Vote Yes for the Parks District + other bike-partisan election guidance

Screen-Shot-2014-06-04-at-10.01.37-PMSeattle votes yes for the parks levy every time. So why do we keep asking if Seattle voters want to renew it? Yes, of course we do.

The Parks District (Prop 1 on the Seattle August 5 primary ballot) creates a permanent funding mechanism for maintaining and improving parks, something we have made very clear we want as a city. With more funding, parks can do all kinds of great stuff, like keeping community centers open for full hours and in good repair, maintaining the park grounds better and expanding programs. But the need that catches this blog’s eye most is the chance to improve access to all park neighbors, regardless of age and ability.

Many Seattle parks are wonderful, safe and comfortable spaces one you get to them, but they are bounded by busy streets with few comfortable or safe crossings. If a child grows up near a park but cannot get to it due to a lack of safe crossings or routes, that is a huge shame and a waste of park resources. Every home near a park should have safe and comfortable walking and biking routes so kids and adults with mobility issues can enjoy and feel invited to be part of these vital public spaces.

Today, the Parks Department does not have the means to do much parks access work. They pretty much spend their funds on the areas inside park boundaries, but the Parks District measure is a chance to change that. If it passes, the district will have the means to collaborate with SDOT on improving access to — and sometimes within — parks for people walking and biking.

That’s why it has the support of Seattle Neighborhood Greenways, whose Executive Director Cathy Tuttle praised the initiative in a letter:

The Seattle Neighborhood Greenways community coalition envisions a Seattle Parks system where our kids can safely bike to and through parks for fun, or simply to get home. We envision a Seattle Parks system where grandparents can safely walk and go through as they enjoy staying active. The Seattle Parks ballot measure calls out “Activating and Connecting to Greenways” as a good first step towards this vision.

In order to create an equitable system that serves all Seattleites, parks need to be accessible on foot or by bike. “Activating and Connecting to Greenways” will provide $315,848 per year to allow the Parks Department to work across silos and collaborate with Seattle Department of Transportation to make our parks more accessible to everyone. In addition, “Activating and Connecting to Greenways” will give the Parks Department funding to help provide valuable expertise when Seattle starts to host open streets events (similar to Portland’s Sunday Parkways) that link together multiple parks.

The arguments against the Parks District are not related to biking or really even with the elements that would be funded by the district. Instead, opponents are concerned about the permanence of the district, preferring to soundly vote yes on a levy every once in a while. Like the Transportation Benefits District, the City Council will essentially put on a new hat and act as the Parks District board when conducting the district business.

Taxing ourselves through the district rather than another levy will also “free up” some levy capacity for other purposes (state law limits the total levy amount the city can pass), like a future universal pre-K initiative or a bigger transportation levy if that’s the route the city chooses to go.

So if nothing else, vote yes on Prop. 1!

Who else should I vote for?

Seattle Bike Blog is in no way prepared to endorse candidates in the August primary. We’d love to be able to do this for future elections some day, but it’s a big and important job that we don’t want to half-ass.

However, if you are looking to see how candidates view bicycling before mailing your ballot, check out these questionnaire responses from Cascade Bicycle Club. If you totally trust Cascade’s view on the issues, you can also see a simplified list of endorsed candidates here.

And if you can’t bring yourself to get excited about voting in the primary, the Stranger’s endorsement guide is always a funny read.

However you vote, just make sure you do it today. Don’t wait until the last minute, because you might forget or get tied up on the way home. You know who won’t forget to vote? People who just vote against anything that includes a tax (like the Parks District) or people who are willing to start shoving people at press conferences over a parks funding issue. It’s a primary, so voter turnout will probably be a bit lower than other elections (that means your vote counts more).

Your ballot should be arriving soon if it hasn’t already. If you are registered but don’t get your ballot, check out the King County Elections website for options on voting.

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51 Responses to Vote Yes for the Parks District + other bike-partisan election guidance

  1. Janine says:

    I would so much rather we passed the same levies we have never failed to pass, with more accountability and transparency than the MPD. I wholeheartedly support parks, even thought we have virtually none in my community. I think supporters of the MPD have succeeded in convincing people that they are anti-park if they are anti-MPD.

  2. Gary says:

    Sorry Tom, but this is one we should vote “no” on. It’s not the levy that is the problem, its the change in governance of the parks board as well as who controls what levies are levied…. In short you get an unelected board in control of the parks budget & levies. Most places that have these boards (and I like them) are directly elected.

