News Oct 14, 2015 at 4:00 am

Pangolins—yes, PANGOLINS—are on the ballot this year. If they could vote, here’s who they’d pick for city council, county council, school board, asse$$or, and more! (You really don’t want to piss off a pangolin.)

PANGOLINS, LIONS, ELEPHANTS: These things and more are on this fall’s ballot! (Which is in your mailbox now!) James Yamasaki


1) You put Rick Burke's photo (running for School Board) in the wrong place.

2) "citizen oversight committee will track all this money, and any deviations from the spending..." Nope, BS on "citizen oversight." Look, Move Seattle is a slush fund. They don't have to do ANY of the projects (read the fine print) and there's no ranking. I guarantee that the projects at the end of the line will not get done if other projects go over budget.

This should be broken out into three, very specific, levies. Not voting for this one.

3) Good calls on all the School Board races. Christophersen has said, at recent forums, that race isn't the issue in the opportunity gap that's it's all socio-economic. When asked about gun violence at schools, he said it wasn't much of an issue and oh, as a teen in Bellevue, he rode around on his bike with a loaded .22. He isn't for making it harder for parents of unvaccinated kids to be public schools (he says it would cost more to educate if they aren't in public schools). No. But yes, yes, yes to Burke, Harris, Geary and Pinkham.

4) Wrong on Bradburd; he's a good progressive, not an Establishment candidate.

5) I would ask that voters consider what is coming. There are two big levies on this November ballot. BUT, in Feb. 2016, the school district is coming with nearly $1B in renewal levies.

So with Move Seattle ($930M), Best Start for Kids (about $400M) and the school district ($900M+). We ALL have to consider other Seattle residents who are low-income or senior citizens. They may lose the ability to live in Seattle if their property taxes continue to soar.

I believe someone is going to lose a levy. Question is, who?
Agreed, but COME ON, the Stranger...! No mention of Best Starts for kids? It's a county measure that will devote 50% of all funds collected to supporting children and families from conception to age 5, to provide the kind of early care and support that makes such a huge difference and enables children to thrive and succeed. 90% of all brain development occurs between birth and 5. BEST STARTS FOR KIDS is a King County measure. Please read about it and then vote yes.…
@2 "This is probably the most important measure you'll vote on this election season. "…
@1 is right on (as usual), including focusing on your two major screw ups ("Move Seattle" and Council Position 9). A specific example on the Position 9 race (where you follow your usual urbanist uncritical "development good, NIMBY bad" meme): You say Gonzalez "sued the city of Seattle on behalf of the Latino man a Seattle cop threatened to "beat the fucking Mexican piss" out of." and she (and her law firm) obtained a settlement. But the cop who beat the etc. out of the plaintiff did not receive any significant discipline as a result of his actions. You think the fact that she is supported by SPOG is unrelated? You're naive.
To be specific, the picture in the John Wilson write-up is school board candidate Rick Burke. Really, all white men do not look alike.
"The problem is that we still need the stuff this levy is going to pay for—and we can't afford to wait." - Proposition 1

Yes, we can wait! Voting NO says we want a new plan, Mayor Murray. Pare it down. Nothing in Move Seattle is guaranteed which is kinda scary for $930,000,000. Don't forget Sound Transit plans on asking for $15,000,000,000 next year. SDOT underestimated the seawall project by $21,000,000. Bertha still has not moved again...

Basic road maintenance, road signs, ect should not be in a voter approved levy.
The man in the photo is not the John Wilson running for Assessor.... did you just do a google image search?

Move Seattle is a ginormous slush fund. Would vote for it if I had any confidence that the project list attached to it would actually be completed. But the "Please allocate a billion dollars to us and we may do this and we may do that"-approach is hogwash. HOGWASH!
So if the Stranger think black lives matter, why are they endorsing against the only two African Americans in the city council races?
@6 Correction - SDOT needs an extra $71 million for the seawall project which they knew since June...but did not tell the public until after the council approved Move Seattle.

My God, can you imagine what a mess city hall would be if the Stranger's endorsements all won? Please people, do not mindlessly look at the Stranger cheat sheet and punch your ticket based on these recommendations. Having an activist or two on the council (e.g. Sawant and O'Brien) is great to push conversations along. However, having an entire council made up of activists, save one or two, is a disaster in the making. They would be fumbling over each other, more eager to save the world than to effectively govern.
By median homeowner, they must presume 2 people owning the home and paying $12/month each.…
“According to the real estate database company Zillow, the median home value in Seattle is $508,000,” writes Pishue. “If voters approve the levy, the owner of a median-priced home would pay an additional $315 every year in property taxes, or about $2,800 over the life of the levy.
I love your endorsements (entertaining at the least, and that counts for a lot in politics), but that illo ... it's the BEST THING EVER.
No mention of Debora Juarez's DUI in 2012?…

Sorry, but if you blow >2x the legal limit at 3AM, you are completely disqualified from holding elected office.

