Two toplines so far from tonight’s West Seattle Transportation Coalition meeting: WSTC voted to endorse the bus-funding measure on the November 4 ballot, officially Transportation Benefit District Proposition No. 1. And it voted NOT to endorse the monorail measure on the ballot, officially Seattle Citizen Petition No. 1. More to come.
ADDED WEDNESDAY MORNING: More toplines from the WSTC meeting:
Before making endorsement (or non-endorsement) decisions, there was spirited discussion. WSTC’s Chas Redmond suggested a protest vote – yes monorail, no transit funding – to send the message that people are not happy with the way things are going.
Advocates for both sides on both issues spoke as well. Monorail-measure creator Elizabeth Campbell said her initiative, raising money to start planning one again, empowers citizens, in the face of a need for more transit. It would be planned by people outside the usual inner circle that gets called on for transportation issues, she contended.
On the no-monorail side, Jonathan Hopkins from SeattleSubway.org called it a 15-year-old idea that would repeat past failures, with no provisions to build anything after the studies that the tax would fund.
Arguments for and against the transit-funding measure – which has now become a “restore cut service/add more service” campaign, with future Metro cuts shelved – came from City Councilmember Tom Rasmussen on “pro,” WSTC member Michael Taylor-Judd on “con,” as they had done at last week’s Southwest District Council meeting in West Seattle.
Bottom line, Rasmussen contended this measure is the clearest, best shot at transit improvement now; Taylor-Judd says it’s a regressive tax that will hurt those who can least afford it.
Redmond, a declared candidate for next year’s first-ever City Council District 1 (West Seattle/South Park) election – as is Rasmussen – also criticized the regressive nature of Prop 1’s money-raising tools. He also pointed out that West Seattle voters gave the lowest approval margin to the countywide version of this last April.
WSTC chair Joe Szilagyi wondered if approval of this, and potential similar steps by other municipalities, might break the Olympia logjam on transportation funding. Maybe, Rasmussen said, but also consider that if Seattle doesn’t pass this, legislators could draw the conclusion that city voters can’t be bothered, so they won’t worry about it further.
And again, here’s how the votes came out, as summarized later on WSTC’s Facebook page:
The WSTC membership vote on endorsing Petition 1 – monorail, failed 1-10-1. The WSTC does not endorse the monorail vote. The WSTC membership vote on endorsing Prop 1 – bus funding, passed 7-2-1. The WSTC endorses a Yes vote on Prop 1 to fund buses.
ALSO: WSTC’s letter to city leaders – featured here September 28th – was recapped.
NEXT WSTC MEETING: Tuesday, November 11th, 6:30 pm.