    Think of this as the “Sound Transit” board for parks. Otherwise known as the unelected group which runs Sound Transit. If you like that mode of government, you’ll like this one.

    Also AFAIK, there has never been a Seattle Parks Levy which failed at the polls. (Yes the Commons failed but it was a specific project, not general funds to run the parks.)

    • Tom Fucoloro says:

      Gary, I guess I’m confused why electing the City Council isn’t enough voting. They’ll be the ones acting as the board commissioners, yes? At a certain point, we need to put stock in our elected officials to manage stuff like parks. That seems well within their job description. If they do something with the Parks District we don’t like, we can vote ‘em out (or at least try).

      I don’t really want to vote on a whole other board of park district commissioners, and I’m not convinced the result would be any better than our City Council. It’s hard enough to get voters interested in Council races, let alone a Parks District race.

    • David Sucher says:

      What Gary says:

      “It’s not the levy that is the problem, its the change in governance of the parks board as well as who controls what levies are levied…. In short you get an unelected board in control of the parks budget & levies. Most places that have these boards (and I like them) are directly elected.”

      I agree 100%. I have no problem with paying for parks. I just don’t believe that we need a change in governance.

      I understand that the Council would like another funding source but I don’t see why this new civic corporation can’t have an elected board. “Power of the Purse” sort of thing.

      I assume that this new Metro Park District would — at some future time w/o Seattle vote — also be able to join with other park districts outside the City limits. Why do we need that? Except perhaps to raise more $$$ such as for the Central Waterfront Park?

      Making a major change at an August vote is also suspicious.

      • Tom Fucoloro says:

        “Suspicious”? It’s an election! They mailed a ballot to every voter in the city. How is that suspicious?

        Don’t fall into that conspiracy hole. If there’s a good reason to vote against it, then by all means follow it. But some of these no arguments border on anti-tax conspiracy theories that need to be avoided.

        The City Council is what it is. I get that people who don’t like the council (we’ve all been there at some point) or don’t trust them to be able to manage parks would vote against this. But if that’s the argument, then stick with it. The District should win or lose on its merits, not because of conspiracy theories.

      • David Sucher says:

        Sorry if I wasn’t clear.
        Of course the election itself is clear.
        But I am indeed suspicious of proposals which create taxing authorities where I can’t vote on the decision-making officials i.e. where there are NO elected-officials.
        Democracy is tough enough. To raise levels of social distrust by having un-elected officials able to tax people is not a good idea.

      • Gary says:

        Thansks David, for the clarifying thoughts.

        It is precisely the problem with prop 1, that once formed can’t be modified or removed by the same people who voted for it. (What’s up with that? Afraid the voters won’t like it and want something else?)

        The second is that a city with the number of great parks we have needs a board whose responsibility is just that. Keeping those parks great. Acquiring land, paying for maintence, deciding on the fate of the elephants at the zoo, etc.

        Its pretty clear that the current city council could care less about any of this. Why put them (keep them) in charge (for an extra $10K a year) when they’ve done such a crumby job so far?

      • Craziness says:

        The City Council approves the city budget, with a public process, every single year. The MPD will be governed by the city council members and have public hearings every step of the way. Please quit it with the straw man that an “unelected” board will be created.

      • TobyinFremont says:

        Here’s how an “unelected board” is created: The Park District board of commissioners (CityCouncil) is legally accountable only to itself–under statute neither Mayor nor voters can stop or undo any Council action. Instead, the proponents offer another “community advisory committee” (ILA Section 4.4). That appointed body (majority by the Council) constitutes the de facto unelected board for the district’s decision making.

  3. Ballard Biker says:

    I have voted, “yes” for every parks levy since I can remember, and am still voting, “no” on Prop 1. There is no way I can trust this city council in particular, to manage that sort of system.

  4. Stuart says:

    I don’t understand the no argument. If the board is the city council, how can it be said the board is unelected? Honestly, I don’t want another board filled with people I’ve never heard of that I’m expected to know the detailed politics of. If the city council takes on that responsibility, it becomes part of their accountability and the journalists who cover the city council will by default also cover their actions related to parks. To me that seems more democratic while opening up more potential revenue.

    • DrewJ says:

      Agreed. From the statement against in the voter pamphlet: “[this MPD] shifts control of our precious park resources to the Council with absolutely no accountability to voters.” That seems like such a weird argument since we hold our councilmembers accountable through direct elections.

      Also worth noting that there is a regional agency (Sound Transit) with a lot greater taxing authority that also operates with a board of elected officials, but we don’t choose the members of that board through a separate election either. And that seems to be working quite well at current.