I voted for Juarez in the primary, but will be supporting Sandy Brown in the general.

Is it remarkable that King County Assessor is the highest paid in the state? I know some of you SECB'ers are new, but 14 or 15 states have smaller populations than King County. Roughly 20 states have smaller economies!

Points for honesty? Wilson could have explained that raising the assessment ratio doesn't raise anybody's taxes .. but he didn't, did he?

What did Hara do when he was on the job? Made King County a global leader in assessments technology, led his team to the highest employee satisfaction of all County departments, improved the accuracy of assessed values, and won a raft of awards for it.

And you're quite right. Wilson talks a good game.
SDOT may not need any money. A project being over budget does not mean that the owner is on the hook for it. If there isn't a change order or differing site claims...
@17 Heidi Groover covered this. The city will pay for the botched budget with other taxes. On top of that, they will pay someone $200,000 to figure out what went wrong.…
Oh so the City has already agreed to pay all of this? That's unusual.
The 200k? Not really unusual. Expert engineers get a pretty good rate for their billable hours.
Its so easy to for a budget estimate to not match reality on stuff like this. There are so many moving parts, and any problems can have knock on effects on other parts of the project.
"Harrell would be a better council member in the new districts system, in which he'd be responsible only to South Seattle rather than the whole city."
You have an odd concept of the district system. District representatives on the city council still govern the entire city. They are *answerable* to the district that elects them, and need to make certain the concern of that district are heard and addressed, but they are still *responsible* for the entire city. I's not like Harrell becomes the mayor of District 2 and has no impact anywhere else.
If you didn't think he was doing a good job on city council before, how would that same performance be better now?
I think you've drunk the mayoral Koolaid on Bradburd vs. Gonzalez. Bradburd isn't a NIMBY.
OK, probably no one on the staff is reading this, but I have to ask:
At one point, you state that a current candidate for City Council has received campaign contributions from a current member of City Council - the chairman of City Council, no less.

Is that even legal?? If so, how? Do Queen Anne council members purchase the Sodo council seat for the friend they'd prefer to have luncheon with?!
@9, probably because their opponents are better candidates for the jobs.
Why is it the Seattle press and state Democrats can muster all the firepower they need to defeat Eyeman's proposals EXCEPT the one the matters. The 1% per annum cap on property tax rises. That, above all, is the source of woe in our cities, suburbs and the whole state.

Yet...even so called "Socialists" remain silent.
@22: Yes, Council members can make political donations, just like every other person.
@24 No one in their right mind wants to pay more to live in their own home. The kinds of people who'd like to raise those kinds of taxes aren't responsible home owners. they're tattooed, smelly Bernie supporters looking for more handouts.
I dream of the day when Tim Eyman's sugar daddy is his cell mate...
I kind of want to vote for the Eyman initiative. There's near no chance that 2/3 of the legislature would send the constitutional amendment to us, so the sales tax would just get cut (if it's constitutional). Then maybe we'd see some real hustle on getting a real funding mechanism for the state.
Listen to you people!!! I laugh at all of you!! Seattle residents want soooo much,but still be affordable. Sure raise property taxes and that's your only solution. I will take this cheat sheet and vote the total opposite, because I know this author is a douche bag!! The stranger sucks, its for a bunch of lost perverts who want a free ride!! Blame the rich, blame the white males for all the problems, but just remember that Seattle has been ran by Democrats for decades and look at were we are at!!! We need more tim eymens to hold government accountable!!

Most of you people suck!!!!
So, the Stranger endorses candidates whose M.O. is "take no prisoners" (Sawant) and believe that this is the best choice for governing, but if it's Republicans who aren't compromising the Stranger rallies against them. Is there truly and objective analysis behind these endorsements?
Paul Allen gives a lot of money for humans too.
Wait, the Port "directly employed 129,744 people last year," for realz??? Either you inumerate mokes lost control of a decimal point, or virtually all of those were part-part-part-time jobs. If they were full time, that would be, say, $(4 x 10^4) per year x (1.3 x 10^5) jobs or a payroll of about $(5 x 10^9).

