Sound Transit
An old picture of the board (Sound Transit)

I realize that Erica Barnett is using this post at Publicola to be humorous and make the point that all the anti-rail usual suspects are donating to Susan Hutchison.  Still,  that effort ought not to spread misinformation about how the process works:

So who might those board members be if light-rail opponent Susan Hutchison is elected? Hutchison’s spokesman Jordan McCarren did not responded [sic] to an email asking that question, but here are some educated guesses.

1) Kemper Freeman. The Bellevue developer and longtime light-rail opponent…

It goes on like that.  For the record, here is the requirement from the State law authorizing Regional Transit Authorities like Sound Transit:

The regional transit authority shall be governed by a board consisting of representatives appointed by the county executive and confirmed by the council or other legislative authority of each member county…

Each member of the board, except the secretary of transportation or the secretary’s designee, shall be:

(a) An elected official who serves on the legislative authority of a city or as mayor of a city within the boundaries of the authority;

(b) On the legislative authority of the county, if fifty percent of the population of the legislative official’s district is within the authority boundaries; or

(c) A county executive from a member county within the authority boundaries.

When making appointments, each county executive shall ensure that representation on the board includes an elected city official representing the largest city in each county and assures proportional representation from other cities, and representation from unincorporated areas of each county within the service area. At least one-half of all appointees from each county shall serve on the governing authority of a public transportation system.

None of the figures Barnett lists is actually eligible to serve on the board.  King County controls 10 of the 18 seats, with a two-thirds vote necessary for most major decisions.

Pointing this out may make me humorless, but gives me an excuse to actually put this information in a post.

14 Replies to “Sound Transit Board Appointments”

  1. When Susan wins, she’s got my vote, I hope she appoints some who actually cares about the regions outside Seattle. I know Dow won’t.

    1. I hope you’re joking. If not, know that Dow represents West Seattle, Burien, Tukwila, SeaTac, and Vashon, so he definitely is in tune with the needs and wants of people outside of Seattle.

    2. Mathew, we’ve heard all your arguments before. One of the big projects at stake in this race is East Link. Tell me how Susan Hutchison shifting gears on her East Link stance (despite her fully knowing the ramifications of shifting rail to 520)does any good for these “regions outside Seattle.” The Eastside will stand to benefit greatly from East Link, and last I checked, Dow cares far more for its completion than Susan.

      1. Great point, Sherwin. Most of the Sound Transit 2 projects Hutchison would disapprove of are outside Seattle.

  2. Subarea equity ensures that non-Seattleites get more than their fair share. What do you want, 45-45-10?

  3. If Dow really cared about the areas outside Seattle he would be fighting the way the County sets property values for taxing. I know plenty of people who are over taxed because the county says there houses are worth up to $100,000 dollars more than there worth. He won’t do it because he fells the goverment needs the money more than the people do.

    1. What does that have to do with Seattle vs. the rest of the county?

      Property valuations are decided by the County Assessor’s office which is out of the control of the Executive and the County Council–the Assessor is a separately elected official. You should tell the “plenty of people” you know that if the Assessor is claiming their home is worth more than it really is, they can appeal the assessment to the Board of Equalization. But your beef isn’t with Dow, and Susan wouldn’t make that situation any better even if King County elects her.

      It’s ok to support a candidate because you’re a conservative and so is she, but it’s really disingenuous for you to keep claiming that you oppose Dow because he “only cares about Seattle.” That just shows that you know nothing about Dow or his record.

      1. My parent spent two years appealing. When the County finially admitted that they were wrong they refused to give back what they were overcharged. Most of the council Dow and our own member Julia Patterson could care less. This is an act of injustice. Every member of the council should be outraged. Most are not. Yes I decided to support Susan Hutchinson early on because she and i agree on most issues. I also gave money to Senator Jarrett. Even though we disagree more than we agree. Why, because he is someone who may fight to end this injustice. I think he would have cared about what propety owners in the south end are going through. I just see Dow as part of the establishment that is hurting people like my parents and my Pastor and his family. (His property value has dropped on the market. Yet His property taxes went up due to county assessment. No one in the county cares. He makes less than $20,000 a year and has 6 kids.)

      2. Or, better yet, educate yourself on how property taxes are assessed. It is NOT a given that a decrease in the value of your home will mean a decrease in your property taxes.

  4. Take it one step further, Martin. Susan can’t appoint the names Erica suggested, but she can, and will, appoint anti-East Link members from the Eastside. Her buddy Kemper is trying to elect an anti-rail slate to the Bellevue council. She will most likely make her first appointment either Kevin Wallace or Conrad Lee. Others will follow in this mold throughout the region.

    ST is a mature agency that is actively building projects. The board needs critical thinkers, not obstructionists.

    1. Still her power to really gum things up will be limited as the rules will keep her from appointing 9 Kevin Wallaces or Conrad Lees.

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