1. Two more City Council members endorsed the challenger, state Sen. Ed Murray (D-43, Capitol Hill), over incumbent Mayor Mike McGinn yesterday (that's three out of nine total now—from a group that's typically wary to endorse in mayoral elections.) Council president Sally Clark and transportation chair, Council member Tom Rasmussen, endorsed Murray on Thursday. (Council member Tim Burgess endorsed Murray earlier this summer.)
The reaction from McGinn? His campaign spokesman John Wyble tells Fizz: "Those two define the 'Wait until everybody agrees' approach to governing. Of course they see Ed as someone with a similar style. Mayor McGinn has a real sense of urgency about climate change, about transportation, about education, and that's something that's missing from Rasmussen, Clark, and Murray."
For example, Wyble pointed out: "He [McGinn] keeps putting transit in the budget, and they [the City Council] keep taking it out."
Wyble is referring to a half-million dollar transit study of the ship canal crossing; a $1 million transit study for Eastlake; and the fact that the council sent a smaller vehicle license fee for transit ($60) than the mayor had proposed ($80) to the ballot in 2011.
The council didn't fast-track the ship canal transit study as McGinn wanted, though they are funding transit studies in the same corridor and are reportedly, apparently, supposedly, maybe set to sign off on McGinn's addition. Meanwhile, the council has greenlighted the Eastlake study, but didn't approve it as quickly as McGinn wanted—and added some short-term bus money that didn't jibe with McGinn's rapid transit agenda. As for the $60 VLF vs. the $80 VLF, the eventual $60 proposal lost badly at the polls. Make of that what you will.
2. The state senate transportation committee announced a series of seven community meetings to get input to help them come up with a transportation funding package (this year's $10 billion effort bombed when the Republican-controlled senate vetoed the idea of funding light rail across the Columbia River between Vancouver and Portland.)
None of the meetings are in Seattle (a September 17 meeting at Stevenson Elementary in Bellevue—the only meeting in King County— is the closest) while three are east of the Cascades.
Newsflash. A Washington Department of Transportation study earlier this year shows that King County contributes the most gas tax money (ie, transportation money) to the state budget—a full third ($8.3 billion) of the total $25.5 billion collected.
King County's return on the dollar per money contributed? In the red at .95 cents on the dollar.
Rural counties, east of the Cascades, such as Pend Oreille ($1.84 net), Ferry ($2.25 net), Lincoln ($3.04 net), and Garfield ($3.60 net) are all heavily in the black.
3. With the feds giving Washington state the greenlight yesterday on I-502, the marijuana legalization initiative, it's worth checking back in on the fiscal impact statement the state put together in 2012 when they included the glaring footnote: "The total fiscal impact on state and local government revenues, expenditures and costs is indeterminate due to the significant uncertainties related to federal enforcement of federal criminal laws related to marijuana."
Bottom line: About $105 million net.