2:40 AM: As previewed here Monday, this week’s Wednesday night trivia at Talarico’s in The Junction featured a special guest team – some of the present-and-past City Council District 1 candidates. Trivia host Phillip Tavel – in the race himself – came up with the idea. (L-R above, that’s Tavel with Brianna Thomas, Karl Wirsing, Shannon Braddock, Tom Koch, and Chas Redmond.) Another team of community leaders jumped into the fray:
They had just walked over from the monthly Southwest District Council meeting up the street at the Senior Center (we know because we covered it – report to come later today) – from left, SWDC co-president David Whiting of the Admiral Neighborhood Association, district coordinator Kerry Wade from the Department of Neighborhoods, Cindi Barker from the Morgan Community Association, SWDC co-president Eric Iwamoto of the Westwood-Roxhill-Arbor Heights Community Council, and Susan Melrose of the West Seattle Junction Association.
But no, it wasn’t WS community trivia, at least not in the early going when we stopped by for photos. And we don’t yet have the results (checking; will add when we get them!).
Speaking of results – just two weeks until you’ll get to make your choice from among the full field of nine D-1 hopefuls … the top two advance to the November election. At least two more forums are set before then – 2 pm Saturday, July 11th, on the GreenLife Stage at West Seattle Summer Fest, and 5:30 pm Wednesday, July 15th, at South Seattle College (WSB sponsor)’s Brockey Center.
ADDED THURSDAY MORNING, 10:15 AM: The trivia results, courtesy of host Tavel:
*The candidates’ team, “The Primary Is August 4th,” placed 6th with 33 points
*The SW District Council team, “The Dark Horses,” placed 2nd with 36 1/2 points
*The night’s winners were “Jane Austen’s Super-Excellent Butt-Kicking Trivia Masters,” with 38
Sound Transit light rail for West Seattle? Next steps for ‘ST3′ – including one you can take right nowJuly 1, 2015 at 9:51 pm | In Transportation, West Seattle news, West Seattle politics | 43 Comments
Will West Seattle get light rail if Sound Transit‘s next ballot measure passes? That’s not certain yet but the ballot measure itself is closer to reality because of the transportation package that finally made its way through the Legislature. In an announcement today, ST leaders including board chair King County Executive Dow Constantine said they’re proceeding with the measure known as ST3 for short, because legislators gave them the full potential funding authority they were seeking. That’s described in the announcement as:
*Property tax of up to 25 cents for each $1,000 of assessed valuation ($75 annually for a $300,000 house). …
*Sales tax of up to an additional 0.5 percent ($.50 on a $100 purchase).
*Motor vehicle excise tax (MVET) of up to 0.8 percent of vehicle value ($80 annually on a $10,000 vehicle).
Again, that’s just the taxing authority that Sound Transit will be given. The Legislature’s decision itself does not guarantee you’ll be taxed that way – it’s up to ST to ask voters and get their approval. The ST announcement says “ST3″ will take shape over the next year. If you want to speak up for West Seattle light rail or anything else in particular and have not yet taken the ST survey – go here to do it now – it’s only live for another week. Same survey we mentioned a month ago, so if you took it then, you’re covered.
(Back in Olympia, the transportation package itself still has a few more hurdles to clear, according to the Associated Press’s report from Olympia, and its own inherent costs – unrelated to the Sound Transit component – are calling for a gas-tax increase.)
(WSB photo from May 18th Fauntleroy forum: L to R – Phillip Tavel, Shannon Braddock, Jody Rushmer, Brianna Thomas, Karl Wirsing, Chas Redmond, Arturo Robles, Pavel Goberman, Lisa Herbold)
If you’re looking forward to voting in the primary for the first-ever City Council District 1 (West Seattle/South Park) election – you’ll be able to do that (as well as voting on at-large Positions 8 and 9, School Board Position 6, Port Commission Positions 2 and 5, and County Elections Director) starting in a little over two weeks: King County Elections says it’s sending out the August 4th ballots two weeks from today. But you can’t vote if you’re not registered, and the deadline for getting that done is a lot sooner – July 6th, if you want to do it the easy way, registering (or updating your info) online or by postal mail. If you need to register, start here. If you want to be sure your address is correct in county records, so you get that ballot they’ll be sending, go here – that’s also where you can go right now to create your customized sample ballot, to see the races and follow candidates’ infolinks.
P.S. If you miss this deadline, you can register in person up until July 27th, but don’t procrastinate and set yourself up for the hassle – get it done now.