      • Gary says:

        Actually from trying to “fix” “modify” “get my voice heard” with the Sound Transit board, I do NOT want another unelected board with taxing authority. I have a bitter taste left over from the Monorail lack of cooperation/Sound Transit fiasco. The general IMO waste of tax payer dollars on the extremely expensive per passenger Sounder Trains and the lack of bicycles being considered as an alternative mode by the Sound Transit board… ok

        The problem is that unelecting board members changed nothing at the Sound Transit level. They just kept on doing whatever as if the failure of the canidates had nothing to do with their viewpoints/votes.

        We need folks dedicated to the Seattle Parks, I get that, but they should be directly elected. This is a position which is 100% in opposition to what the City Council does, which is beholden to the downtown buisness intrests. I want the money paid for things like the slips at Leschi to go toward repairing those miserable docks and not put back into the general city fund. Same for Zoo Tunes etc.

        In anycase I predict failure due to the “no taxes anytime” crowd siding with “what’s up with this new unelected board” crowd voting against it.

      • Stuart says:

        Right, I consider it a misrepresentation to say that giving an existing elected body new taxing authority is “a new unelected board.” Yes, it is a little complicated to understand the proxying going on, but to continually mis-understand it after discussion smells of rhetorical misdirection.

  5. Peri Hartman says:

    Does anyone know more about some of the opposition’s claim: the MPD could sell or commercialize and privatize park assets. The other issue I’m concerned about is requiring a state-wide process to change or terminate the MPD. Why did the crafters decide that a Seattle initiative should be forbidden?

    • Richard says:

      On this part: “…the MPD could sell or commercialize and privatize park assets” Actually my question on this is, is that actually a change? Couldn’t the city do that right now anyway?

      • michaelp says:

        The city charter does not allow for willy-nilly sales of park land (and the way it’s written, it is nearly impossible – as it should be). The opponents like to say that the MPD could sell park land, but then when confronted with facts: the MPD won’t actually own any park land – then have to slither on to some other fairy tale.

        The Park District is simply a means of ensuring stable funding for parks, community centers, and affordable programs for all of Seattle. Levies are capital in nature, and sloughing parks operations and routine maintenance into levies is government a la carte – it’s Eymanism at its worst.

        Parks has a tool in the MPD to be able to get out of the levy cycle, freeing up capacity for other needs and priorities in our city. Parks is an essential service, and if you believe that well-maintained parks and trails are a priority, then a “yes” vote makes sense.

        If you honestly believe that this new revenue mechanism creates a shadow government, or somehow will lead to appointed city council members, then join with Suzie Burke and Faye Garneau – two of the biggest contributors to the anti-parks campaign – and vote against stable funding for parks.

    • Peri Hartman says:

      ok, the sales of park property is probably a non issue. Second question: why is an initiative disallowed?

      • Tom Fucoloro says:

        That’s a good question, Peri. Let me see if I can track down an answer. Anyone here know?

      • TobyinFremont says:

        The Park District is legally allowed to purchase property. That property is not subject to City ordinance 118477 adopted by Initiative 42 (not part of the Charter) prohibiting sale of City park assets. The proponents of Prop 1 promise that the Park District will not buy or own property, but that promise has no legal weight. I don’t think sale of City park assets is a big near term threat, but over time, who knows…

        Regarding the application of City Charter initiative: That is clear–the City Charter does not apply to the City Council’s decisions acting as the Park District Commission. After the revenue stream goes into City Parks Dept, no problem. But the decisions about where to direct that money lie wholly within the discretion of the Park District board (i.e., City Council).

        Bottom line: The MPD structure shifts the balance of political power regarding management of the City’s parks assets from the Mayor to the Council, and cuts the voters out.

    • Au says:

      You could read the RCW yourself. Its 35.61 RCW, Metropolitan Park District.
      You will find your answer under eminent domain #3. You are wise in wondering why the backers feel this is necessary. Particularly since Seattle has a history of voting yes for park levies.

      If we are to have a MPD it needs to be separate from the city council. Also, since this MPD would go into effect immediately the current council would be the board members and NO no one voted for them as park commissioners and we won’t ever vote for them as board members but will always for them as city council members, who will just happen to have a significant amount of power over our public parks and land. This isn’t really about money for parks at all. Its about allowing more power in fewer hands.

