1. Mayor Ed Murray hauled out polling numbers at a community meeting yesterday night at Capitol Hill's Miller Community Center to promote the idea of a metropolitan parks district—an ongoing property tax to fund parks maintenance instead of Seattle's traditional parks levy. Murray said the levy could not fund the $267 million backlog in necessary parks maintenance.

The poll found 61 percent in favor to 31 percent against the idea of an ongoing parks tax.

Erica was there and tweeted the dog and pony show.

Here's a some of the drama. (And more of her tweets here, including the crowd's concern that the new tax will just give the council an excuse to take parks funding out of the general fund.)

One thing that never came up was former Mayor Mike McGinn's proposal to tax soda companies to help pay for parks.

2. State Sen. Steve O'Ban (R-28, University Place) has a guest editorial in the Seattle Times today blaming the Democrats for holding the state transportation package hostage because the Democrats won't sign off on a batch of GOP reforms.

If this was a parliament, the governing coalition, the MCC, would be tossed right about now.

We've written about the Republicans' list of reforms before (here and here), but they include: dedicating sales tax revenue from road construction to the transportation budget rather than the general fund (with the McCleary mandate looming, the Democrats are nervous about taking money out of the general fund ); making "congestion relief" a WSDOT goal (the current goal is "moving people and goods," revised language that was intended to make WSDOT less of a highway expansion agency and more of a holistic transportation agency); and labor changes, such as paying apprenticeship wages (don't talk to the Democrats about labor changes!).

O'Ban's editorial specifically blames the senate's Democratic transportation lead, Sen. Tracey Eide (D-30, Federal Way), the transportation committee co-chair, for holding reforms hostage until the GOP signs off on the gas tax, and, in turn, says she's to blame for this embarrassing year-plus transportation breakdown.

O'Ban writes in the Times:

The Democratic co-chair of the Senate Transportation Committee, Sen. Tracey Eide appears to be holding these and other reforms hostage until the Senate passes a gas tax increase to fund new road, transit and pedestrian projects.

When her Republican co-chair, Sen. Curtis King of Yakima, unveiled a compromise package, Eide publicly reiterated her stance saying, “I get a package, [then] we’ll hear reforms. ... It’s the only leverage I have.”

Respectfully, Eide has it backward.

If Fizz reads this right, O'Ban is blaming the minority party in the senate for holding up the will of the majority.

But the MCC doesn't need 60 votes. All the majority has to do is pass it.

If this was a parliament, the governing coalition, the MCC, would be tossed right about now.

Respectfully, O'Ban has it backward. His Majority Coalition Caucus of 24 Republicans and two dissident Democrats is in the majority. In order to put their package of reforms on the table in negotiations with the Democratic house and the Democratic governor, they simply need to show there's support for it in the senate. The Democratic house has already passed a transportation funding package.

3. One question we forgot to suggest for this weekend's legislative town halls with the likes of state house speaker Rep. Frank Chopp (D-43, Wallingford) and state Sen. David Frockt (D-46, N. Seattle): "What about the giant hole in the ground that's unfunded?"

That one was suggested by a canny Cola reader who, we gather, wants Seattle's delegation to explain what the heck they're going to do when the rubber meets the road on the infamous "Stick-it-to-Seattle" cost overruns provision on the deep bore tunnel.

Thanks, Will.


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