‘Move Seattle’ transportation levy: After City Council sent it to the ballot, 4-month campaign beginsJune 30, 2015 at 10:21 am | In Transportation, West Seattle news, West Seattle politics | 61 Comments
Now that the City Council has taken final action to send the “Move Seattle” transportation levy to the November 3rd ballot – you’re going to hear a lot about it over the next four months. We noticed early today that SDOT has a new round of infosheets. The one below, for example, incorporates changes made by the City Council, including the revised categories for investments – “congestion relief” is now a focus – and added language, such as the “West Seattle ingress and egress planning” that Councilmember Tom Rasmussen pushed to add:
Breakouts by City Council district are now posted – though they’re still relatively short on specifics. Here’s the one for District 1 (West Seattle and South Park):
Again, the funding for Move Seattle – $930 million in property taxes – did not change before the final vote. And if you want to see the discussion before that vote, the Seattle Channel‘s archived video of yesterday afternoon’s meeting is up:
More background about the levy is on its city webpage.
Special event this Wednesday night at Talarico’s in The Junction – the regular weekly trivia night, long hosted by Phillip Tavel – who happens to be a candidate for City Council District 1 – features seven of his current and former fellow candidates, comprising one of the competing teams. Tavel says those who accepted the invite are ex-candidates Tom Koch and Dave Montoure plus current candidates Karl Wirsing, Brianna Thomas, Jody Rushmer, Chas Redmond, and Shannon Braddock. If they win, their prize and his pay get donated to a local nonprofit. You’re invited, 8:30 pm Wednesday at 4718 California SW.
From the agenda for next Monday’s City Council meeting, that’s a revised summary of what the proposed $930 million Move Seattle transportation levy would go toward – mostly in generalities, though the Fauntleroy Boulevard project is mentioned by name. The full council votes Monday on whether to send it to the November ballot, after its committee approval this week (including rejection of a suggestion to mix up the funding – which will remain 100 percent property tax). Meantime, the West Seattle Transportation Coalition is wondering what YOU think of the levy, and launched a two-question survey today to find out. Go here to take it.
Goodbye, Department of Planning and Development; hello, Office of Planning and Community DevelopmentJune 23, 2015 at 12:48 pm | In Development, West Seattle news, West Seattle politics | 20 Comments
Mayor Murray is breaking up the Department of Planning and Development, and longtime director Diane Sugimura is retiring. Those are the bottom lines from an announcement this morning at City Hall. The mayor is creating a new city department, the Office of Planning and Community Development, that is supposed to have the big picture in terms of planning – not just construction/development but also transportation, among other things – and dismantling DPD, whose other functions such as permitting will be handled by a department to be named later. Read the full announcement ahead:
VIDEO: ‘Delridge, all the way!’ Neighborhood-focused forum for Seattle City Council District 1, feedback clickers & allJune 18, 2015 at 12:57 pm | In Delridge, West Seattle news, West Seattle politics | 5 Comments
— West Seattle Blog (@westseattleblog) June 18, 2015
By Tracy Record
West Seattle Blog editor
Last night’s Seattle City Council District 1 candidate forum at Youngstown Cultural Arts Center was a first even in this election year of many firsts – first one with audience-feedback clickers, first one specifically and pointedly insisting that candidates explain how they would outline and take action on particular priorities for Delridge, aka eastern West Seattle.
The forum was organized by, and held in the regular monthly meeting slot for, the Delridge Neighborhoods District Council, whose chair Mat McBride energetically emceed it over the course of almost two hours at Youngstown Cultural Arts Center.
There to answer the questions and goodnaturedly endure the feedback were seven of the nine D-1 candidates you’ll see on your August 4th ballot – left to right across the stage, Phillip Tavel, Shannon Braddock, Arturo Robles, Lisa Herbold, Jody Rushmer, Karl Wirsing, Chas Redmond. McBride explained that Brianna Thomas had RSVPd to participate as well but had to cancel at the last minute because of a family-health emergency.
Each person in attendance was offered a clicker-type device to be used after each candidate’s reply to a question, with four options for rating the reply, with the results then shown on the big screen behind the candidates. Here’s what the clicker (borrowed from the city Department of Neighborhoods, which uses them at certain types of meetings, according to district coordinator Kerry Wade) looked like:
Each of the seven participating candidates had randomly drawn a specific Delridge-priority question to answer in the first round, then got to choose which one of the priorities to address in round two, and finally, it was “talk about whatever you want” for round three. Our first clip has the introduction to the event plus the first round:
Ahead, highlights of the replies from our as-it-happened notes, plus video of the second and third rounds:
Click to read the rest of VIDEO: ‘Delridge, all the way!’ Neighborhood-focused forum for Seattle City Council District 1, feedback clickers & all…
City Council District 1 campaign: Wednesday forum with ‘feedback tool’ & food truck; video from Monday’s Pigeon Point eventJune 14, 2015 at 9:53 am | In West Seattle news, West Seattle politics | 4 Comments
Voting in the first-ever Seattle City Council District 1 primary is sooner than you think. Ballots you’ll use to help narrow the field of nine candidates to two finalists will arrive in about five weeks. So it’s down to decision time, if you haven’t made your choice yet.
