Here are Seattle Transit Blog’s endorsements for the August 16th primary election. We focus on the races with more than two candidates. As always, our endorsements are meant to focus entirely on their transit and land use positions. Readers can apply other criteria as they wish.

Our editorial board consists of Martin H. Duke, Adam Parast, and Sherwin Lee, with valued input from the rest of the staff. We appreciate the help of the Transit Riders’ Union, which solicited our input for this candidate questionnaire and published the results. You can also consult the King County voters’ guide.

Please note, if we did not make an endorsement, we found no compelling reason to do so. We evaluated all primaries within King County with more than two candidates and some key races in Snohomish and Pierce county.

John Creighton

King County Council District 6: Thanks to his answers on the questionnaire, we know a lot about John Creighton‘s views on transportation, and they are largely in agreement with the editorial board’s. He has done some good things at the Port, supports further revenue authority for both Metro and Sound Transit, and will solidify the pro-transit majority on the Council.

We know less about Richard Mitchell. He supports the Congestion Reduction Charge and has an educational background that suggests that he understands transit and land use. Other media outlets indicate he would be a stronger opponent to Jane Hague, who has tentatively opposed preserving Metro service. It’s an assertion we’re ill-equipped to evaluate.

Joe McDermott

King County Council District 8: Joe McDermott has had a short but impressive term on the Council since he replaced Dow Constantine. His positions are similar to Mr. Constantine’s — solid support for preserving and reforming Metro service while proceeding with Sound Transit’s buildout. Mr. McDermott’s opponents don’t appear to have a transportation emphasis, aside from orbit.

Seattle Referendum 1: REJECT. We remain convinced by the argument that the deep-bore tunnel is a poor policy prescription from transit, land use, fiscal, and environmental perspectives; and that the surface/transit/I-5 plan is a viable way to move people if only given the chance.

Due the arcane nature of the legal text, there is a good chance rejecting this referendum does little but add a procedural step and embarrass politicians that support a poor policy decision. Although not a satisfactory outcome, there is little downside in sending a message that this plan does not have enough transit and draws on too many non-gas tax sources to subsidize roads. Here’s hoping that someone listens to it.

Many more endorsements after the jump.

Michael Taylor-Judd

Seattle Council #1: Michael Taylor-Judd has been a longtime, active reader and commenter on STB, which is an indication of the depth of his commitment to transportation issues and the level of his engagement with the transit community. We can count on Mr. Taylor-Judd to have relentless focus on transportation and aggressively expand the pie for transit service.

Although we disagree with him on some second- and third-tier details, he would be a fine addition to the City Council and, importantly, replace a pro-tunnel Councilmember with an anti-tunnel one.

Sally Clark

Seattle Council #9 Sally Clark

As Chair of the Planning, Land Use, and Neighborhoods Committee, Sally Clark’s work directly interests us. We are particularly happy with the work that she has done with the the multifamily housing code update, which we think will improve the quality of these projects and help reduce NIMBY reactions to new dense projects. Sally obviously gets it. With her important chair position we wish she was a more forceful advocate for increased density around Link stations and other areas with high quality transit.

Kirkland Council #2: Bob Sternoff serves on the Regional Transit Committee and is a strong voice for Metro reform. He also is active in growth management issues. His opponents seem focused on other issues.

Kirkland Council #6: Dave Asher has been endorsed by the Washington Conservation Voters, Sierra Club, and Cascade Bicycle Club.  It’s clear from his responses that he is smart, well-informed, and uses the system. He understands the market forces associated with parking, the city’s role in improving streets for all users, and the proper way to organize a transit system.

Renton Council #5 : Robin Jones has some interesting ideas on how to improve transit in Renton. He wants to increase police presence at the Transit Center and put in more curb bulbs, both sensible, small-bore improvements for a city like Renton. His opponents are Ed Prince, who doesn’t seem to have much of a transportation platform, and Mark Martinez, whose anti-tax philosophy leads him to oppose more Metro funding. Martinez also favors restrictive zoning laws.

Sammamish Council #4: John Galvin‘s answers to our questionnaire indicate full understanding of the problems with Sammamish’s urban form in a future less dependent on the auto. He has a scathing critique of the city’s town center plan as being insufficiently transit-oriented. His Opponents don’t really say anything of note on density and transit.

25 Replies to “2011 Primary Endorsements”

  1. Great endorsements!

    While I adore the Reject Ref 1 endorsement and agree strongly, the Clark endorsement was especially striking to me — and very convincing.

    The MTJ endorsement? Rational icing on the cake, whether you agree or not.

    Awesome job, y’all!

  2. Mr. McDermott’s opponents don’t appear to have a transportation emphasis, aside from orbit.

    LOL!

  3. You do know that Mr. Creighton supported the $300 million unfunded promise of support for the deep-bore-tunnel project, right?

    1. We don’t require 100% agreement with our agenda to win an endorsement, especially if the office in question has little to with it.

  4. Yeah, I don’t know why I waited. I suppose I was waiting to see if there were any surprises.

    MTJ seemed fairly anti-gondola when we talked, but I’m voting for him anyway.

      1. I think gondolas would be an interesting solution for connecting Capitol Hill and South Lake Union — which is difficult due to the tear I-5 makes in our urban fabric.

        Unfortunately, I’m not sure there will be support for public spending on studies in this regard in the near future…

      1. I’d like the STB board to consider endorsement of the Children & Families Levy, along with the $80 tab and no on Eyman’s initiative with the sneak-attack clause on East Link.

        We expect many taxpayers to help with the Congestion Reduction Charge. Likewise, the childless among us should express our willingness to help with society’s costs of raising and educating the next generation.

      2. The only thing the levy has to do with transit is building a coalition to make the transit items easier to pass. Given that transit riders are a minority, coalition building is essential to get what we want. The CRC debate has made that clear.

  5. I would not accept James Creighton as he would fight to reduce the county council to seven members. How can I hope that he would think differently once elected. I still think we had better democracy with 13 members.

  6. Your endorsement of John Galvin is an example of a myopic, transit-oriented only viewpoint. Galvin’s history in Sammamish is well documented as an individual who resorts to abusive behavior toward the staff, the council, the commissions and just about everybody with whom he disagrees. Police have been present at meetings in case he resorts to abusive behavior. He verbally accosted the wives of two planning commissioners with whom he disagreed–including mine–and after the second instance, the police were present at the next meeting. His emails to the city are replete with abusive and unfounded accusations toward the staff and others. Your research in this endorsement is obviously lacking.

    1. Well, we’re explicitly doing a “myopic, transit-oriented” viewpoint. If voters are interested in who’s progressive or well-behaved or whatever, there are other sources where they can get that.

      1. An elected official in particular has to be able to get along to be effective in advancing Transit Blog’s agenda. Galvin has proved he can’t get along with anyone in the city government. He would not advance your agenda.

  7. Joe McDermott’s had a short but “impressive” term on the council? Excuse me but that sounds idiotic. McDermott hasn’t done anything or substance. He touts helping fund the SouthPark Bridge (when in fact, during the 10 years Joe was in the senate, he did NOTHING to repair the bridge and stop it’s closure). Now, after Constantine and others find funding for the bridge Joe jumps on the bandwagon. Disgraceful. He then tries to steal Sharon Nelson’s thunder on the Maury Island deal. He joins everyone else in supporting the Veteran’s Levy, and isn’t original enough to come up with any options to save transit other than raise taxes. Meanwhile, his opponent Diana Toledo has REAL, innovative, responsible ways to improve transportation and save Metro. Take time to watch some of their debate videos. Vote Toledo, McDermott is not qualified.

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