Still not sure how to mark up those down-ballot levies, referenda, propositions and charter amendments? Real Change's non-profit status prevents us from saying yes or no about those campaigning for office. But we get a say on the rest of the ballot, and here it is:
Tim Eyman's latest iteration would rob basic services to pay for roads, then weaken the benefits of mass transit by letting lone drivers into the bus lanes. Vote no.
It's a fundamental freedom of the terminally ill to choose how they'll spend their last days. Vote yes.
Certifying the skills of those paid to look after the elderly and disabled makes sense. Vote yes.
The King County Charter Amendments
They aren't what you picked up your ballot for, but all politics being local, there are several items this year that deserve a look.
Charter Amendment 1:
The more democracy, the better. Electing our county elections manager directly -- the position is currently filled by appointment by the executive and the council -- will shed more light on the integrity of our vote-counting system. Vote yes.
Charter Amendment 2:
Barring discrimination is one of those questions that needs no debate. Vote yes.
Charter Amendment 3:
This lightens the workload of county councilmembers, whose number was reduced from 13 to nine a few years back, by excusing a few of them from serving on some regional committees. Give 'em a break. Vote yes.
Charter Amendment 4:
It's a measure to ensure that those elected to executive office (like the Elections Director, should Amendment 1 be passed) be qualified for the job. Vote yes.
Charter Amendments 5 & 6:
These require the county government to improve its financial forecasting and budgetary analysis. Just put down two yesses and hurry along; we're almost done.
Charter Amendment 7:
As flawed as many citizen initiatives may be (did I hear Tim Eyman's name again?), doubling the number of signatures required to put a measure on the ballot won't help. Vote no. For more on this topic, see our guest op-ed on Page 8.
Charter Amendment 8:
This effort may be authored by local Republicans who wish to disassociate themselves from George W. and his gang, but that doesn't mean it's a bad idea. Making races for the county executive and council nonpartisan would tone down the red-vs.-blue divide that, at the local level, is largely a substitute for addressing the issues. Nonpartisan contests also open the door for genuine independents. Vote yes.
City of Seattle Prop. No. 1:
Hackneyed as this sounds, the Market is a civic treasure. It would get only basic, long-deferred maintenance as a result of this property tax levy. Vote yes.
Prop. No. 2:
Parks and cops are the bread and butter of local politics, but even the mayor is sitting this one out. Property taxes are already high, and the city is just now wrapping up an eight-year levy for parks work. Save a yes vote for the housing levy, which will be on your ballot next fall. Vote no.
Sound Transit Prop. No. 1:
Mass transit gets us to work in the Peak Oil economy. Another hit at the cash register is no fun, but it's all we've got until we fix our grossly regressive and unstable tax system (and excuse me if I don't invite Mr. Eyman to help). Vote yes.