      Oh but according to the proponents me talking like this, opposing what I feel is wrong for our city is me being a whiny baby. (from the latest ‘yes for prop 1′ colorful happy mailer)

  6. Steve A says:

    In the “who else to vote for,” wouldn’t it be simpler just to say “vote for D only, no matter how distasteful?” Sheesh…

  7. David Sucher says:

    I could be all wrong but the key part of the whole thing — and what smells — is that the purpose of creating a Seattle Metro Park District is to be able to raise taxes.

    As City Attorney Pete Holmes says:

    “As a separate taxing authority from the City of Seattle, the District could levy additional property tax above the current “lid” restrictions that state law imposes on Seattle.”
    http://www2.ci.seattle.wa.us/ethics/votersguide.asp

    That hasn’t been stated openly and directly but higher taxes seems to be the core of the District effort.

  8. David Sucher says:

    What troubles me is that I haven’t heard any proponents say “We need to raise taxes and we can’t do it any other way except by creating a separate layer of government.”
    At least then the discussion would be honest:
    Do you want higher taxes or not?

    • DrewJ says:

      The problem is that the City is restricted to using levies to fund a lot of service, and these have to be renewed periodically. Then people only vote for levies if they get something sexy, like a new park down the block, so too much money is spent on capital project and not enough on maintenance.

      This proposition is a sustainable funding source, for which, sure, could cause taxes to go up in the future. Tacoma has an MPD, but they’re not drowning in a sea of taxes for parks. And it would still take an act of the City Council to increase the tax rate; we can vote those members in/out of office if we don’t like what they do. Do you think that next year (or ten years from now) the MPD will suddenly be charging 75 cents/$1,000? Seems unlikely.

      • TobyinFremont says:

        Not “suddenly” but the pressure on the Council sitting with authority to relieve pressure on the City’s levy capacity needed for other obligations will be huge. I think it “seems very likely” that the tax rate will creep up over time.

    • JAT says:

      Indeed I do. The trouble with America is that the taxes are too low. We want to be a world class country with world class amenities, but we also want to be rugged individualists separating ourselves from the “moochers.” We want simultaneously to have our government serve Our special interest and also decry that “government is the problem not the solution.”

      You can’t have both.

      Hell yeah, I’ll take higher taxes and better services, please.

    • Tom Fucoloro says:

      David, I think that is a more honest way of framing the choice. Thank you.

      This will result in higher taxes for more park services, maintenance and improvements. It also provides breathing room for other levies to get bigger or for all new levies, all of which we will have to vote on at some other date. It will also increase the power of the City Council by giving them another district and more taxing authority to deal with park stuff.

      So if you like that, then vote yes. If not, vote no. I understand that a lot of people don’t like taxes, but people are also willing to spend more if they get better parks. I wish that were the discussion we were having, not this shadow government conspiracy stuff I keep reading and hearing.

      • David Sucher says:

        An aspect to the discussion is that very few people understand the City’s budget — where the money comes in and where it goes out.

        First thing I’d do if I were a politician is have the Budget Director give a 30 minute (max) basic explanation on the City’s channel (with great production values) showing the basic dollar in- and out-flows so that the citizenry has an idea of what the hell is going on. Has anyone here ever seen such a presentation? I’d love to see it.

        I agree that parks need better maintenance. But I want numbers.

        We spend a huge amount of money. Where is it coming from? where is it going?

      • Craziness says:

        There are presentations about the city budget to the council all the time on the Seattle Channel. It’s complicated to understand, but you seem to oppose the funding because you haven’t taken the time to educate yourself on where the money is going?

      • DMS says:

        My point is to simplify the explanation of the budget.
        Very few people in Seattle know anything about the budget.
        But they could if the City made an attempt to explain.

  9. Kate Martin says:

    I’m pro parks and have voted yes on every parks levy, but I agree with the League of Women Voters on this one – I’m voting NO. This one does not pass the sniff test. Here’s what the LWV had to say:
    http://www.slideshare.net/katemartinseattle/lwv-metropolitan-parks-district-statement
    Please consider a NO vote.

    • David Sucher says:

      And please bear in mind to people who care about parks and know that parks need money, voting “NO” only means “NO” to _This Plan._

      The City can try it again with a better proposal.

      If the City honestly explains and educates the citizenry about the budget (as I mention above) and speaks directly like “We need to raise taxes to do X,Y,Z and here are the options” then I think that Seattle will respond generously.

      But this proposal feels like a trick. Leadership must be honest and say “If you want these services, we MUST raises taxes.”

