I would rather balance a turd on my nose than balance a budget, so I completely understand how you might be avoiding the HOURS UPON HOURS of Seattle City Council budget meetings happening now through November 2, as the council adjusts aspects of Mayor Mike McGinn's proposed 2013-2014 budget.
BUT: If you care about transit, tune in at 2:00 p.m. today as the council discusses McGinn's transportation budget, which includes $5 million to study and design four new high-capacity transit lines (think streetcar) connecting downtown to Ballard, Queen Anne, and the University District, as well as a Bus Rapid Transit (BRT) system servicing Madison Park. If this ambitious budget is approved, the new lines could be up and running within five years.
A month ago, council transportation committee chair Tom Rasmussen said that the council's support for this funding was "all but guaranteed."
However, I'm hearing a lot of talk that select council members are working to cut the funding to pay for other pet projects. We'll get a better sense of how strong this opposition is at 2:00 p.m., as council members attempt to frame the discussion to suit their interests.
The best way to combat the potential cuts before the council votes on their budget (which will happen after Election Day) is to email them all and tell them not to fuck with transit funding. Make sure to add an emoticon, so they can better read your emotions! >:(
In other budget news, council members are also talking about imposing fines on dog owners for using offleash dog parks and hiring new parking enforcement officers but cutting McGinn's cool parking pay-by-cell program—basically meaning we'd have more people ticketing cars without the added convenience of allowing drivers to update their on-street parking by phone.
If you care about these issues, email! Emote! Repeat!