Claudia Balducci (City of Bellevue)

Dow Constantine, as King County Executive, appoints 10 of the Sound Transit Governing Board’s 18 members.  Today he nominated three new members to the board: Bellevue City Councilmember Claudia Balducci, Seattle Mayor Mike McGinn, and new King County Councilmember Jan Drago.  These three replace outgoing members Seattle’s Greg Nickels, Kirkland’s Mary Alice-Burleigh, and former Exec Kurt Triplett.  All have solid pro-rail credentials.

Constantine also reappointed Issaquah’s Fred Butler and County Councilmembers Julia Patterson and Pete von Reichbauer.  Of these, von Reichbauer is probably the shakiest from a “build as much rail as possible now” point of view, as he was one of only two board members (with Ron Sims) to vote against ST2 going to the ballot in 2008.

Constantine, Seattle’s Richard Conlin, Councilmember Larry Phillips, and Redmond Mayor John Marchione are continuing their terms on the Board.

All six of these appointments are subject to County Council approval, which should happen on January 11th in time for the next board meeting on the 14th.  It certainly casts new light on the Larry Phillips maneuvers that got Jan Drago on the Council and broke the 4-4 partisan deadlock there.

And let’s spare a moment to think who the appointees might have been had Susan Hutchison won.  There is certainly a crop of not-so-progressive Bellevue officials to choose from.

17 Replies to “New Sound Transit Board Members”

  1. Claudia Balducci will be an excellent addition to the ST board. I think she understands the issues surrounding light rail and she certainly understands Bellevue and our politics. And see, it pays to keep a Democrat on the council ;-) The Seattle Times had previously reported that Bellevue had never had an appointed ST board member. I should know to fact check the Seattle Sometimes. Former Bellevue Mayor Connie Marshall, replaced by Patsy Bonincontri and unseated by Kevin Wallace was on the ST board [side note: Kevin Wallace’s mother chaired one of Connie Marshall’s campaigns]. It’s too bad Ms. Balducci is so beholding to the Democratic party that she was compelled to go on record endorsing a perennial challenger to the incumbent in the last council race. That sort of faux pas is not soon forgotten.

    1. Your last commentary regarding Claudia Balducci is not just insulting it is also unwarrented. Councilmember Balducci is a person of integrity and a straight shooter. I may not always agree with her view on issues but when she says something you can bet on the it being her honest assessment after careful thought and consideration and her decisions are made without a hidden agenda. Bellevue has too long been without a voice on the ST Board and Balducci is a good additiona. I have long worked with Councilmember Balducci on several issues and have always found her to be an upstanding and honest person. Shame on you. What have you done to improve this issue besides sit at your keyboard?

  2. “And let’s spare a moment to think who the appointees might have been had Susan Hutchison won.”

    Let’s not.

  3. For tranist users this is such an important board.. sounds like good news to me! :)

  4. Guys, do you know which one of these board members I should contact if I have questions specific to Kirkland? I used to work with Mary Alice in the past…

    1. ST Board members don’t really have “districts” so it doesn’t really work that way, although it always helps if you’re a constituent in their real job. As a Kirkland resident you’re probably left with just Constantine.

  5. Too bad Dow wasn’t willing to tell von Reichbauer to vote for Joe McDermott as his replacement or lose his seat on the Board…

    1. Drago actually has a much longer pro-rail track record than McDermott does. From a narrow transit perspective I’m happy how this turned out.

  6. Great, now Mike McGinn can live up to his promise to stop the tunnel and consider shelving LINK and using bus RapidRide (completely funded by the Feds) instead.

    These things will save Washington State the billions needed to balance the budget.

    1. Huh? You must not have been paying much attention, McGinn is a big Link fan. Even if he was inclined to “shelve link” he’d have to convince a majority of the ST board to go along which is unlikely. If Link was “shelved” the line to the UW would be completed as it is already past the point of no-return. ST would continue to collect taxes which the state wouldn’t see a dime of.

      As for RapidRide, there are Federal grants to cover some of the capital costs but it isn’t 100% and it doesn’t include operating costs.

      1. RapidRide is quickly devouring the market for the laggard LINK…which is costly and cumbersome.

        What’s happened so far

        Metro released a report in January 2008 defining areas that are eligible to receive new transit service under Transit Now and identifying potential improvements in those areas (see Related documents at right for the report and two accompanying maps). The 12 areas named in the report are:

        * Black Diamond
        * Covington
        * Duvall
        * Enumclaw
        * Issaquah
        * Kent East Hill
        * Klahanie
        * Lakemont (City of Bellevue)
        * Maple Valley
        * Redmond Ridge
        * Sammamish
        * Snoqualmie

      2. Not even close.

        Not to mention that none of those are scheduled to receive any RapidRide service.

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