Scott Gutierrez, in a must-read, shares some statements that show why King County can’t have nice things. To prevent deep Metro cuts next year, the King County needs either 6 votes and no ballot measure or 5 votes and a vote of the people. No Republican are likely to vote for it, so to even go to the ballot all five Democrats have to stick together.
In that light, uh-oh:
I take the bus to work, the 41 from Northgate. I’m a Metro user on a regular basis. But on the fee, I have an open mind about it. I want to balance the needs of Metro with the tough economy for folks,” said County Councilmember Bob Ferguson, who represents areas north of Seattle [sic] and has announced he’ll run for Attorney General next year.
“I’m not saying yes, I’m not saying no. But I don’t think it’s a slam-dunk. I think that’s fair to say.”
Councilmember Julia Patterson, a Democrat who represents suburban areas around Kent, Seatac and Tukwila, says its chances are unclear. She said it could hinge on how the Regional Transit Committee votes on a new 10-year strategic plan that guides how Metro allocates future bus service.
“People are holding their cards close until they see what happens with the strategic planning process and the elimination of the 40/40/20 rule,” she said. “If the process is fair and everyone agrees with the strategic plan, I think elected officials will be much more inclined to support the (the fee).”
So the emergency transit funding bill might get wrapped up in the subarea politics of getting rid of 40/40/20. And that plan is sitting the Regional Transit Committee, which is composed of both County and municipal officials, and chaired by Reagan Dunn:
Right now, Dunn said he leans toward supporting the [service allocation] plan, but could be the swing vote if the suburbs are able to convince him it’s not a fair plan.
If I had to have one or the other, I think I’d rather have the policy reform than avoid the cuts, but I could understand why some would feel otherwise.