Vote now, vote later

By Kevin Stoltz | Aug 11, 2010

If you’re a registered voter, by now you should have received your ballot for the Aug.17 primary election.

Sen. Patty Murray is running for re-election and has a number of challengers, including Dino Rossi. Reps. Jay Inslee and Rick Larson are also running for re-election.

Sen. Paull Shin and Reps. Marko Liias and Mary Helen Roberts are all up for re-election.  Shin has been instrumental in the recent acquisition of property in Japanese Gulch for the city.

Liias has been extremely supportive to Mukilteo, and has been exceedingly helpful in some of my efforts to improve the traffic congestion and safety in Mukilteo.

They all need to make it to the general election in November.

Specifically for Mukilteo, is Proposition No. 1 which is a “renewal plus” of the city’s EMS Levy. This is an important levy because with the expiration of the current levy (currently 23 cents per year per $100,000 assessed property value), if the new levy doesn’t pass, the current funding source goes away.

I said “renewal plus” because the new levy rate will be the maximum allowed of 50 cents per $100,000. The proposed new rate more closely represents the true cost of providing EMS, and must be used for EMS costs and nothing else.

Currently, the difference between the actual cost for EMS and the levy amount is provided by the general fund. Instead of a simple majority, the EMS Levy requires 60 percent approval to pass, which brings me to my side rant.

What was the county thinking by only providing the voters’ pamphlet online?!

The voters’ pamphlet is the one stable source of information for us, includes statements by the candidates and a more comprehensive description of the ballot measures along with pro/con committee statements.

With all the information and opinions we’re bombarded with from other sources – including the excessive overkill of political signs by one candidate I’ll be voting against – having to seek out the voters’ pamphlet online has got to be one of the most bone-headed decisions ever made by county elections.

Maybe it’s a money-saving “green” argument, to which I’d say why even send out the ballots?
Just have us stumble through the 72 page voters’ pamphlet online and then vote online. At least that way you’d know that those voting actually had a chance to see the voters’ pamphlet before actually voting. Sheesh!

OK, I’m back. Fortunately, the November election will have a printed voters’ pamphlet, and if the EMS Levy doesn’t pass this time it will be on the next ballot in November.

In November, Mukilteo voters will also be voting on Initiative No. 2, which concerns “automatic ticketing machines” aka red-light cameras/speed zone cameras.

Fortunately, on Friday a judge ruled that a lawsuit brought by a local resident and her unknown citizen group could not keep Mukilteo voters from voting on Initiative No. 2.

There are so many troubling facts and associations with those associated with this lawsuit, it’s almost impossible for me to believe this is on the up-and-up.

However, if the initiative passes, they’ll have their opportunity to challenge it later which will likely please the mayor and the two council members who volunteered in their individual roles to write the con statement in the voters’ pamphlet.

(By the way, I’ll be voting enthusiastically in favor of Initiative No. 2.)

By the time you read this, it’s also likely that the council will have approved an advisory vote on annexation for Mukilteo residents in November (normally only the residents in the annexation area are allowed a say in annexation).

In my opinion, the council majority believes once “educated” on the benefits of annexation, current residents will support it.

I’m still waiting to be “educated,” so until I am, here’s what I think would change my mind:

1) Make sure that ALL the non-county owned property on the East side of SR-525 is part of the proposal (i.e. the new casino).

2) Make sure the county-owned property on the Eastside of SR-525, at a minimum has an ILA or similar agreement so Mukilteo development standards apply to commercial development instead of the less stringent county codes.

3) Break the proposed annexation areas into sub-areas and convince me the demands for public safety in each sub-area won’t dilute the availability currently enjoyed by our existing residents.

4) Get past the petty squabbling that has occurred between the city and Fire District No. 1 and let the council discuss additional options similar to what Edmonds recently approved.

5) If the revenue/expense forecasts don’t work out as predicted, someone other than the current residents should make up the difference.

The preceding feature is published the second Wednesday of each month for The Beacon and is the opinion of Kevin Stoltz and may or may not represent the views of the Mukilteo City Council.


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