That's Five. Billion. Dollars. At only $20,000 per year, it would be 2.5 billion dollars. How they makin' up the shortfall between that and the $73 million in property tax? I doubt their deal with SSA or United is that lucrative.

Is there anyone in the Stranger offices who has the slightest idea that numbers are real, and stops to think about them? Or do you just have a very strange definition of "directly employs."

The Port's Wikipedia page claims the Port generates 194,000 jobs in the entire state. Since that count probably includes every apple picker, every wheat farmer, every imported car salesman and every Boeing machinist, I kinda doubt the Port employs 2/3 of those people directly.
@2 and 4 and other people that feel that way:

What an asinine argument. You think this is a "slush fund" because there is flexibility with the spending? You have it completely backwards. Flexibility is good. Flexibility allows us to get the best value for our money. Imagine you are making road improvement, and they include a new bridge. You expected the bridge to cost 10 million, but it turns out, after investigating it further, it will cost 100 million. With flexible spending, you cut bait and spend the money elsewhere. But with your plan, you build a bridge half way across or eliminate other projects. That is stupid.

Look, the only reason we have to vote on these sorts of things is because Republicans and Republican thinking voters control our purse. In a real republic, the folks in charge (the city council and mayor) would just raise the taxes. If you don't like it, voter for someone else. But because of the ridiculous limitations put on our government, we have to basically vote for something that every representative thinks is a good idea. Or did you miss the part where this was endorsed by every single member of the city council? That is rare -- those folks fight over all sorts of things. But funding transportation projects in a city that has transportation issues just makes sense.
@33 Nice hypothesis but this actually did happen. The Lander Street overpass in Sodo was promised in Bridging The Gap and it was never built. Instead the money was funneled toward Mercer Street. The Lander Overpass appears again on Move Seattle. Will it get built this time?

Please read this view on Move Seattle from The League of Women Voters. They bring up very important concerns about this levy.…
The Stranger's Council Position 9 endorsement is questionable. First of all, it labels Bradburd a "NIMBY creep" (name-calling is so cool!) while in January The Stranger printed this:

"But he was also an active opponent of a big-box mall at the site of Goodwill Industries International in Rainer Valley in 2009, and mostly avoided joining a chorus of NIMBYism back in 2011 when some in the Jackson Park neighborhood fought against a mental health crisis facility being located in the area (good job)." -…

Bill is a serious, reasonable, knowledgeable, and good-natured community activist who has support among the working class, artists, and lots of other people who feel like development targeted towards the wealthy is overtaking this city and making it unaffordable for too many. Is Bill really the only one who thinks Capitol Hill is growing too fast and that development there has changed the character of the neighborhood?

Second, it glosses over the fact that, on top of receiving funds and endorsements from the Police Guild and Burgess, Gonzalez has also received funds from Vulcan and other micro-housing and luxury condo developers. I think there needs to be a better justification for endorsing this candidate other than "she's not Bradburd."
I'm not sure about Initiative 1401—Paul Allen's endangered animals bill. Wouldn't this potentially create more non-violent felons? That doesn't seem helpful.

I did google pangolins and agree that they are pretty adorable for a weird dinosaur. But I'm not aware that Washington is some kind of animal trafficking hot spot, and even if it is I doubt that this will deter all the pangolin smugglers when they find out about it. Might have been more useful to give the WWF $3 million instead.
We need a Lander AND Holgate Street overpass, especially if that arena gets built.
Even after all these levies, Seattle property owners are still getting away with paying 1/2 the taxes of San Franciscans. That means a person can have a home twice as big, yet still have the same lifestyle as people who live in a city that is presumably, just like us.

The Levies are a short term solution to a vexxing problem statewide. The un-Constitutional cap on property tax rises must be removed. Otherwise, you perpetuate a permanent class of people who have scads of property but do not contribute and those who wages are raped night and day through sales taxes, B&O taxes and other fees and who cannot climb the ladder to ownership. Even the Bollywood Bolshevik is willing to steal wages but not address the Property Imbalance that plagues Washington State thus exposing what props her up.
I'm not voting for Prop 1 - no more levies that rely on property taxes, period, starting now. Until they stop the tax giveaways and start taxing Boeing and the other big $'s, no more property taxes. I'm done.
The problem with the levies is that they concentrate on flashy stuff: Vote for this and we'll build a Rem Koohaus library (a dumb building with dirty windows and no funding to support it) or a bunch of whimsical looking schools because "educators cannot educate children in old buildings" (yet no one is talking about tearing down Laurelhurst Elementary).

