1. In yesterday's Seattle Times, state Rep. Mike Armstrong took credit for (and the Seattle Times incorrectly went along with him) sponsoring the now-controversial cost overruns provision in the state house bill authorizing the tunnel. Qu'est-ce que c'est?
As we reported yesterday in our story about about the overrun provision, House Transportation Chair, Rep. Judy Clibborn (D-41) proposed the amendment.
Go to the 30 minute mark here and watch Clibborn propose the amendment.
She also is pretty darn clear about the intent.
"If we have cost overruns ... we will ask the city ... the people who live along the viaduct, the property owners in Seattle, to come forward and pay for the cost overruns."
It was sure clear to Seattle State Rep. Reuven Carlyle (D-36) (go to the 34 minute mark), who asks the legislature to reject the amendment saying that "Seattle area property tax payers be on the hook for potential cost overruns."
If this issue goes to court, and intent becomes the legal linchpin, this video makes it clear what the legislature meant.
2. A PubliCola public records request reveals that despite working only 4.2 hours a day (officially; unofficially, county sources say it's often less), Joe Fain, chief of staff to county council member Pete von Reichbauer, still receives full county health care benefits, at a cost of $1,194 a month.
Fain, who headed up the 2008 campaign to make the King County Council nonpartisan, is running against state Sen. Claudia Kauffman (D-47) as a Republican this year.
3. When we were trawling through city campaign-finance records yesterday, Fizz noticed that Dorsol Plants, who ran in the open seat for Jan Drago's old council position last year (Sally Bagshaw won), has already registered to run for council in 2011, when five incumbents are up for reelection.
An Iraq war vet, a 34th District Democrats PCO, and homeless advocate at the Family Adult Services Center, Plants, a good speaker and talented organizer who won consistent praise for a first-time candidate, hasn't specified which seat he plans to seek, and so far, he hasn't raised any money.
4. Last night, the Fizz was in Everett at Governor Chris Gregoire's second budget forum. (Watch for some PubliColaTV on it and a full write-up later today). For now, we thought we'd report on the unusually poetic testimony from the audience:
"Education is the bridge between rags and riches."
"Small business is the canary to the state recession's coal mine."
"We have to take the milk out of the grocery cart, and the gas out of our cars, and work together to solve this problem."
There were also some more straight forward messages:
"Abortion is not health care. De-fund Planned Parenthood!"
"No new taxes!"
4. Sound Transit board member and dissident Bellevue City Council member Claudia Balducci (she's for light rail through downtown Bellevue) says she plans to vote for the Sound Transit-preferred light-rail alignment on the west side of 112th Ave. through south Bellevue at tomorrow's ST board meeting
On Monday, the Bellevue council voted 4-3 (with Baluducci opposed) to make no recommendation on the 112th Ave. alignment. They opted instead to send a letter to Sound Transit expressing support for an alignment that is no longer on the table—the so-called B7 alignment, which would travel alongside I-405 to the east of Bellevue's residential and job centers, bypassing the South Bellevue Park-and-Ride, and necessitate construction of a new park-and-ride at a cost of between $170 million and $210 million.
Balducci is up for reelection next year. She says she isn't worried that tomorrow's vote, which puts her at odds with many south Bellevue residents, will affect her reelection chances. "The position I'm taking is, in my opinion, in the best interests of the whole city," Balducci says.
Footnote on item #1. Yes, Rep. Armstrong sponsored an amendment, but not the one that, as the Times story says, is causing all the controversy now.
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