NEXT WEDNESDAY: 7-9 pm Wednesday (June 17th) at Youngstown Cultural Arts Center, your next chance to see the D-1 candidates side by side will be presented by the Delridge Neighborhoods District Council. DNDC chair Mat McBride promises some format change-ups: “The audience will be equipped with a feedback/voting tool, and reactions to candidate statements will be displayed on screen.” Also – come early for dinner; Indian-food truck Spice on Curve will be at Youngstown. (4408 Delridge Way SW)
WHAT YOU MISSED LAST MONDAY: The Pigeon Point Neighborhood Council‘s candidate forum in the Pathfinder K-8 cafeteria used the “candi-dating” format – after introductions at the front of the room, the candidates circulated between tables. Seven of the nine candidates participated (Arturo Robles, Brianna Thomas, Chas Redmond, Jody Rushmer, Karl Wirsing, Lisa Herbold, Phillip Tavel – organizers said Pavel Goberman declined the invitation and Shannon Braddock was ill) and each table got to talk with five of them before time ran out. Since we’ve been videotaping all the D-1 forums, we had to do this one too; the format was a challenge for that, so our cameraperson picked a random table at which to record the turns. Challenging acoustics, but here’s the result:
Then we recorded the candidates answering one final question at the front of the room – they were asked what they specifically would do for Pigeon Point if elected, but the answers turned out to speak more to West Seattle-wide issues:
We also sat in at a second table without video. The questions varied from candidate to candidate, so no comparison is possible, but the questions asked by those at the table involved White Center annexation (we put that question to all candidates earlier this month), rent control and housing affordability, workers’ rights, education, transportation, weed control, and crime.
FINAL FORUM? In addition to the June 17th event mentioned at the start of this story, the West Seattle Chamber of Commerce also has finalized the plan for what might be the final forum before the primary – July 15th at the Brockey Center on the South Seattle College (WSB sponsor) campus. It’ll start with a 5:30 pm meet-and-greet, then 6 pm opening statements, followed by table-to-table “candi-dating,” and a closing statement. This will be open to all, members and non-members, no admission charge. (6000 16th SW)
As the City Council gets deeper into shaping the “Move Seattle” transportation levy proposed for the November ballot, the West Seattle Transportation Coalition has just announced its official statement on what it wants to see in the levy:
West Seattle has been working to resolve its transportation challenges for 125 years. We initiated Puget Sound’s first ferry service in 1888 and we built America’s first municipally funded commuter rail system in 1906. Today, that extensive rail line is gone, replaced by inadequate bus service and single lane choke points that hamper the mobility of our 100,000 citizens.
Seattle has not supported or expanded our historically great transportation ideas. Thanks to the lags and half measures the city has offered over the years, there’s widespread perception here that West Seattle and its transportation issues are not, and never have been priorities for the City of Seattle.
It took the City five years to re-build the South Park Bridge after significant lobbying efforts of citizens, six years to rebuild Seattle’s Spokane St. bridge after a freighter rammed the old one in 1978, and decades to re-start the seasonal cross bay West Seattle Water Taxi to downtown. After significant citizens efforts and pressure, the City is finally addressing safety and speeding issues on SW Roxbury Street and 35th Ave SW.
As our Peninsula population increases, traffic increases and further chokes ingress-egress. Our two bridges are gridlocked for hours every day now — with 93,000 vehicles crossing West Seattle’s high bridge, and 13,000 crossing the low bridge. Together, these bridges are Seattle’s busiest, non-freeway traffic corridor, carrying more human and freight volume than any other city bridge. By the time Move Seattle expires, West Seattle’s population in our Alaska Junction and Triangle areas alone will grow to equal or surpass that of Ballard.
Move Seattle fails to address West Seattle’s key issue — getting into and out of the peninsula, safely and efficiently. While the WSTC appreciates and supports the proposals West Seattle pedestrian and bicycle infrastructure improvements, we ask the Mayor and City Council to support and clearly define Council Member Tom Rasmussen’s amendment to Move Seattle. We would like the levy to:
Provide a fully funded, integrated, West Seattle Peninsula ingress-egress plan with a scope of work, timeline, and funding source. Its structure should be fully compatible with conversion to a future Sound Transit dedicated right-of-way, Light Rail or Bus Rapid Transit system.
