This is only tangentially related to transit, but most of you probably don’t know we have an election coming up tomorrow, and it’s one where you have to vote in person to participate. It’s for the King County Conservation District Board of Supervisors. The Seattle Times has a nice write-up on why things are the way they are, but the practical impact is that voter ignorance makes it much easier for special interests to capture the process.

There are 7 locations County-wide at which you can vote on Tuesday, including the Seattle Central Library. In keeping with our tradition here we won’t endorse in non-transit-related races, but take a look at the candidates and let everyone know in the comments who they should support.

12 Replies to “Conservation Board Election”

  1. The only one that jumps out at me is the Realtor®, and that would be a negative connotation…

    1. Two are realtors, both with John L Scott. One doesn’t mention her realtor job in her statement. But she has some scary endorsements and talks about “property rights”. I was unaware that this agency had any power of eminent domain whatsoever. At any rate, there is an effort to put an anti-environmentalist in this seat.

  2. Sierra Club and King County Conservation Voters have both endorsed Max Prinsen because we expect him to continue applying the board’s $6.3 million dollar budget to saving salmon, assisting farmers with conservation plans, and investing in environmental protection and habitat restoration.

    Prinsen, a South King County resident and president of SHADOW (Save Habitat And Diversity of Wetland), has a long history with the KCD and as an environmentalist.

    After you vote tomorrow (or before if that’s how you like to roll), please join Sierra Club and King County Conservation Voters for a party celebrating KCD election day at Sazerac (1101 4th Avenue, Seattle – across the street from the library, where you can vote).

  3. These elections should take place the same time the rest of our elections take place, with candidate profiles in the voter’s pamphlet and so on.

    1. Agreed. I wrote someone at the Washington State Conservation Commission and he said that state law required each participant in a general election to contribute an equal part of the cost to the county, and that the conservation districts are so small that they can’t afford this. Something should change, though.

    2. Turn out was cleary higher this year. I voted at the Bellevue Library this evening and was one of the very last to get in. They ran out of ballots and had to copy more. The lady checking ID’s said that 940 people had voted there, and there were 3-4 more in line after me.

  4. The stealth manor of this election is a disgrace. Voting for this office should be part of the regular election to ensure voter participation and an honest examination of all the issues.

    That said, I am voting for Kirk Prindle. We need a change from the status quo and having someone who is an experienced environmental biologists makes the most sense to me.

  5. It would be great if this election used instant runoff voting / ranked choice voting, so we could freely vote for who we want without feeling like we are wasting our votes.

  6. Think I’m going with the planner, Mary Embleton. She is the only one that discusses her experience with all aspects of conservation.

    The guy endorsed by the Sierra Club will be in serious need of an editor if elected. I couldn’t get past his poor description of himself. He also seems to lack, or forgot to include, experience with agriculture. Conservation of natural resources is good, but our ag lands deserve attention too.

  7. I’m sure saying this will get me in hot water with some, but frankly, if they can’t afford to be on the same ballot as everyone else, maybe it’s time to eliminate this agency rather than make it so vulnerable to vote manipulation.

    Water districts and cemetery districts manage to find the funding to be on the general election ballot, what’s the excuse for disenfranchising so much of the County?

    No absentee ballots for the disabled, the military, or those out of town for work.

    No mail-in ballots for those in more remote parts of the county (voters in Enumclaw should take a three-hour bus trip to vote for this?), or those who work during shorter-than-normal polling hours.

    It’s as if the agency was intentionally set up to minimize public control, but now they’re offended by members of the public organizing to vote.

    Either join the general election cycle, put the agency under some other elected office, or abolish it.

    1. It would be interesting to see how the current amateurish election system would hold up to civil rights challenges.

  8. A lot of folks making comments about un-democratic election…in this case that doesn’t make much sense.

    KCD is a non-govermental agency. That means they don’t regulate anything. They do receive funding from govt sources, but they mainly provide educational resources. That would be different from water agencies which provide utilities or councils that decide on legislation.

    Voting is available to anyone in the county for their Board of Supervisors, but it is not a body that represents the people. That means that their elections make sense in the context as they exist today.

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