ELECTION 2019: City Council District 1 voting is closer than you think, so it’s update time

checkbox.jpgJust a little over five weeks remain until ballots go out for the primary election. That voting for the August 6th primary election will, among other things, determine which two of the three candidates for City Council District 1 (West Seattle/South Park) move on to the November general election. If you’re just starting to pay attention, incumbent Lisa Herbold is running for a second term, challenged by lawyer/entrepreneur Phil Tavel – who finished third in the 2015 primary – and former SPD lieutenant Brendan Kolding. All three are West Seattleites. A few notes:

34TH DISTRICT DEMOCRATS’ ENDORSEMENT MEETING: Members of our area’s biggest political organization, the 34th District Democrats, are scheduled to make endorsements at tomorrow night’s monthly meeting (7 pm following 6:30 pm social time, The Hall at Fauntleroy, 9131 California SW). The process and rules (as well as the full list of offices they’ll be endorsing for) are in the 34th DDs’ June newsletter (PDF). The group has already had two D-1 council candidate forums, both of which we covered, including video: April 10th and April 23rd.

DELRIDGE NEIGHBORHOODS DISTRICT COUNCIL: Kolding and Herbold are scheduled to talk with the DNDC next week, 7 pm Wednesday, June 19th, at Neighborhood House High Point (6400 Sylvan Way SW, all welcome). Tavel appeared last month; here’s our coverage, with video.

MORGAN JUNCTION COMMUNITY FESTIVAL: At least two of the three candidates plan to campaign at the June 22nd festival; the latest list of booths includes the Tavel and Kolding campaigns.

CAMPAIGN $: While the only numbers that ultimately matter are the vote totals, we’ll be checking in from time to time on other campaign-related stats. Today: The fundraising. You can explore candidates’ contributions, expenditures, and more via the state Public Disclosure Commission website. Here’s the latest on what each campaign reports bringing in:

Herbold – $71,832
Kolding – $57,565
Tavel – $23,388

The largest expenditures reported by Herbold and Tavel are for campaign consulting; for Kolding, website development/maintenance.

58 Replies to "ELECTION 2019: City Council District 1 voting is closer than you think, so it's update time"

  • Cool Rick June 11, 2019 (2:19 pm)

    Down with Herbold. We need change

    • Nolan June 11, 2019 (2:59 pm)

      Herbold has both promised and delivered on substantive policy points, even though she’s still an utterly milquetoast candidate on public transit and homelessness. Kolding has never met a problem he couldn’t solve by throwing more police officers at it, and Tavel has used a ton of flowery prose to articulate precisely zero policy proposals.Herbold is, by far, the best choice in this race.

      • Paul June 11, 2019 (4:58 pm)

        Lisa has policy ideas, most involve more tax and no measurable outcomes.You’re darn right about Brendan.Tavel seems like he would be worth a gamble; something new that will likely be better than what we have.That said, I’m not excited about _any_ of them.

      • Joe Grande June 11, 2019 (8:36 pm)

        I’ll vote for Kolding just to see him and Sawant in the same room. Worth the price of the ticket. 

        • Paul June 12, 2019 (9:24 am)

          I’ll give you the benefit of the doubt here and assume that you are not suggesting physical violence. While, IMHO, Sawant’s politics are evil and broken, she _is_ one smart cookie and would hold her own against the more police politics. 

    • Curtis June 11, 2019 (8:32 pm)

      Thank you Cool Rick.Thre three strikes against Herbold for me were:1) Lack of responsiveness to emails and disregard of public concerns2) She can’t even get a single little roundabout at a dangerous intersection a few blocks from her house3)  That poor old shopkeeper who was nearly beaten to death with 100 blows by a mentally ill somewhat homeless peraon.  Lisa never said a word or expressed the least bit of sympatthy.We need a serious change from Lisa Herbold.  That is why I am  voting for Kolding.  He listens, he responds, he cares.  And I think he is a Doer.