In Sound Transit polling, more than 94% of West Seattle residents supported a dedicated solution for the people living in District 1. Currently, all of West Seattle’s transportation hopes and dreams seem to be bolted to the forthcoming Sound Transit 3 (ST3) proposal. Meaning, West Seattle’s transportation fate is now in the hands of Olympia legislators, the Sound Transit Tri-County Board, and competition from regional and local interests who also need ST3 resources.
Meanwhile, the clock is ticking down for West Seattle as our population and development density increase, and the Port gears up with planned expansions on Terminal 5, where freight and industrial growth will further choke traffic flows to SR 99, I-5, I-90, Marginal and Alaskan Ways. It’s a perfect storm of adverse effects on our situation.
West Seattle and South Park need a solution today. We cannot wait for some future, theoretical ST3 or ST4 package. We expect our leaders and elected officials to do whatever it takes to move the people of District 1 now.
We wrote about Councilmember Rasmussen’s proposed amendment, mentioned above, back on Monday.
P.S. Haven’t shared your comments on the levy yet? This page on the city website explains how.
More for West Seattle in transportation levy? Two amendments on the agenda for councilmembers’ discussion tomorrowJune 8, 2015 at 4:59 pm | In Transportation, West Seattle news, West Seattle politics | 8 Comments
Tomorrow morning at 9 am, the City Council – meeting as the Select Committee on Transportation Funding – takes another look at the revised transportation levy destined for this November’s ballot. Councilmembers are proposing a variety of amendments, and we’ve found at least two that include West Seattle-specific language:
*Under the section proposing spending $35 million for “transit corridor improvements,” Councilmember Tom Rasmussen – who chairs the transportation-funding committee – proposes adding the language “including planning for access and egress improvements to the West Seattle peninsula.” See it on page 6 of his amendment:
Rasmussen also has a separate amendment that redefines the “core categories” in which the levy would seek to make “transportation improvements” – instead of “safety … interconnectivity … vibrancy … and repair,” his categories would be “safe routes, “congestion relief,” “maintenance and repair.”
*Under the “Safe Routes to School” section, Councilmember Tim Burgess proposes adding language mentioning two West Seattle elementaries while requiring that SDOT “Complete projects within the first three years of the Levy in walk zones of the following schools that have high levels of poverty: Bailey Gatzert, Martin Luther King, Jr., West Seattle, Dunlap, Dearborn Park, Wing Luke, Northgate, Van Asselt & Wing Luke, Emerson, Concord, Rainier View, Roxhill.” See it on page 4 of his amendment:
The committee meeting taking up these and other proposed changes to the now-$930 million levy intended for the November ballot starts at 9 am tomorrow at City Hall; you’ll be able to watch live on Seattle Channel (cable channel 21 or online at seattlechannel.org). As for your role in the process – more amendments, discussions, public-comment opportunities are ahead before the ballot language has to be finalized in August.
If you haven’t gone to a candidate forum yet in the first-ever City Council District 1 (West Seattle/South Park) race yet – maybe you don’t just want to sit down and listen to people answering questions from a table up at the front of the room – tomorrow night’s event in Pigeon Point might be for you. The Pigeon Point Neighborhood Council has invited the candidates over for a round of “candi-dating” – circulating from table to table, so you and your tablemates get to talk with one candidate at a time. That’s at 7 pm Monday (June 8th), Pathfinder K-8 cafeteria (1901 SW Genesee), all welcome. The primary election is August 4th, so the start of voting is only about six weeks away.
West Seattle scene: Green Party’s past & possibly future presidential candidate Dr. Jill Stein visitsJune 6, 2015 at 12:46 am | In Delridge, West Seattle news, West Seattle politics | 4 Comments
Such a busy Friday night, we didn’t get to stop by the West Seattle Tool Library for this visit of a past and potentially future presidential candidate – but thanks to Chas Redmond for sharing the photo of Dr. Jill Stein. He says about 25 people were there to hear from and talk with her in the North Delridge evening sunshine. Dr. Stein was the Green Party‘s candidate in 2012 and with 456,169 votes became “the most successful female presidential candidate in U.S. history.” She formed an exploratory committee earlier this year to consider seeking the Green Party nomination again for 2016.
