Just look at Mayor Ed Murray in his Stranger Birthday Portrait. Adam Kline says he didnt get steamrolled by Murray. Maybe he got strong-armed?
  • Emily Nokes
  • Just look at Mayor Ed Murray in his official Stranger Birthday Portrait. Adam Kline says he didn't get "steamrolled" by Murray. Maybe he got "strong-armed"?
Yesterday, Ansel Herz reported that state senator Adam Kline had backed off of his initial support for Initiative 118, the metro-bus-saving property tax initiative that's currently collecting signatures.

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Kline withdrew his endorsement, he said, after a call from Mayor Ed Murray.

And Murray's office confirms this. "Yes, he called him," Murray spokeswoman Megan Coppersmith says via e-mail. "The Mayor asked Sen. Kline to hold off on endorsing until he had seen all of the proposals."

But at the time that Kline and other legislators endorsed I-118, there was no other proposal. Sure, the mayor's office now says they're planning to announce a different Metro-saving plan by early next week. Still, it doesn't appear they had one ready to go in the event that the recent countywide measure to save transit service, Prop 1, failed. (Which it did. Badly.)

People have been talking about other options—including the Seattle-only, last-resort option that I-118 represents—since the end of last year. And Mayor Murray already had an opportunity to solve the problem of transit funding where it actually lies—in the state legislature. That was Plan A, a functional state transportation package. When that didn't happen, we tried Plan B, the countywide transit measure known as Prop 1, which, to repeat, failed at the ballot. Now we're on to Plan C, I-118, which would save Seattle bus service that Seattleites overwhelmingly support.

And what is Murray offering? Nothing so far except a shitty state transportation plan, no city plan, and now an active campaign to torpedo a plan put forth by an outside group.

I'm currently waiting to hear back from Murray about all of this (who else did he call? Why is he telling legislators what they should and shouldn't endorse?). I know he's busy, but for now we're stuck wondering what's really motivating his behind-the-scenes Metro actions. Is it pettiness (former mayor Mike McGinn is a big I-118 supporter), a control issue (I-118 wasn't Murray's idea), or a genuine fear that a tax for transit will limit the city's ability to raise taxes for things like parks and preschools? Whatever it may be, the city's just waiting for an actual solution from him. A solution we're now calling "Plan E," for "Ed doesn't like Plan C."