November 4, 2008
Our recommendations on a few ballot issues
Sound Transit’s Prop. 1 will get you a half-cent-per-dollar increase in sales tax. That’s for sure, and immediate. Along the way, a new bus route or another bus for an existing route might come your way, hopefully going the way you want it to. And, someday far, far away — maybe in 15-20 years — you might live long enough to take a bus from Newcastle to Bellevue, where you can catch a light rail train to Seattle.
The idea of light rail in the Puget Sound region is too late. The only real traffic solution is one that gives drivers the option to use their own driveway as a personal park & ride. We need collector buses that go into neighborhoods to take people to transit centers.
Voters thought they’d gotten the message to Sound Transit when they rejected a similar proposal only a year ago. The cost is too great — King County would have one of the highest sales tax rates in the nation — and the wait is too long for light rail to ever make a difference.
Initiative 985 seeks to open carpool and bus lanes to all traffic except during peak hours — from 6-9 a.m. and from 3-6 p.m. weekdays. While it’s a tempting notion, the change comes with a price tag. Funds would be diverted from state taxes already in place. But, most of all, there is no clear evidence that it would make much difference in drive times. Vote no.
Charter Amendment 8
King County Charter Amendment 8 seeks to change the King County Council to a nonpartisan body. We support this measure. Just like city councils and school boards, party politics has no business in county government. With the recent reduction to only nine council members, it is more important than ever for the council to be a good working team, without worrying about keeping the political parties happy with their decisions. Vote yes.
Initiative 1000 decides whether terminally ill (less than six months to live) competent adults should be able to self-administer a lethal prescription. This is similar to the Oregon law. We support death with dignity, allowing patients to decide when enough is enough. Vote yes.