QUESTION FOR DISTRICT 1 CANDIDATES: Annex White Center and the rest of unincorporated North Highline, or not?June 2, 2015 at 10:47 pm | In West Seattle news, West Seattle politics, White Center | 24 Comments
(Looking southward over the heart of White Center. Photo by Long Bach Nguyen)
Tomorrow (Wednesday) morning, as reported here Monday, the issue of White Center/North Highline annexation comes up for another briefing before the City Council’s Education and Governance Committee. Last December, that committee voted to take a step that it stressed just kept the city’s options open for potentially seeking an annexation vote in time to use a state tax credit considered vital for covering some of the costs. Now, another step has to be taken to keep that option open, councilmembers will be told tomorrow. But another vote would be required to actually pursue a vote by residents of the potential annexation area, and if that vote happens, it might not be until after the November election. As a prelude to tomorrow’s briefing – we asked the nine candidates for City Council District 1 (West Seattle/South Park) whether, and why, they do or do not support annexing WC/NH. We sent the questions to their official e-mail addresses just before noon Monday, with a deadline of midnight. Seven candidates replied; we’ve published their responses in the order received and as received, unedited:
TRANSPORTATION LEVY: Proposal for partial ‘alternative funding’ instead of raising all $930 million via property-tax levyJune 2, 2015 at 12:15 pm | In Transportation, West Seattle news, West Seattle politics | 7 Comments
Some of the concerns about the city’s proposed $930 million transportation levy – which, as mentioned in our daily preview, is the subject of a public hearing tonight – involve how it would be paid for: A property-tax levy. Councilmember Nick Licata proposes shifting a third of the cost to other sources – making it a $600 million levy, with $330 million to be raised via development-impact fees, commercial-parking taxes, and an employee-hours tax. Read on for the full news release:
Click to read the rest of TRANSPORTATION LEVY: Proposal for partial ‘alternative funding’ instead of raising all $930 million via property-tax levy…
Should Seattle annex White Center and vicinity? City Council committee to discuss Wednesday; ‘intention’ notice due FridayJune 1, 2015 at 11:29 am | In West Seattle news, West Seattle politics, White Center | 42 Comments
Will the Seattle City Council move ahead with an attempt to annex White Center and the rest of unincorporated North Highline?
(Potential annexation area is in green)
The topic will come back before the council’s Education and Governance Committee, chaired by Councilmember Tim Burgess, this Wednesday morning, largely because time is running out for a specific notice to be filed, if the city wants to keep its options open for accessing a tax credit that would make annexation more financially viable. Details are on our partner site White Center Now; we’re also putting the question “annex, yes or no?” out to all nine City Council District 1 candidates.
City Council District 1 updates: ‘South Park Shows Up’ video; West Seattle Chamber Q&A; new voters’ cardsMay 28, 2015 at 12:37 pm | In West Seattle news, West Seattle politics | Comments Off
In the history-making first-ever City Council District 1 campaign – three things to share today:
‘SOUTH PARK SHOWS UP’: Our video clip above is the heart of last night’s community-organized candidate forum in South Park. You’ll find full coverage, including the start of the forum – testing the candidates on what they know about SP – on our partner site The South Park News.
SEVEN QUESTIONS: The West Seattle Chamber of Commerce asked the candidates to answer seven questions. Six sent replies, and they are all now published on the Chamber’s website – scroll down the main page for a link to each question and how those six candidates replied.
VOTER REGISTRATION CARDS: Shortly after we got a news release from King County Elections about brand-new voter-registration cards, ours arrived via postal mail. The “card” (paper, not plastic) includes your voter ID number, precinct info, and the numbers of the districts in which you elect representatives – with City Council District 1 brand new on the list.
Made a decision yet on who you’re voting for in the first-ever City Council District 1 race? Still lots of time to decide, with primary ballots due August 4th, and your next two chances to see and hear the candidates are coming up within the next two weeks:
MAY 27 (THIS WEDNESDAY): “South Park Shows Up!” is not your standard candidate forum, South Park community members promise. They are planning a pop quiz on South Park facts, in fact. But West Seattleites are invited too – and kids’ activities are promised as well as food. 7 pm Wednesday at the SP Neighborhood Center, 8201 10th Avenue S.
JUNE 8 (2 WEEKS FROM TONIGHT): Most local neighborhood councils have had visits from several City Council candidates. The Pigeon Point Neighborhood Council is planning a full-fledged forum, 7 pm June 8th at Pathfinder K-8 (1901 SW Genesee), all welcome.
Any other D-1 forum dates locked in? Please let us know – editor@ westseattleblog.com – thanks!
The heart of the decision over this fall’s transportation levy: What will you get for your money? Two weeks after Mayor Murray and SDOT director Scott Kubly went public with the revised proposed $930 million “Move Seattle” transportation levy (WSB coverage here), it’s officially appearing on the City Council’s Introduction and Referral Calendar – which means that you can read the “fine print.” That includes the proposed “ballot title,” what you’ll see before you vote in November, assuming the language isn’t changed:
CITY OF SEATTLE
PROPOSITION NO. 1
The City of Seattle’s Proposition 1 concerns replacing funding for citywide transportation maintenance and improvements.
If approved, this proposition would replace an expiring levy and fund bridge seismic upgrades, transit corridor and light rail station access projects, pedestrian and bicycle safety projects, upgraded and synchronized traffic signals, street maintenance and improvements, freight mobility projects, and neighborhood street fund projects.