We get a lot of glass and arty cement and phoned-in "public art" (when we can't afford art instruction in the schools) and hours and hours of public meetings where people that one would not ask which direction is up for fear of a wrong answer, have to get taken seriously by bored bureaucrats.

I'll vote for the kid thing, because I Believe That Children Are Our Future, and that it is a good, solid plan to avoid as much Caging Of The Youth as possible (much more solid than this boneheaded, don't-understand-bonding-issues nonsense of the no youth jail crowd), and I'll probably vote for this transportation thing because at least it creates work for working class people at the prevailing wage, and we need to do something about the transportation mess, but I'm not all that enthusiastic about it.

Any city or state that attempts to skirt Property Tax should be banned from receiving Federal tax dollars (my income taxes) for boondoggles. Billion dollar tunnels and other "infrastructure" must be funded at least 50% by local property tax or they should not be allowed to get Federal dollars.
@Catalina Vel-DuRay #45

"We get a lot of glass and arty cement and phoned-in "public art" (when we can't afford art instruction in the schools) and hours and hours of public meetings where people that one would not ask which direction is up for fear of a wrong answer, have to get taken seriously by bored bureaucrats." LOL. HA!

This city isn't supposed to function. It has been transformed into an endless experiment in upscale vanity and goofy bubble-mentality progressive politics. People move here to work for Amazon et al, and snark about Walmart shoppers in flyover country without any trace of irony.
Everybody drives here (poorly) yet they won't shut up about global warming caused by all the "poors" and "rednecks" going to the strip mall in Iowa.

I would think all you liberals would just boycott cars one day and try to go full "Copenhagen" or something, but you're too lazy to do it. Easier just to argue about transit plans.

How about a story on big developer, slumlord money that is flowing to candidates like Tim Burgess and Shannon Braddock?
Can I give my vouchers to charity?
@44 if you think the city gives Boeing tax breaks, you're dumber than...

@48 as usual, teabaggy jackass is wrong about everything.
I'm with @14 in wondering about Juarez's DUI. Is she an addict and in recovery? Or was this just an instance of "poor judgment," in which case shouldn't she explain to the voters why we should let her have a city council seat?
Sawant's talks about the Lower Class residents of The Overpriced City: who else is doing that? KSHAMA FOR VEEP 2016!!! --- .
I don't understand the point of No. 1401. Isn't this stuff already a violation of federal law? It seems like unnecessary duplication at best.
@48: Pro tip: The only people I've ever heard unironically use the word "poors" are conservatives. If you want to satirize progressive language you probably should use "economically disadvantaged."
@11 So right. The last thing the council needs is a bunch of one issue activists who can't manage the tension between where we want to be and what our current reality is that demands our attention too. Just look at the cluster fuck that will be the Ballard encampments. Sawant, Licata, O'brien and candidates Grant and Herbold all support encampments. But NONE of them have any thing to say about how to move the campers to housing, jobs, out of the area to where they're better supported if that's what's needed, etc. They truly see camps as the end game. The unsheltered homeless issue is a crisis. But they think the only solution is affordable housing and that is needed, but it does nothing to attend to today's crisis. We got enough activists. We need people who will care about and work on what needs to be taken care of today. And the contributions? Please. Grow up people. Sawant doesn't get to be the largest money earner by only getting money from people who's ethics and morals are beyond reproach. And Grant has some nerve moralizing about who contributes to Burgess. Does Grant know for sure all his contributors' shit doesn't stink? If you think some of Sawant's or Grant's contributors aren't looking for a quid pro quo that will benefit their financial and personal interests, I've got a few bridges to sell you.
58 #sawantISaJoke

Communism is a failure. See exhibit A USSR. And yes, Sawant is a communist not a socialist since she advocates for the workers rising up and taking privately held companies by force. Seriously ridiculous.
When will the sex workers who raped Lamar Odom be arrested?

He could not give consent.


