The full King County Council (even the suburban Republicans!) prepare to consider a $20 tab fee vs massive cuts to Metro bus service.
  • Goldy | The Stranger
  • The full King County Council (even the suburban Republicans!) prepare to consider a $20 tab fee vs massive cuts to Metro bus service.

It's standing room only again in the King County Council chambers, though thanks in part to the rainy weather and the middle of the workday timing, it's not quite as packed as the previous hearings both here and in Burien. No round-the-block lines, but a healthy turnout nonetheless.

The big difference is that since this is a meeting of the full council, the full council is actually present, including the suburban Republicans who hadn't shown much interest in hearing from urban commuters who rely on Metro to get between home, school and work. Still, I'm crossing my fingers. As much as I would love to make her presumed "no" vote an issue in her closely contested council race this fall, I remain hopeful that Jane Hague does the right thing, and flips back in favor of councilmanic approval. We'll see.

If the council fails to get the two-thirds majority undemocratically required by the legislature in granting this taxing authority, it is widely expected to put the $20 fee on the November ballot. Right now they're finishing up other business. I'll report updates as they happen.

UPDATE:

[4:14 p.m.] Ohmyfuckinggod this is so awful. They told folks to arrive at 1 p.m. to sign up to testify for public comments that were supposed to start at 3 p.m., and we're only just getting to the issue now.

[4:21 p.m.] About 50 people are signed up to testify. Assuming they're all still here, that should take only about another two and half hours. Please somebody send me a pizza. And some beer.

[4:28 p.m.] Uh-oh. Just noticed PVR is missing. Had fantasized some scenario in which Hague & PVR provide each other cover. Hope he's just taking bathroom break, and this isn't a sign of anything.

[4:44 p.m.] Jane Hague left briefly, then returned with a beverage. Maybe coffee to keep her awake through the public comments. Maybe booze to help deal with the news that Richard Mitchell just got the Seattle Times endorsement for her seat.

[5:25 p.m.] They're dropping like flies. Only McDermott, Dunn, Gossett and Phillips remain at the moment, though presumably the others will return for the vote. FYI, only McDermott and Phillips have sat through the entire hearing, sharing the trophy for the Biggest Bladder award.

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[5:44 p.m.] Councilmembers returning as we approach the end of public testimony (which by the way, has been overwhelmingly in favor of the fee). Hague, Patterson and Lambert now present. PvR still MIA.

[5:54 p.m.] Public hearing closed! 6 minute recess.

[6:15 p.m.] PvR asks for 15 minute recess to discuss new information. Positive development?