Last year Zach reported on a Republican bill in the legislature that would replace the current, appointed Sound Transit Board with an elected one. Politicians don’t mess with an agency’s governance when it’s on the right track, so we can only assume HB 1029 is an attempt to fundamentally change ST’s trajectory from the one voters approved last November. Zach’s post makes several cogent arguments why electing the Sound Transit board is a terrible idea, and links to a couple of my essays on the same subject.
The newest wrinkle is a Democrat, Rep. Sharon Tomiko Santos, who has joined seven Republicans to sponsor this bill (along with 8 senators – all Republicans – on the Senate version). What’s more, Rep. Santos represents the 37th District (CD/Rainier Valley/Skyway), the heart of the light rail system. 68.7% of 37th District voters voted yes for Prop 1., third among all districts. Voters there are broadly happy with the agency’s path, so it seems odd for Rep. Santos to cross party lines to pursue the longtime Republican objective of disrupting Sound Transit’s progress.