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.
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.
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.
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.
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.