Voters endorse property tax measure, incumbent candidates
August 14, 2012
By Warren Kagarise
King County voters endorsed a $200 million property tax measure to build a juvenile justice facility to replace the aging Youth Services Center, a juvenile detention facility in Seattle.
The property tax measure, Proposition 1, appeared on a crowded primary ballot alongside federal, judicial, legislative and statewide contests.
The electorate chose the top two candidates, regardless of party affiliation, in the all-mail primary election. The top vote recipients advanced to an all-mail general election Nov. 6.
By the numbers
Aug. 7 primary election results
King County Proposition 1 — juvenile justice center property tax measure
5th Legislative District
State Representative, Position 2
41st Legislative District
State Representative, Position 1
8th Congressional District
Sources: King County Elections, Washington Secretary of State’s Office
The contest offered local voters a chance to decide on Proposition 1 and cull the field in various races.
“This is for the children and families of King County,” King County Executive Dow Constantine said in a statement after Proposition 1 inched ahead in ballot tallies. “In times of crisis they need and deserve safety, dignity and an opportunity for redemption. This center will finally help make that possible. This vote creates a better future that provides hope to at-risk youth and families in crisis, and fair, efficient and equitable justice for all.”
Under the nine-year levy, homeowners can expect to pay about 7 cents per $1,000 of assessed value, or about $20 per year for a home assessed at $350,000 in 2013.
The measure enjoyed bipartisan support even though it attracted organized opposition. King County Council members unanimously agreed to put Proposition 1 on the August ballot.
The existing Youth Services Center is not designed to handle a hectic caseload. Judges and commissioners at the juvenile court on site handle 3,700 cases per year at the facility. Officials said courtrooms and waiting areas lack enough space for juvenile offenders, family members, attorneys and others.
The detention facility houses about 65 children and teenagers from throughout the county.
The proposal calls for replacing decaying, decades-old buildings. Officials deemed the electrical, plumbing, and heating and cooling systems as beyond repair.
“After many years of hard work and planning for what the future should be for children and families in crisis in King County, we will now have a building that will be responsive to the needs in our community to help people get their lives back together,” King County Councilwoman Kathy Lambert — Law, Justice, Health and Human Services Committee chairwoman and the Issaquah representative — said in a statement.
Voters in Issaquah and throughout Washington returned ballots in the run-up to Aug. 7, as the calendar inched closer to the summer primary and the deadline to postmark or return ballots.
Battleground for Legislature
The marquee contest in the 5th Legislative District — a state Senate showdown between Issaquah City Councilman Mark Mullet, a Democrat, and Republican Brad Toft, a Snoqualmie businessman — is all but certain to gain more statewide attention as the parties vie to control the Senate.
In the district’s contested state House of Representatives race, Issaquah School Board President Chad Magendanz, a Republican, faces North Bend Democrat David Spring, a candidate for the seat in 2008 and 2010.
The other candidate in the race, Ryan Burkett, did not actively campaign, and voters eliminated the Issaquah independent in the primary.
The seat opened after incumbent state Rep. Glenn Anderson announced plans to step down and run — albeit unsuccessfully — for lieutenant governor.
North Bend Republican Jay Rodne is running unopposed to represent the 5th District in the House for another term.
In the 41st Legislative District, Republican state Sen. Steve Litzow, a freshman legislator and Mercer Island resident, faces Mercer Island Democrat Maureen Judge, a former Washington Toxics Coalition executive director.
Issaquah resident Tim Eaves, a Republican newcomer, is challenging the incumbent, Renton Democrat Marcie Maxwell, in the district’s contested state House race.
Mercer Island Democrat Judy Clibborn is running unopposed to represent the 41st District in the House for another term.
The redrawn political map shifted neighborhoods in northern and western Issaquah into the suburban 41st District. The rest of Issaquah remains in the more rural 5th District.
The primary represented the initial test for reshaped political maps for Issaquah and Washington.
State redistricting commissioners divided Issaquah between the 5th and 41st legislative districts to determine representation in Olympia.
Redistricting reshaped the 8th Congressional District to stretch from Auburn in South King County to Wenatchee in Chelan County. The district still includes Issaquah, but observers said the territory is friendlier territory for the incumbent, Republican U.S. Rep. Dave Reichert.