Seattle property owners are's one thing to be frugal if you also reduce your own demands. But that's not the case here. Seattlites demand premium services, expect stellar police and educational and transportation systems, but then turn around and refuse to pay for them out of their own pockets. All of these services and much of the "infrastructure" directly benefits the property owners valuations, but they want to milk other people's incomes to pay for them! Like a Deadbeat Dad, a Deadbeat Seattlite Property Owner has something that he is obligated to pay for, but pushes the burden on someone else so he can enjoy himself.
61- Supreme idealogue, priest of the vague: Who is demanding premium services, and what are they? (or are you confusing these with basic services)? Is "refusing to pay" categorically the same as voting No on this massive property tax levy? Have you polled many property owners to see whether they support (gasp) state income tax, which might be more equitable (would not tax the retirees nearly as much)? Why do you assume that, for example, protected bike lanes increase property evaluations? You might object but you are ironically similar to fanatic republicans...go share a drink in a dark capital bar and stereotype the people around you. Just know nobody in the real world cares what you think and ideology should not run cities.
Yeah, Sawant can be uncompromising with her rhetoric, and her take-no-prisoners style has caused establishment panties to permanently bunch. So what?
Is there any ineffective, unproductive, uncooperative, or wasteful behavior which one can't suffix with a philosophically deep: "So what?"? (Reminds one of the school-yard bully shoving to the head of the line with "So what ya gonna do about it? ya wuss!")

It's been discussed endlessly in this forum, but (one more time -sigh-) Ms Sawant isn't effective in a collaborative consensus body (which despite folks enjoying the in-your-face chaos, is exactly what a council amounts to). Those same folks who delight that Ms Sawant provides nothing toward cooperation are those who lament this happening in the halls of Congress. Ms Sawant is highly effective as a narrow issued reactionary fighting against a governing body; and i think we all expect her to return to that useful role in time. But refusing to deal with the tedious day to day operations of a city council because earmarking funds for playground equipment somewhere doesn't address global injustice is simply a waste of city resources. She has demonstrated many times that if the topic doesn't interest her, doesn't somehow have a perceived global significance, then she cannot even be bothered to provide any constructive input. Anyone that doesn't see this, hasn't been really been watching her or listening to her endless out of place lectures.
Sawant is a show candidate who serves as an advertisement for Seattle's progressive veneer. This may not be her intention, but this is the purpose she serves.

#63 is correct: her kind is only concerned with making national news with "global" issues, and not about dealing with regional problems. This has always been the big problem with the Far Left. In the end the great debate about "Global Liberation" and the political ambitions it's champions swallows up the smaller issues, and their would be constituents are left struggling with monolithic entities no better or more compassionate than large corporations.

Localism isn't evil. In fact, it may be the only way out for parts of the nation's less attractive interior.
Sadly Sawant doesn't represent my district so I can't vote against her.
Is there a reason why the Stranger yells at me when I read these articles? Seriously Kelly saying people can fuck off because they don't agree with your position is pretty fucking childish if you ask me. See what I did there?
Reading this pre-menstrual harpy bullshit makes me want to vote against everything the "fucking fuck fucking" Stranger is promoting. For instance, I'll be savoring my vote against Idiot-Sawant.
#1 really stranger? really? you think giving WSDOT more money is going to make thing better? How much money is your propose tax going to be when in 10 years homes in Seattle are a median $850k. Will our roads be any better then? DOES NOBODY REMEMBER THE MONORAIL BUDGET COMMITTEE SPENDING?
Hahaha! "Gay single dad". Keep in it in your pants, Stranger Staffers. Did he leave his wife, or is he on the leading edge of the gay divorce trend. I hear it's great for kids. Plenty more future Stranger writers to look forward to!
The kind of incremental, lukewarm, go-along-to-get-along bullshit Johnson represents is part of what has gotten Seattle to where it is—still talking about maybe someday doing something about mass transit while shredding $100 bills to fill Bertha's rescue pit.

I'd probably vote for Maddux if I were in the 4th--they're both great candidates--but it's hard to emphasize how unfair this attack on Johnson is. There's not a shred of evidence he supported the tunnel. The notion that because he's good at projecting an image of the cooperating dealmaker, he'd have supported a disastrous policy of exactly the sort he's spent his career working against is an absurd attack. O'Brien is pretty good at projecting a similar image, and he didn't support the boondoggle.
does The Stranger write their election endorsements the day before the article is published? this is terrible (and about 2 weeks late for people who don't wait until the last minute to mail in their ballots)... plus a lot of your endorsements are terrible and follow misinformation (or just plain wrong information). terrible terrible terrible. spend less time on drug jokes and more time on research. this is an election, not a game.
I'd like to see Seattle - and every other city - replicate San Francisco's Proposition F. ---
I posted it before and I'll do it again: a city with as many residents as Seattle would have far more council seats in Europe: replicate that wise process, and you'll see the council come much closer to mirroring the voting populace ( a type of proportional representation, no less).

Please wait...

Comments are closed.

Commenting on this item is available only to members of the site. You can sign in here or create an account here.

Add a comment

By posting this comment, you are agreeing to our Terms of Use.