      • Paul June 12, 2019 (9:28 am)

        To be fair, my experience on point 1, does not ring true. In the early days of her office, this was the case. In the last year, I’ve found her staff to have this under control. Not that I like the response, but I do get thoughtful responses now.

      • Cool Rick June 12, 2019 (9:46 am)

        Herbold is incredibly arrogant and condescending. I’ve sent her numerous emails, when she actually takes the time to respond (which is rare) her tone is incredibly condescending. She was also one of the offenders who ignored the gentleman at the council meeting and chose to play on her phone instead. I could go on and on about poor policy decisions she’s made, and she also talks down to those who disagree with her. See her sad, condescending rant at the head tax repeal vote. She’s done an objectively poor job for the most part.

        • Lagartija Nick June 12, 2019 (1:28 pm)

          Cool Rick, if your emails to Herbold are anything like what you wrote here, are you really that surprised that she might be less than cordial with her response?

        • Diane June 12, 2019 (4:02 pm)

          Cool Rick; this is blatant lie; in fact (watch the damn video) CM Herbold was attentive to the man speaking in public comment, from the very beginning, all the way through, to the end; she was NOT on her phone; stop spreading lies like this ridiculous comment: “She was also one of the offenders who ignored the gentleman at the council meeting and chose to play on her phone instead.”

          • Cool Rick June 13, 2019 (5:46 am)

            I suggest you watch the video again before espousing ignorance. She disrespected the man also. Her response to this incident during the district 1 candidate debates was also sad. Instead of handling in the way a thoughtful, considerate person did she acted indignant and tried to blame shift.Also, my tone on her is anger because I’m sick of her consistent failures and embarrassments, but I’ve never communicated any of that to her personally. She ignores and condescends to her constituents who have suffered at the hands of her poor policy decisions.

  • Gxnx June 11, 2019 (3:00 pm)

    Change is what needed.Sometimes I wish they have a 6mths probationary period like a job candidate. Fire the incompetent 

    • Jon Wright June 11, 2019 (5:52 pm)

      When I see a message like this, I am always curious how, specifically, the author feels the elected officials referenced have demonstrated “incompetence.” In my experience, the answer is often something totally vague like “there are homeless camping all over town!” or “traffic is terrible!” or “my taxes are too high!” Political challengers universally exploit these sentiments and base their campaigns on the premise that “we need change!”I challenge everyone to not be lazy. Avoid relying on vague talking points that don’t really mean anything. What do you like or dislike about a particular candidate? Make candidates spell out specific positions and realistic plans for accomplishing them. Regarding challengers, what specifically would they have done differently than the incumbent?Personally, I think a lot of the city’s challenges stem from a big influx of high-paid jobs exacerbating unequal distribution of wealth. Every depressed city in the country would love to have that problem, by the way. But please set reasonable expectations of our elected officials and what they can plausibly do to address the situation.

      • Peter June 12, 2019 (10:18 am)

        Thank you for that. Tavel is the worst offender in this regard, he’s all generic polyspeak and no substance. Kolding has more substance but is wrong on, well, everything. Herbold is the least bad, but that’s not enough to get my vote.

        • thisisanarbyssir June 12, 2019 (10:41 pm)

          you pretty much summed up my thoughts exactly on these candidates.

  • I'm not in New York June 11, 2019 (5:21 pm)

    Lisa Herbold lost my vote with an ill-concieved employer head tax to provide money for a “no plan,” “no metric,” “no accountability” non-solution to homelessness. What a mess. Follow that with a trip to NY to denounce Amazon. Yes, we can do better at making Seattle even better.

    • My two cents ... June 11, 2019 (6:13 pm)

      Don’t forget the income tax proposal which was supported by Councilmember Herbold. Did they have a legal strategy to overturn State law? No. Did it stop the council from wasting time tilting at windmills because it made good press? No. Could they have spent the time trying too address issues facing the community AND come up with pragmatic solutions? Waiting …. still waiting …. Councilmember Herbold?? Hello?

