The early election results from Pierce County are not good. Andrew Austin of TCC broke down the district results, and found that it passed strongly in Tacoma, lost narrowly in Gig Harbor and Puyallup, and was slaughtered in the exurbs. PT’s reserves run out in 2012, so expect a 35% service cut over the next year or so.
Meanwhile, Jefferson County voters passed an identical tax rate increase to preserve their transit service. This will not only avoid a 22% service cut but actually allow modest increases in the coming years.
- While there is no single reason the PT measure failed, I question any decision to put transit measures in obscure elections. Low-turnout elections are likely to miss young people, who are an important pro-transit constituency.
- Fans of agency consolidation living in other counties should consider this result and the Prop. 1 results from 2008 and ask themselves if they really want their fates tied to the Pierce County electorate.