It authorizes regular property taxes above RCW 84.55 limits, allowing collection of up to $95,000,000 in 2016 and up to $930,000,000 over nine years. The 2016 total regular tax limit would be $3.60/$1,000 assessed value, including approximately $0.62 additional taxes.
Should this levy be approved?
You can read the legislation in its entirety here – keep in mind the City Council now will start its review, with public-comment opportunities along the way – including a 5:30 pm public hearing at City Hall on June 2nd – before a final version is sent to the county in August. (This link also includes info on how to comment on it right now. And a new stack of “public outreach” links has just been sent around by SDOT – you can find them here; the links on that page include the map we’ve embedded atop this story.)
By Tracy Record
West Seattle Blog editor
“We all knew it was coming down to this anyway, so let’s give them a dual (endorsement) and take it to the streets.”
So said former 34th District Democrats chair Ivan Weiss – with current chair Marcee Stone-Vekich declaring it “the quote of the night” – just before the group took its third vote on an endorsement in the first-ever City Council District 1 race, resulting in dual endorsement of Shannon Braddock and Lisa Herbold (L-R photos above).
The voting had started with five of the race’s nine official candidates nominated for potential endorsement on the first ballot. No one ended up with 60 percent or more – Herbold received 63 votes, Braddock 60 votes, Chas Redmond 18 votes, Brianna Thomas 9 votes, Phillip Tavel 6 votes.
That sent the top two vote-getters to a second ballot, the results of which were Braddock 77, Herbold 70. And that set up the motion and the vote for a dual endorsement.
The other big vote was an endorsement in the West Seattle/South Park Seattle School Board race, which has three candidates, two of which were nominated for potential endorsement – incumbent Marty McLaren and challenger Leslie Harris. The results:
— West Seattle Blog (@westseattleblog) May 21, 2015
Harris declared herself “speechless.”
10:16 PM: The meeting has just wrapped up – endorsement votes for the two at-large City Council seats were delayed because the candidates were coming from earlier meetings to the north. Both of those races also resulted in dual endorsements – for Position 8, Tim Burgess and Jon Grant; for Position 9, Bill Bradburd and Lorena Gonzalez.
ADDED 7:51 AM MONDAY: Here’s our video (and embedded above) of the heart of the meeting – the hour and a half that involved the two aforementioned votes, among other business, and that started with the endorsement of King County Councilmember Joe McDermott, who is unopposed.
And ahead – play-by-play from the meeting, through the final District 1 results:
FOLLOWUP: Final results of Amanda Kay Helmick’s City Council District 1 signature effort – 9 names shortMay 20, 2015 at 10:53 am | In West Seattle news, West Seattle politics | 21 Comments
Last Friday we reported on the conclusion of King County’s election-filing week, with one matter left unsettled: City Council District 1 (West Seattle/South Park) candidate Amanda Kay Helmick had been determined to get on the ballot via 1,200 petition signatures rather than a $1,200 filing fee, and was told that despite a 100-plus-signature pad, she was still short of the required number of qualified signatures. After several days of doublechecking and other research, Helmick has just announced the official end of her campaign:
Exactly 7 months after announcing her candidacy for Seattle City Council in District 1, Amanda Kay Helmick has ended her grassroots campaign. Her steadfast choice to gather signatures in lieu of the filing fee was successful in getting 1318 people to sign for her, but fell 9 signatures short.
“I am disappointed in the process and outcome. The last several days of comparing the King County Elections list to the petitions, and speaking to individual signers, has been alarming. Invalid voters on the list had no idea their right to vote is in question. There is room for obvious improvements, and I hope King County Elections is working diligently to rectify the situation. I want to thank everyone who signed and helped me in my bid for inclusion on the ballot. Ultimately, the support I needed was not there.”
Amanda will continue to fight for District 1. She is co-chair of the Westwood/Roxhill/Arbor Heights Community Council, co-chair of the West Seattle Transportation Coalition, Delridge Rep to the City Neighborhood Council, and Budget Committee Chair of the City Neighborhood Council. She looks forward to working with the newly elected District 1 Councilmember.
This means the nine candidates who are on the King County list comprise the official, final field for the August 4th primary – this is the order in which they will appear on the ballot, per the county’s drawing:
They all appeared at a candidates’ forum in Fauntleroy on Monday night (WSB coverage with video is here) and at least two more forums are coming up – May 27th in South Park and June 8th in Pigeon Point.
(WSB photo, from left – Phillip Tavel, Shannon Braddock, Jody Rushmer, Brianna Thomas, Karl Wirsing, Chas Redmond, Arturo Robles, Pavel Goberman, Lisa Herbold)
By Tracy Record
West Seattle Blog editor
In the first-ever City Council District 1 (West Seattle/South Park) race, there’s been at least one candidates’ forum each month since February. The race has been fluid, and the participant lineup hasn’t been the same twice.