    • Craziness says:

      I have followed city government for several years and have no idea who any of those people are. What’s a better way to fund our parks within the city’s authority? Please answer that question, rather than raise srawmen about lack of oversight and imperfect *state* laws that govern what we can and can’t do. If you want to have oversight on parks, get engaged in the process rather than expecting every single decision to come down for a vote.

      • TobyinFremont says:

        1) Development impact fees could contribute significantly to the parks revenue stream, but they were explicitly kept off the table. 2) Money is being spent in ways that are not clearly in the interest of many let alone most citizens. E.g., $4,000,000/year for maintenance of a waterfront park we don’t even know what we’re buying yet. $2,000,000/year in non-specific Zoo support (to allow them to keep abusing elephants?). Park District revenue is an unaccountable slush fund compared with project-specific allocations of levies.

  10. pqbuffington says:

    Point of reminder, but the city council will be a very different animal, if not animals, in the not so distant future, i.e. in 2015 we will have district defined representation.

    Because of this, I do not fear the potential bumbling of something that – of course, arguably – has been one of the better examples of civic management. Theoretically, the advent of districts will greatly constrain any wild idea about funding, over-funding, or de-funding lest we forget that possibility, from a monolithic city council.

    Conversely, with the districting of the council in mind, leaving the sole administrative power in the mayor’s office could have a less than desirable effect as well. That is to say, if you have issues with district defined council governing our city parks, then should have the very same problem, perhaps to an even greater degree, with the mayor’s office being the single source of park governance in a district defined council.

    Lastly, since the League of Women Voters has been cited, I would like to question the most onerous of their claims, i.e. that “The MPD cannot be dissolve by a vote of the people.”

    I have no more experience in reading and fully understanding the RCWs than anyone else, but section 35.61.310 seems to challenge that notion at its face. (Any expertise on this would be greatly appreciated.)

    35.61.310
    Dissolution.

    A board of commissioners of a metropolitan park district may, upon a majority vote of all its members, dissolve any metropolitan park district, prorate the liabilities thereof, and turn over to the city and/or county so much of the district as is respectively located therein, when:

    (1) Such city and/or county, through its governing officials, agrees to, and petitions for, such dissolution and the assumption of such assets and liabilities, or;

    (2) Ten percent of the voters of such city and/or county who voted at the last general election petition the governing officials for such a vote.

    So, it fully appears that if this new system is in fact implemented, and fails on any level we deem unacceptable, we can change it.

    • Peri Hartman says:

      Actually, it takes a 2nd read to understand. Here’s a condensed version of the text:

      A board of commissioners of a metropolitan park district may … dissolve any metropolitan park district … when:

      (1) Such city … agrees to … such dissolution …, or;

      (2) Ten percent of the voters of such city … petition the governing officials for such a vote.

      So, I find it saying completely the opposite. Even if the city council or the voters choose to terminate the MPD, the MPD can choose to ignore that move.

      I’m willing to accept the other negative criticism of the proposed MPD but this one is leaving me uncomfortable and undecided.

      • pqbuffington says:

        I guess I do not read it that way, or at least I assume that if the city council decided to terminate the MPD (either by the council’s volition or petition) that the city council could not terminate the MPD.

        Anyone know of any precedent where an MPD was or was not terminated?

      • David Sucher says:

        Follow the money.

        It’s about raising taxes (though it might involve a true regional park authority beyond the City limits to increase out the tax base for things like the Waterfront Park.)

      • Peri Hartman says:

        pqbuffington – the key word is “may”. I’m not an attorney, but literally speaking, “may” means that they have the option to act on the following clause.

      • TobyinFremont says:

        I have also carefully read that section and reviewed it with other lawyers. It does NOT provide voters with the ability to do any more than ask (beg, actually) that the District be dissolved.

      • pqbuffington says:

        I still do not see how the City Council, which will in fact be the MPD council (is that not the case?), cannot disband the MPD if the City Council decides, the voter’s petition the council for such, or new/potential council members make dismantling the MPD an election issue. It would be a simple majority to dissolve the MPD.

        Please remember that the districting of the Council will dramatically change the way the Council operates, not least of all making any changes to any respective district’s parks – current or future – that much more cataclysmic to any election or re-election aspiration.

        And, I simply cannot accept that our civic government cannot adapt to a failed MPD should that be the case. The MPD, as an entity, will not be enshrined into the State Constitution. We add, remove, and change laws all the time. As mentioned, we even voted recently to change the very structure of the city council itself.

