One of the more underappreciated outcomes of the election is the vacancy in Attorney General-Elect Bob Ferguson’s old seat on the King County Council. Of all the various levels of government, the County Council is probably the most important legislature for determining how transit actually operates, as it exercises tight control over King County Metro and approves the Executive’s appointments to the Sound Transit Board.
To fill the vacancy, Executive Dow Constantine will soon nominate three candidates, and the Council will pick their next colleague from that list. To find out what we’re in for, and allow readers to tell their representatives what they think, STB asked all seven contenders simple questions about their views.
STB’s endorsement will come in a few days. If you live in District 1, you should let Executive Constantine know who you want to represent you. If you live in one of the other districts, tell your councilmember how they should vote in this process.
Briefly, the candidates are: Kenmore Mayor David Baker, real-estate attorney Rod Dembowski, Shoreline City Councilmember Will Hall, Shoreline State Rep. Cindy Ryu, former Futurewise attorney Keith Scully, low-income housing activist Sarajane Siegfriedt, and King County Deputy Ombudsman Chuck Sloane.
Mr. Dembowski was the only one who either did not check his publicly available email or chose not to respond. [UPDATE: I now have responses for Dembowski, who was able to see his opponents' responses before sending his.]
We’ve summarized all the responses in the chart below the jump; they are my characterizations . The names in the header row link to a pdf of their full replies.
|1. Should King County Metro obtain new revenue to maintain existing service levels and/or add new service?||Y||Y||Y||Y||Y||Y||Y|
|2. Is your support dependent on the revenue source not being regressive?||Y||N||N||Y||Y||Y||Y|
|3. Is it important to you that any tax increase for King County Metro go before the voters?||N||N||N||N||Y||N||N|
|4. Please rank your priorities (1 being highest priority, 4 the lowest) for the King County Metro budget:|
|- preservation of one-seat rides to major job centers||1||3||2||1||4||2||5 (seniors #4)|
|- better local connections to high-capacity, express, or RapidRide lines||3||1||1||2||1||1||1|
|- capital expenditure to speed up service in important corridors||2||2||3||3||2||3||2|
|- expansion of service to outlying areas of the county||4||4||4||4||3||4||3|
|5. Do you support Sound Transit’s current plans to construct light rail to Lynnwood, Redmond, and Des Moines?||Y||Y||Y||Y||Y||Y||Y|
|6. Would you support additional taxing authority to allow Sound Transit to continue building the rail in their long range plan?||Y||Y||Y||Y||Y||Y||Y|
|7. If so, what areas of the county would be your priorities for these projects?||Redmond, Issaquah||Federal Way, Tacoma||Fremont, Ballard, Renton||520||Federal Way||Federal Way?||Federal Way|
|8. Is it important to restrict development in unincorporated areas of King County?||Y||Y||Y||Y||Y||Y||Y|
|9. Do you think tolling is a good revenue source for transportation?||Y||Y||Y||Y||Y||Y||Y|
|10. Should toll revenues be (a) restricted to the roadway being tolled, or (b) should some be used to fund transit?||Transit||Transit||Transit||Transit||Transit||Roadway||Transit|
|11. Around suburban rail stations, is it MORE important to have (a) park-and-rides so that a wider area can access it, or (b) transit-oriented development so that housing and jobs are nearby?||TOD||TOD||TOD||TOD long term, P&R short term||TOD||Waffle||TOD|
|12. At park-and-rides that are full, does it make sense to charge people to park to manage demand?||Wants Study||N||Y||Y||N||N||Y|
In retrospect, I think several candidates thought that question #6 referred to ST’s 2023 plan, rather than the “long-range plan” that includes lines to Ballard, West Seattle, Issaquah, Everett, Tacoma, and so on. The lack of clarity is my fault.