Tonight brought the first forum featuring all nine of the candidates that are in the running (as of the end of the official filing period last Friday).
About 60 people filled the seats in the Fellowship Hall at Fauntleroy UCC Church for the forum that the League of Women Voters of Seattle/King County co-presented with the Westside Interfaith Network; LWV’s Lucy Gaskill-Gaddis moderated, after an introduction by Boots Winterstein.
As we’ve done with all the previous forums, we recorded this one on video, and will add that here when it’s ready. (UPDATE – Here it is:)
Ahead, we did our best to summarize as it went:
Election 2015: City Council District 1 candidates’ forum tonight; Helmick signature-challenge updateMay 18, 2015 at 9:59 am | In West Seattle news, West Seattle politics | 9 Comments
Two notes this morning in the District 1 (West Seattle/South Park) City Council race:
CANDIDATES’ FORUM TONIGHT: Be at Fauntleroy Church (9140 California SW) tonight for the District 1 forum presented by Westside Interfaith Network and League of Women Voters-Seattle/King County. They describe the format as moderated with some opportunity for audience questions. Doors open at 6 pm, forum at 6:30 pm.
HELMICK SIGNATURES UPDATE: As reported here Friday night, seven months of campaigning might have come to a dead end for Amanda Kay Helmick, who was determined to get onto the ballot via gathering signatures. 1,200 valid signatures are required to make the ballot in lieu of that same number of dollars; Helmick was the only District 1 hopeful going that route. Hours after we covered her taking petitions to the King County Elections office in Renton at noontime Friday, she was notified she’d fallen short by 26. Helmick has since obtained a list of the 147 names that KC Elections had ruled invalid and as of late last night said she had “already found 10 people on the list that are completely unaware and shocked about their status. I have posted the list on my website in case others want to see their status and have it rectified. If someone’s name is on THIS LIST, King County Voter Services has challenged their right to vote. The names were found to be non-registered voters in District 1.” She has posted on her website’s home page what anyone who finds her/himself on that list is asked to do.
WHO’S IN: If anyone has withdrawn or anything else major has changed since filing closed on Friday afternoon, King County Elections will be updating this page at some time later today. But in the meantime, the District 1 race has nine candidates (listed this time in surname-reverse-alphabetical order): Karl Wirsing, Brianna Thomas, Phillip Tavel, Jody Rushmer, Arturo Robles, Chas Redmond, Lisa Herbold, Pavel Goberman, Shannon Braddock.
The official filing period for this year’s elections is over. And for one of the first candidates to jump into the City Council District 1 race, it’s taken a turn at the end:
Amanda Kay Helmick, who’s been running since October, was the only District 1 candidate to declare she would get onto the ballot by collecting signatures instead of paying the $1,199.76 fee. We wanted to photograph that unique moment of the first-ever District 1 campaign, so we covered her visit to the County Elections Department offices in Renton at midday today as she turned in her stack of petitions.
The staff explained they would start verifying the signatures immediately, and offered her the chance to leave a standby check for the filing fee in case she fell short, since the filing deadline was just hours away. She declined, explaining to us in a short interview afterward that she believes a candidate should be put on the ballot by the people, not by money.
Then, late in the day, Helmick told us the Elections Department notified her she had fallen short and did not qualify for the ballot – she turned in 1,318 signatures but fell 26 short. She is asking for a “judicial review,” but for now, she’s not on the list: “I am supremely disappointed,” she told WSB, “but determined to at least see this all the way through.”
The nine candidates who are on the list, according to the unofficial list on the KC Elections website, are:
Robles, Rushmer, and Wirsing just surfaced in the past week and a half; the other six have been in for a while, starting with Redmond, who declared his candidacy almost a year and a half ago.
Also of local note: County Councilmember Joe McDermott is running unopposed; two more candidates have joined the local School Board (Position 6) race since last night’s candidate forum, and the field is now Suzanne L. Sutton, Nick Esparza, Marty McLaren, and Leslie Harris. (Of the four school-board positions on the ballot this fall, McLaren is the only incumbent running for re-election.) Though the filing period has closed, this all remains “unofficial” until KC Elections finalizes it early next week. The primary election is on August 4th.
