember when Seattle Parks tried to sneak zip lines into Lincoln Park? Ask yourselves if you want Seattle Parks to have more authority to spend your money however they want. Speaking for myself, I don’t trust their judgement.

    Comment by Lincoln Park — 12:58 pm August 5, 2014 #

  2. Actually, the parks district board will be comprised solely and entirely of city council members. Forget not trusting them as far as I could throw them. I wouldn’t trust city council if they were a hair’s breadth away from me.

    Comment by Nora — 2:23 pm August 5, 2014 #

  3. 2nd both comments.

    Comment by Rick — 2:56 pm August 5, 2014 #

  4. You’re against Proposition 1 because of zip lines? That’s fine but it seems to overlook the big picture. My beef about the anti vote is the signs that claim “Taxation without representation.” That is flat-out not true; as Nora pointed out City Council will responsible and its members can be turfed out by the public. It will be interesting to see if the new geography-based scheme for electing the Council alters the perceived trustworthiness and/or accountability of its members.
    .
    As an aside, the reason I am vehemently in favor of Proposition 1 is that levies are no way to run a going concern like parks or schools. We have a great Parks & Recreation system in Seattle and we need to support it.

    Comment by jwright — 3:48 pm August 5, 2014 #

  5. Jwright,
    .
    Technically true but functionally bankrupt. Less than one percent (a wag, but one I feel pretty comfortable with) of the city follows Council votes. The promise of oversight is a canard.
    .
    I agree that levies are not an ideal funding mechanism for Parks. A balanced and reasonable budget is an ideal funding mechanism. There’s almost a billion dollars in the general fund. I’d really like to see some efficiency gains before I write this never ending and irrevocable revenue source into law.

    Comment by McBride — 4:48 pm August 5, 2014 #

  6. Forget about Prop 1. Go GoodSpaceGuy!

    Comment by Marty — 5:37 pm August 5, 2014 #

  7. GoodSpaceGuy, never say die!!!!!

    Comment by Cycleman — 8:58 pm August 5, 2014 #

  8. “efficiency gains” All they gotta do is Google it.

    Comment by Rick — 9:31 pm August 5, 2014 #

  9. Jwright,

    The biggest problem I have with Prop 1 is that there is no independent oversight. My understanding is that this gives City Council carte blanche to raise property taxes by up to $0.75 per $1000 assessed value for anything they deem to be parks related.

    I don’t know if parks funding is currently commingled in the general fund or if the levies currently in place are separated and designated specifically for parks, but regardless of whether or not this passes (though it presently looks like it will) and of how the current system works, I would like to see City Council turn first toward the general fund for parks funding and then seek levies or go to the parks district for additional funding as necessary.

    I love parks, I will vote yes on park levies all day long. I just don’t think that the parks district legislation was thoroughly thought through and the language may be too weak to prevent abuse.

    Comment by Nora — 9:36 pm August 5, 2014 #

  10. McBride, I share your skepticism that the electorate is not particularly well-versed on Council business. However I also think the electorate is pretty ignorant when it comes to other issues (like levy votes), too. So with that in mind, I do not think oversight in the form of the general electorate voting on levies is any more robust than oversight in the form of the Council.
    .
    I do also cringe when I hear the “eliminate waste” and “efficiency gains” arguments. In any human endeavor there are going to be opportunities to be more streamline. As a large bureaucracy, government is going to have its share of issues (just as Boeing or Microsoft or any other big company would). Having everything grind to a halt while every inefficiency real and imagined is rooted out is, well, inefficient. The optimist in me hopes that government is working continuously to get more efficient.

    Comment by jwright — 10:41 pm August 5, 2014 #

  11. Sorry to make you cringe. In our polarized political climate, suggesting greater accountability has become a casualty of the discussion. But this vote was never about parks. It was about removing 75% of the Parks budget from the general fund and freeing up those monies for other pursuits. Perhaps a necessary consideration, as we are at the levy cap and have functionally spent ourselves broke. Maybe it’ll work out. But sometimes throwing money at a problem isn’t the best course.
    .
    In all seriousness, thanks for voting.

    Comment by McBride — 12:56 am August 6, 2014 #

  12. D’oh, just wanted to clarify one thing. I absolutely believe that seeking efficiency gains and eliminating waste is important.
    .
    What makes me cringe is when a political candidate campaigns on the “eliminating waste” platform. As in when they get elected, they are going to eliminate waste and everything will be hunky dory. Like they were the only person to think to root out inefficiency. No spending cuts, not tax increases, no tough choices; eliminating waste is the answer to all of our problems. If only it was that easy!
    .
    The gist of my thought is that looking for efficiency gains and eliminating waste is something government should be doing continuously and should not wait for an explicit initiative.

    Comment by jwright — 10:04 am August 6, 2014 #

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