    • shauna June 11, 2019 (10:10 pm)

      well said

  • Wsres June 11, 2019 (5:27 pm)

    I am voting against Herbold because of her inaction on the homeless and drug issues.

  • AlkiMark June 11, 2019 (6:33 pm)

    Kolding has my vote, already sent him my vouchers and some $$.Another interesting point on that website are the expenditures.  How does Travil spend more than he takes in?  

    • The Truth June 12, 2019 (1:04 am)

      It’s a campaign loan he gave himself.  It’s clearly listed on the SEEC page.  If you look at the democracy voucher page he is approved and has about 20k on the way from them.  He has also raised more actual cash than anyone else.  

  • Mj June 11, 2019 (6:35 pm)

    Lisa needs to be shown the door!  I am tired of the low expectation politicians expect of the homeless.  Jobs are plentiful!

    • AMD June 11, 2019 (10:50 pm)

      Most of the homeless have jobs.  Wages aren’t keeping up with the cost of housing.  Which rose exponentially when the supply of houses couldn’t keep up with the influx of techies moving here to work for Amazon.  Because the city has draconic zoning and building laws that redline most of the city into single-family housing and drag out the process of approving developments.  Because of the NIMBYs that don’t want to see “other” people living in their neighborhood.  I am tired of the politicians that cave to vocal minority groups instead of looking at the bigger picture.  Herbold has been hit-or-miss on issues I care about.  Tavel intrigues me.  Kolding doesn’t seem like he knows or cares that there IS a bigger picture.  

      • Canton June 12, 2019 (6:48 am)

        With all the zoning changes, and tons of apartments built, can you name 1 complex that has been built, that is actually affordable? The concept is for the developer to build luxury apartments, and pay the small gratuity, to the city. Maybe, in 10-15 years, some prices may drop, but doesn’t help the situation now.

      • Peter June 12, 2019 (10:22 am)

        I agree with AMD entirely, except the part about Tavel, there’s nothing intriguing about him, and he has a record of being a foe of increasing housing supply.

  • Mike June 11, 2019 (7:09 pm)

    I love looking over the public information.  Cracks me up how much office supply crap Sawant has bought from Amazon.com after blasting them as the ultimate evil.

  • Gatewood June 11, 2019 (7:45 pm)

    I really like Tavel as a practical and effective advocate.  He has served on so many community groups and advisory boards and seems to have a real ability to listen and engage with all sides.  He is genuinely a good hearted person.  His concern is not scoring political points for a party agenda.  His agenda is to work together to make Seattle better.  Also, Lisa has been no friend to small businesses.  I can tell you most of the businesses up and down the WS peninsula are not supportive of her run.  

    • Jethro Marx June 11, 2019 (8:36 pm)

      Why are we always acting like politicians should hold small businesses in some special place in their hearts?  Small businesses are great; I love to patronize them; I ran one for many years.  But small business owners represent a tiny fraction of the population of Seattle, and their tax revenue represents a slightly-larger-than-tiny but still pretty small chunk of Seattle’s budget.  Every politician at every level has this lip service tic about how they’re the backbone of our economy but it’s just not true. Without getting weird and crazy, can anyone tell me why they deserve outsize representation by elected officials?

      • Gatewood June 12, 2019 (1:00 am)

        Well, Business generates more than half of the city budget yet has zero council member who have ever signed the front of a paycheck.  I don’t think having a few people who truly understand the issues of small businesses is a bad thing.  Also, a small business may be a small percentage of the constituents but it effects a huge number of the community. Want to live in a world with no W5 mac and cheese or no Husky Deli?  No spuds on Alki or no Chelan Cafe?  No Click, Alair, Thunder Road and no Easy Street?  These place give back to the community, create a sense of small town and treat there employees with respect.  0-9 council members understand are not representing that part of society.  2-7, 3-7 seems about right.  Not a special interest group or over representing, just basic representation.  Also, Phil is Democrat and just because he has an additional understanding or skillset doesn’t make him blind to the rest of society. It just makes him more well rounded.  I would be equally upset is the council was 9-9 CEOs.  Balance  is needed and it is achievable with a few slightly more moderate Democrats.  