One day remains in the official 2015 candidate-filing season – so by this time tomorrow, the field will be more or less set for this fall’s elections. Here’s the list of who’s filed for what so far; in offices of West Seattle note, District 8 County Councilmember Joe McDermott has filed for re-election and has no opponent at this point; in the District 1 (West Seattle/South Park) City Council race, six candidates have filed so far – Pavel Goberman, Chas Redmond, Arturo Robles, Phillip Tavel, Shannon Braddock, and Lisa Herbold; we know Amanda Kay Helmick, who’s been collecting signatures in lieu of the four-digit filing fee, plans to file tomorrow, so that means a field of at least 7 in this race. We’ll update tomorrow. (Side note: As we write this, we’re at South Seattle College‘s Georgetown Campus to cover the forum for at-large Council Positions 8 and 9 and School Board Position 6 – the WS/SP seat in which Marty McLaren and Leslie Harris are the two filers so far – coverage including video, coming up later.)
Today is the second-to-last-day of filing week for this fall’s candidates, so by the end of tomorrow, we’ll have the official list of who’s in the District 1 (West Seattle/South Park) City Council race. Some have already filed, and one person has just announced he’s out: George Capestany. The statement he sent:
Today, George Capestany, active community volunteer, “goat guy,” and longtime West Seattle neighbor, is withdrawing from the race for Seattle City Council, District 1.
“After much thought, have decided to not pursue the seat for City of Seattle, District 1,” said Capestany. “When I began this quest I truly felt that I could win. Tom Rasmussen was a opponent I could really separate from and define a distinct difference in political and economic views. While I still believe West Seattle residents have been left out of virtually everything that goes on at City Hall, I have been impressed by the many good candidates who have filed. And, once the districts take effect, I believe West Seattle will be well served.”
Campaign Treasurer, Ron Sullivan stated, “While many citizens of this community think George would have made an excellent representative in City politics, we respect his decision to end his campaign.”
“I sincerely want to thank all of my supporters for their help and support,” added Capestany.
Capestany had entered the race last November; Councilmember Rasmussen announced his decision not to run in January. Meantime, if you’re interested in tracking who’s filed so far, the countywide list – updated at least twice a day – is here. The voting begins in mid-summer, with the primary election on August 4th.
One week after they stood on a Beacon Hill street corner with the mayor, announcing the revised Transportation Levy to Move Seattle, City Councilmember Tom Rasmussen and SDOT director Scott Kubly pitched it to the West Seattle Chamber of Commerce.
They were the guest speakers at the Chamber’s monthly lunch meeting on Wednesday at The Kenney (WSB sponsor).
The conversation wandered around to non-levy transportation topics too.
Councilmember Rasmussen, who chairs the Council’s Transportation Committee, talked about the $930 million levy in general, noting the big addition for West Seattle – the Fauntleroy Boulevard project, currently funded only through design, is now in the levy. Kubly gave more of an overview of SDOT’s mission, especially its multimodal intent, and its view that the future has arrived, with the increasing use of carsharing (Car2Go) and ridesharing (Lyft, Uber) in the big picture as his department also factors in existing infrastructure and neighborhood needs.
As for the levy process, he recapped the input SDOT had gathered so far, particularly via the online survey – with 8,000 respondents – and hundreds of comments, while explaining they also looked forward to events like this one where they could hear from people face-to-face.
When Kubly invited questions, a few did address points in the levy – how much money is West Seattle-specific (no numbers beyond the $16 million or so for Fauntleroy Boulevard) and why some of the levy was going to what seemed like basic needs like crosswalk repainting (state tax-revenue constraints were cited). But more of the questioning was along the lines of long-running West Seattle transportation issues:
-The increasing perception of a parking crunch and its effect on businesses. Kubly said people need transportation options, and reiterated his view of the importance of car-sharing among other such options.
-The challenge of limited options for heading outbound from West Seattle, which drew some mutters of agreement. This led Kubly to mention the city advocating for making sure West Seattle would get something out of the next Sound Transit ballot measure (aka Sound Transit 3).
-Concern about the likely rechannelization of 35th SW, in the face of increasing neighborhood population. Kubly said SDOT expects that 35th will become safer and more efficient.
The question of cost arose, specifically the cost of the levy ($275/year for the owner of a $450,000 home) and last year’s voter-approved transit-funding measure ($60 more on car tabs starting this summer). One attendee observed that the latter is still leaving deficiencies in local bus service, including the Alki area.
So, Kubly was then asked, is SDOT working on further efficiencies, in general as well as in light of the levy? He cited one example, working with utilities to reduce the amount of street-digging-up that’s been going on.
And then a question he was asked at a previous West Seattle meeting – what happens if the levy doesn’t pass?
It would mean cutting SDOT’s budget, Kubly replied.
Next steps for the revised levy: It’s going through the City Council, which ultimately will vote on whether to send it to the ballot (a November vote is expected).
P.S. Regarding the 35th SW project – this Saturday morning is the walking tour, and SDOT’s project page has details on where you can catch up with it if you don’t want to go along for the entire three-hour tour.
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