        As for following the money, yes, the MPD is asking for money, just like park levies ask for money. And, if you read the “pro” statement, this does not amount to that much more than has been recently approved by levy by voters.

        As for being subjected to the MPD’s authority, it think we are looking a bit too deeply at a theoretical worst case scenario. It is a parks board….with limited tax ability built into the law. And, if the historical success of the Seattle Parks Department is any indication of future outcomes, I believe in giving them slightly more money; most importantly, monies at a predictable rate.

        In short, we need to move beyond the a la carte funding of our parks.

        Now, if you believe the city council will fuck the whole thing up because the city council is prone to such, then I hear you. For example, I find the council’s efforts at managing the growth of Seattle quite depressing. Their naïve approach capitulates to almost any large money interest and all too frequently borders on corruption; this could even prove to be the case with our parks.

        But again, any council member is removable and soon accountable to their respective district.

        So, this should be the real question, i.e. will the MPD improve, or at least maintain, the success of the Seattle Parks system?

        I do not think the no argument really addresses this but instead rests on worst case scenarios, e.g. “The MPD could fund new sports arenas…” and wishful thinking that the levy system as is will successfully carry our parks into the future.

      • Peri Hartman says:

        Dissolution is specified by 35.61.310. As long as that language remains unchanged, neither the city nor the voters have the power to force the district to dissolve. I don’t know what county or state or federal laws might override 35.61.310.

        That said, I believe the council does have the power to change the SMC, so it could, I presume, change this particular language in the future and thereby dissolve the board. That might be a difficult and contentious process – better to change the language before the board exists.

      • TobyinFremont says:

        RCW 36.51.310 is state law and can only be changed by Legislature or by people acting as legislature (initiative). (Courts could find specific provisions unconstitutional or otherwise unenforceable for various reasons, but that seems highly unlikely for this specific provision–evaluating that possibility would take a considerable amount of municipal law research to figure out.)

        City law (SMC or Charter) cannot override RCW.

        Your last sentence is the epitome of common sense; if the City of Seattle wants an MPD to avoid existing levy limits, it should work with City’s delegation to Olympia to get RCW amended to improve accountability provisions in RCW before coming to voters. That move would likely force a public debate about the merits of current and potential MPD governance, a debate that should not be occurring in the context of an early August municipal primary to create an MPD.

    • pqbuffington says:

      I guess I do not understand how this language in 35.61.310 is not actionable?

      “A board of commissioners of a metropolitan park district may, upon a majority vote of all its members, dissolve any metropolitan park district…”

      And if the City Council and the MPD are one in the same (again, is this not the case?), how is it that the City Council could not nullify the MPD?

      And, could we not the elect a Council, or at least elect a simple majority of a Council, that would dissolve the MPD?

      If this is true, then I share your concerns, but if the MPD can be voted away by the City Council and we elect the City Council, then how would the MPD be so permanently entrenched?

      • TobyinFremont says:

        It’s all in the “may” in the opening, operative phrase. The Council as Council can ask the Council as Park Board to dissolve the district, but the ultimate authority to actually dissolve the district remains with the Park Board, and is only required to considerdissolution (“may”) whether the request comes from voters or itself (as Council).

        Of course, if the Council decides it wants to dissolve the district, it will ask itself to do so. Bottom line, five votes are required…

      • TobyinFremont says:

        Also, note that the explanatory statement (found at http://www2.ci.seattle.wa.us/ethics/votersguide.asp) contains:
        “The District may only be dissolved or its actions reversed by its governing body or a change in state law, but not by local initiative.”

        This language was the result of an appeal (by myself and others) of the statement drafted by the City Attorneys Office. I argued the appeal before the Seattle Ethics and Elections Commission. They agreed with our reading of the statute and added this sentence to the dismay of the proponents.

  11. Doug Bostrom says:

    Thanks to the hyperbole and invention of the “no” contingent and the disapproval of Prop. 1 by the Seattle Times, I’m voting for it. :-)

    More seriously, constantly floating levies for routine operation of things we all agree we need and like is akin to a corporation issuing bonds and attempting to stimulate investor interest each time it purchases more toner cartridges. A waste of time and money.

  12. Al Dimond says:

    I find myself wishing there really was a shadowy conspiracy to create an unelected body with the mandate to raise property taxes, because I’m pretty sure I’d vote for that. Shame it would be limited to the parks. If the tax-revolt craziness that passes for politics around here is “good governance”, bring on the despots.

  13. Pingback: What We’re Reading: Vote For Sustainable Seattle Parks | The Urbanist

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