      • KM June 12, 2019 (7:36 am)

        I run a small business in Seattle—it’s funny that politicians love to use the “small business” phrase every chance they have. Reminds me of politicians always talking about “working families” and no other classification of people.

  • Janet June 11, 2019 (8:00 pm)

    Excited about Phil Tavel! He’s the real deal in my book. The kind of leadership Seattle needs—Vote for Phil!

  • East Coast Cynic June 11, 2019 (8:07 pm)

    With respect to West Seattle link, I understand that Tavel and Kolding support the tunnel option.  Do either one of them have a plan for funding it?  If either one  of them oppose link if we are given the elevated option and attempt to lead a movement to stop link, then that candidate, in my view, doesn’t deserves my vote if they can’t propose viable options for improved transit for West Seattle in the absence of link.  With the ridiculous traffic on the West Seattle bridge slowing the buses down, we can’t afford short sited NIMBY leadership stopping a much need transportation option for West Seattle.

  • AlkiMark June 11, 2019 (8:26 pm)

    Ok how about Kolding and Tavil in the Primary?  

    • shauna June 11, 2019 (10:11 pm)

      that would be a dream come true! please let it be so.

    • A June 12, 2019 (1:11 am)

      One can only dream. My biggest worry is that although the majority of comments on here are anti Herbold, she has raised the most money thus far. Are the people financing her local, or are they out of state socialists like the ones financing Sawant in her bid for reelection? I feel like the majority of us want Herbold out but I am legitimately worried that the agenda backing Herbold will get her reelected

      • Cool Rick June 12, 2019 (10:35 am)

        I share your worries regarding Herbold. On the topic of fund raising though, the Chamber of Commerce and some big businesses such as Amazon have raised a large amount of funds already to support “more moderate” candidates. They’ve raised significantly more than any other council election in the past. These PACS operate independently of the candidates and are not counted in their fund raising totals. I strongly suspect Herbold is one of the candidates they’re rallying against given her anti-Amazon antics and rhetoric.

      • AMD June 12, 2019 (11:24 am)

        “I’m cool with the status quo” isn’t a sentiment that often compels people to post on internet message boards.  I wouldn’t take the numbers of opinions you see in one direction or the other  here as even remotely representative of the total populace.  I have strong opinions about Kolding, the idea that homeless people don’t work, and the assumption that lack of people posting support for Herbold means no one likes her, so I’m compelled to post about that.  I personally don’t take issue with the way Herbold has handled things, so I tend not to take the extra step to comment about her.  I think that’s pretty normal posting behavior.  *shrug*

      • Jon Wright June 12, 2019 (1:18 pm)

        Comments on a web site, even a site a wonderful as the West Seattle Blog, could not be less representative of the overall public. Based on WSB comments you would have thought the recent Seattle Public Schools levy was going to go down in flames; instead it passed handily.

  • Fiz June 11, 2019 (9:24 pm)


  • Public safety starts at the ballot box June 11, 2019 (10:19 pm)

    The city needs a reset, and it’s healthy to have people with differing opinions on the council otherwise you end up with more of the same situation we have now, and echo chamber. Lisa is not the answer in my opinion. 

  • shauna June 11, 2019 (10:20 pm)

    Tavel and Kolding would give this District and the city the proper representation we need. Lisa does respond to her constituents- but only if she agrees with you,. i know from personal experience trying to communicate with her. I want a council member who represents ALL of us and who is strong on public safety and really addressing homelessness with solutions- not just throwing more money at a failing approach.  We have two good candidates, Lisa Herbold is not one of them. Get out and vote for change  and better representation!

