A county conservation board that holds sway over where sprawl ends and environmental protection begins, among other issues, will hold a public election for an open board seat next month. The result will establish a new member of the five-person King Conservation District's Board of Supervisors.
You'd think that green-minded King County voters would solidly elect all environmentalists to the five-member board, right?
The problem is, the election only takes place at seven libraries throughout King County, only one of which is located in Seattle. And most people don't know about the election. But political conservatives know: Last year, Republican cheerleader blog Sound Politics pushed for Preston Drew, who won by about 150 votes. Only 2,500 people voted in the entire county. This year, unless you want to let the handful of Eastside old ladies that actually make it there to the library decide for you, it's worth voting on March 16.
Here's why: The state-mandated board oversees a budget of about $3 million to work on issues ranging from habitat restoration, farm plans, forest plans, and even seawall restoration, explains Jesseca Brand, King County Conservation Voters spokesperson, who helped push for the environmentally friendly candidate who lost to Drew last year.
Next month could bring us another showdown between an environmental candidate versus a conservative. In one corner is Max Prinsen, who has filed to run again this year, according to Brand. A former chair of the Conservation Board, Prinsen is the candidate supported by enviros and he comes with lots of experience. (Other candidates must file by tomorrow; King Conservation District spokesperson Jason Chambers said in an e-mail he could not release all the candidates names until everyone had thrown their hat in.) But the competition could be someone like Matt Livengood, who ran against and beat Prinsen in 2007. At the time, Livengood got the backing of Citizens Alliance for Property Rights, a conservative Washington organization who said Livengood had "our interests at heart." These folks could run another candidate this year—and it's important that Prinsen gets the support he needs to win this time.