Press Editorial

January 31, 2012

Fire District 10 station bond makes sense

King County Fire District 10 commissioners are asking voters to approve a construction bond for the first time in nearly two decades. It’s a reasonable request that voters should consider.

It’s a bit confusing, since both the city of Issaquah and Fire District 10 are served by Eastside Fire & Rescue, a cooperative of multiple jurisdictions. But only Issaquah residents outside the city limits pay taxes for fire protection to District 10. City property owners are paying for the new fire station near the Issaquah Transit Center.

If you got a ballot in the mail last week, you live in District 10.

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Press Editorial

November 1, 2011

Tarleton, Bryant for port commissioners

The concerns in the races for the Port of Seattle Commission are about enemies and rivals — in the name of terrorism and new competition.

Candidate Gael Tarleton, the commission’s expert on security issues, is a shoo-in for another term. Her opponent, Richard Pope, is a perennial candidate for one office or another and not a serious contender.

The other contested port race includes sharp, dedicated candidates — incumbent Bill Bryant and his challenger, Sammamish resident Dean Willard.

Bryant has steered the commission through tough financial management issues and corrected the course. His commitment to bringing port issues to the public and for the public is outstanding.

Willard’s decision to challenge Bryant — a leader respected by Democrats and Republicans, business and environmental interests alike — seems oddly timed. We encourage Willard to remain engaged in the public process. The local political scene needs more candidates with his enthusiasm and ideas.

However, Bryant is the best choice to continue leading the Port of Seattle on the rough seas ahead.

Press Editorial

October 25, 2011

I-1125 is not the right answer for tolls

Initiative 1125 is one of those ballot measures that does so much more than put limits on what can and cannot be done with gas taxes and toll revenues. It’s one more initiative that screams, “We don’t trust our elected representatives to run the state!”

We get that sentiment, and encourage voters to hold their representatives accountable.

Tim Eyman’s I-1125 ballot measure is supposedly about reinforcing laws already on the books. It makes assumptions that the Legislature has run amok, bending rules on road tolls and taxes. It covers state bids and contracts for vessel dry-docks and goes on to specify that there will be no tollbooths. And then it slips in a little wiggle that stops light rail from expanding across Lake Washington via Interstate 90.

I-1125 limits road tolls to funding of a project — only.

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Press Editorial

October 18, 2011

Schaer has earned another council term

The choice in Issaquah’s only contested City Council race is stark.

Incumbent Joshua Schaer articulates a clear vision for the future. Schaer has fashioned a reputation as a councilman unwilling to yield just for the sake of another unanimous vote. Such independence is valuable for a council member and even better for the citizens he represents.

Schaer also brings a broad understanding of the tiny details of city policy — a critical factor for elected officials as the council delves into the Central Issaquah Plan, a medical marijuana ordinance and other hefty issues in the year ahead.

Schaer deserves credit for pushing the first-on-the-Eastside food-packaging ordinance to ban Styrofoam takeout containers. In his second term, however, he needs to lead the charge to increase compliance with the ordinance.

Challenger TJ Filley initially built a single-issue campaign around the pedestrian bridge across Interstate 90 at state Route 900. Though Filley deserves praise for attracting attention to the late and over-budget project, the continued focus on the now-completed bridge is counterproductive.

Filley needs more local experience, while Schaer has earned a second term.

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Press Editorial

October 4, 2011

Yes on I-1183 to end state liquor business

Initiative 1183 — putting liquor sales in the hands of retailers instead of the state —is worth a yes vote. Last year, voters were asked a similar question, challenging the state’s monopoly on liquor sales. The voters said no. But I-1183 is vastly different.

For one thing, small stores like mini-marts will not be allowed to sell liquor, squelching the fear that teens will have more access than ever. Only stores larger than 10,000 square feet will qualify, unless a smaller store is the only option in town.

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Press Editorial

August 9, 2011

Vote yes — again — for Proposition 1

Feeling charitable to those who have no job, are living on the streets or need parenting education? King County has made it easy to help, but first you need to get out your ballot and agree to continue Proposition 1, the veterans-and-human-services levy. The owner of a $400,000 home will be donating $20 per year, via their property taxes, if the ballot measure passes.

The levy was first approved in 2005. To the County Council’s credit, voters are asked only to approve the same amount, at 5 cents per $1,000 of assessed valuation, although the case could certainly have been made for more, knowing that the need is greater than ever.

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Press Editorial

October 19, 2010

Our recommendations for state representatives

5th District

The 5th Legislative District includes most of Issaquah, except for Cougar Mountain (It’s in the 41st District) and the South Cove neighborhoods (They’re in the 48th).

Representative, Position 1 — Jay Rodne. We can find no reason to oust Rodne at this time. His challenger, Gregory Hoover, is no match for Rodne’s knowledge regarding the issues. Rodne’s record of voting pro-business and working for education reform stands out. When not in Olympia, Rodne is entrenched in his community as a leader and a volunteer.

Representative, Position 2 — Glenn Anderson. There is no hidden agenda with Anderson — he calls it like it is, even if it’s not what you want to hear. But there is no doubt that he is knowledgeable and passionate about this commitment to represent the 5th District. He is a tireless worker for education funding solutions. Challenger David Spring’s drive is also about education, but he fails to bring solutions to the table.

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Press Editorial

October 12, 2010

Tucker, O’Brien for District Court judges

Few voters know just who to vote for when it comes to judicial candidates on their ballot. The closer to home, the more important the vote is — these are the judges you may very well meet for traffic tickets to misdemeanors.

The ballots this year include four choices for two District Court positions in the Northeast Division. Both of our recommended choices — Donna Tucker and John O’Brien — are preferred for the diversity of experience they bring to the job.

Tucker and Larry Mitchell are vying for Position 7.

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Press Editorial

October 5, 2010

Ballot measures target new, revised taxes

The November general election includes three tax initiatives that would purportedly raise or lower taxes in the future. It’s a convoluted array of ballot issues that says much about the unrest of these economic times.

• Vote no on Initiative 1107. The initiative asks voters to undo the sales tax increase on candy, gum, bottled water and carbonated beverages that legislators passed earlier this year and goes into effect in December. The tax is expected to raise $352 million for the state general fund. That isn’t enough to close the budget gap, but without it, education, social and health services will suffer more. The tax increase is not onerous enough to threaten anyone’s household budget. While legislators need to tweak some aspects of the new law, voters should not reverse it.

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Press Editorial

August 3, 2010

Judicial candidates are all well qualified

Though the congressional and legislative races on the Aug. 17 primary ballot have received the most attention, local voters must also decide important judicial contests. However, due to limitations on what judges can say during an election, it is often the hardest ballot decision for voters.

Perhaps the most important decision for Issaquah, Sammamish and other Eastside residents is the contest for a new King County District Court judge. Voters will pick someone to fill a new position created to address increasing caseloads.

The court handles some civil matters, misdemeanor crimes and traffic infractions, plus local violations caught by the Washington State Patrol and other state agencies. Because of the broad range of cases that come before District Court, judges serve a vital role as spokespeople for the judicial system. Read more

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