  • MJ June 11, 2019 (10:38 pm)

    Jethro small business owners work very hard, many of whom work 7 days a week to make it work.  And you hit the nail, they are a tiny fraction but pay more than their fair share in taxes.  Add in more regulation and mandates only makes things harder!  Lisa has added much more regulation and increased taxes on small businesses. 

  • Tom June 12, 2019 (8:35 am)

    Phil Tavel is by far the best option. He has complete policy solutions, supporter of business but still understands the realities of Seattle from being a public defender. Down with Herbold. Brendan doesn’t have any other policy ideas, or realistic objectives other than “I’m a police officer”. I will be voting for Phil Tavel.

    • Nolan June 12, 2019 (11:22 am)

      Which solutions would those be, precisely? For reference, things like “increase accountability”, “deliver effective results”, and “be more accessible” are platitudes, not solutions.

      • Phil Tavel June 14, 2019 (1:06 am)

        Fair Point Nolan. How about this…(1) Increase accountability: incentivize producing more than promised in a shorter time frame, instead of paying extra to get things finished when they aren’t “that late” or “too over budget.” If you are a contractor and you fail to meet or exceed the city’s agreed upon performance metrics then you are penalized. If, as a provider you continue to fail to meet or exceed expected standards (that my office will publish), you will no longer be asked to provide said services (and will clearly no longer be using the money that’s budgeted for solving problems, rather than failing to solve problems). I will ask the people of D1 to tell me how I’m doing, and I’ll do it annually, if not daily. How about a sticker for elected officials on their office doors like the food safety rating poster and it’s changed quarterly based on a constituent poll of job performance? Just a thought.(2) Deliver effective results: after having hundreds of conversations with people who work and worked in our city government and with our city’s government it’s clear that bureaucracy and politics are prohibiting attempts by certain city departments to hold service providers truly accountable for failing to deliver adequate (or dare we even hope excellent – for our hard earned money) results. We need to track results better from service providers, more clearly define what we feel is “successful” and we need to not allow self-reporting of statistics by interested parties – especially when they are used to justify funding levels (that should be a basic type of conflict check). I think that all you need is to start there and it’s more effective than where we are now. (3) Be more accessible: my campaign office is behind Shadowland and I will maintain that as a West Seattle office that will be open at least 4 hours every week day and sometimes on weekends (if I can convince a second grader that it would be “fun time with dad”), I will continue to host trivia at Talarico’s on Wednesday’s, for 45 or more weeks a year (8:30pm until whenever). I will hold monthly town halls at rotating locations across D1, and each one will be a fundraiser for a D1 charity. My cell phone is 206.949.8680, and text is best. Just let me know who you are :)Nolan…does that help?and thank you for asking.phil

        • Clear eyes June 14, 2019 (4:05 pm)

          Phil,  thanks for the reply to this.  I agree that data and self reported numbers from providers is like asking a HS student to fill out their own report card.  Accountability and transparency is important and ket to solving many of our issues.  I love the idea of a local staffed office. As a constituent who works a lot it is virtually impossible to get to city hall to talk to a member.  I signed up twice to talk to Lisa at her SW pool office space but she had to cancelled both of those dates.  She has office hours in district less than 1 day per month for a few hours.  I get she is busy and most things are at city hall but thanks for finding a way to create a connection for residents.  Would that be an office that someone could volunteer at?  I would donate a few hours a month to help connect citizens with recourses. 

          • Phil Tavel June 14, 2019 (9:00 pm)

            You’re welcome, and absolutely you’d be able to volunteer. 

  • huskycookie June 12, 2019 (9:47 am)

    Lisa Herbold is part of the City Council status quo that has endorsed failed policies that have attributed to an increase year after year of unsheltered homeless, a large percentage who have addiction and mental health issues.  The many taxes she has supported has contributed to making it more expensive to live in Seattle whether you own or rent. 

    I’ve engaged with Phil Tavel; he wants a system where our homeless have to get the services they need to get off the street while the police are actually allowed to enforce the law. He supports and wants actual accountability of service providers so that the cream rise to the top and those that aren’t getting the job done lose their funding.

