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We now know a lot about Seattle Mayor Ed Murray's call to State Senator Adam Kline to tell him to "hold off" on backing the new "Plan C" to save Seattle's bus routes from drastic cuts. (The plan would save buses by raising property taxes.)

We've also learned that before "Plan C" was even public, Mayor Murray urged another Seattle legislator, 43rd District State Senator Jamie Pedersen, not to support any such initiative.

State Senator Jamie Pedersen: Also on the mayors lobbying list.
  • State Senator Jamie Pedersen: Also on the mayor's lobbying list.
At a lunch Pedersen and the mayor had together on April 24, two days after the defeat of Prop. 1, "his point to me was that the use of the property tax was inconsistent with other plans," Pedersen said. Specifically, Pedersen said, it was inconsistent with plans already underway to raise property taxes to fund universal preschool in Seattle.

"That’s the revenue source that they had allocated for pre-k," Pedersen told me by phone yesterday. "You pre-empt that by allocating it to transit."

But Ben Schiendelman of "Plan C" (also known as Keep Seattle Moving) said his initiative to buy back Metro service in Seattle would require a 22 cent property tax increase, leaving roughly 70 cents worth of bandwidth of additional property taxes that could be levied.

And he said it's not credible to him or the city staff he's consulted with (they'd get fired if he revealed their names, he said) that Plan C would threaten universal preschool, which he expects will only require a 15 or 20 cent property tax increase.

"We think the mayor is grasping at straws here," Schiendelman said.

Pedersen's not buying it. "I don't think we have anywhere near that capacity," he told me. "The right answer is not to rush to support the initiative."

Pedersen wouldn't rule out eventually endorsing "Plan C," but he says policymakers should fully consider other options, including:

a) Re-run Proposition 1 in Seattle (where it overwhelmingly passed), and use that revenue to buy back Metro service, or

b) Count on a Democratic takeover of the Washington Senate by next spring, where giving the county MVET taxing authority "would be a high priority for a lot of us."

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Presumably Pedersen is also, like the rest of us, waiting for a more detailed explanation of what we've been calling "Plan E" (for "Ed doesn't like Plan C").

In other "Plan C" news: State Representative Eileen Cody withdrew her endorsement from Keep Seattle Moving in the space of a single day yesterday, much like State Senator Adam Kline. Cody did not respond to requests for comment.