    Regardless of your background or where you align politically, I know from experience that Phil Tavel actually LISTENS!  Something this current council is sorely
    lacks doing.

    • Jethro Marx June 12, 2019 (3:51 pm)

      Yes, these x long years since y got elected, and still z. I like the idea of people who listen, but speaking against the status quo may just mean you shouldn’t be listened to. I’m trying to pin down what makes for a successful city councilperson: is it representing what most people in their district want, or listening to the wackos that show up to council meetings asking that all dogs be leashed and vegan?

    • Jon Wright June 12, 2019 (8:36 pm)

      And that’s great we want city government to enact a system that facilitates that. But what happens when the courts intervene and preclude that? It’s wonderful to have great-sounding ideas (and I am absolutely not singling anyone out) BUT OFTEN THEY ARE NOT VIABLE! You hear lots of talk about “we need a common sense solution” however local government if required to follow all sorts of inconvenient laws and court rulings over which they have no control.

  • Neighbor June 12, 2019 (9:49 am)

    I’ve had the opportunity to speak with Lisa Herbold and it was an eye-opener. Sadly, not in a good way. All of her ideas to address issues were just to raise more money. Now, I’m not against raising more money, but I pointed out that she didn’t really answer the question- I wanted to know how she would use that money to address the issues at hand. And to that she had no satisfactory answers at all.I think I’m a typical Seattle voter. I’m fine with raising taxes if it’s going to help solve a problem. I’m not fine with raising taxes just for the sake of raising taxes, and getting no measurable results. I won’t be voting for Herbold this time around.

    • huskycookie June 12, 2019 (10:47 am)

      Well said.  It’s the root of why the Head Tax failed.  They couldn’t provide any info as to how the $$ would be spent.  Then you double down on the fact that between City and County Money which includes the budges of non-profits, were spending conservatively over $700 million and more than likely closer to a Billion and yet the problem worsens.  Perhaps more $$ isn’t the answer but how the $$ is being spent.  The Low Income Housing Institute hasn’t filed a tax return in years and hasn’t been audited either; this speaks volumes of the lack of accountability.

      • Will S. June 12, 2019 (4:27 pm)

        Speaking of accountability, Huskycookie, your final sentence about the Low Income Housing Institute is completely false. The following link will show you the organization’s past seventeen tax returns, plus its latest audited financial statements: https://projects.propublica.org/nonprofits/organizations/943155150 . This field of candidates is terrible as it is; there’s no need to malign anyone with misinformation.

  • Peter June 12, 2019 (9:57 am)

    I can’t stand any of them. They all have positions that I strongly oppose, and few pluses to counterbalance them. All together they have no appeal to me whatsoever, and so none of them are getting my vote. West Seattle deserves better than having to choose the least worst option. Frankly, when you look at candidates for other districts, D1 is the least significant of the seats up this year. Please remember that you can give your robbing taxpayers to enrich politicians vouchers to any candidate, not limited by district, and Sawant is very vulnerable. Just sayin’.

  • ScubaFrog June 12, 2019 (4:29 pm)

    No incumbents.  Sweep out the trash and start over.  Tax tax tax tax tax tax tax tax STOP!!!!!!  For heaven’s sake.  Old herbold never understood that her constituents weren’t corporations, and the second she grew a pair and rightly talked about finally taxing the 0%-taxed corporations, she backed down immediately like the coward she is.  So out.  Out Out Out she goes.  Instead of taxing us, maybe  look at the 0% corporate tax rate.

  • PangolinPie June 14, 2019 (8:28 am)

    Someone above says about Tavel “…he wants a system where our homeless have to get the services they need to get off the street while the police are actually allowed to enforce the law.” THIS is what I want in a candidate and this is why I will give Tavel a try in this election. Seeing him respond in this comment thread is pretty impressive, too. You’ve got my vote, Phil.

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