Caffeinated News

1. The League of Women Voters of Seattle-King County announced yesterday that while it "prefers" Seattle Proposition 1A (the unfunded union-backed proposal that would mandate a $15 minimum wage and minimum training standards for all child care workers) to Proposition 1B (the city-backed proposal that would raise property taxes to fund preschool slots for about 2,000 three- and four-year-olds), it encourages a "No" vote on the first part of the ballot measure, which amounts to a "No" vote on both proposals. (Part 1 of the ballot measure asks, "DO you want to see either of these proposals enacted?")

On the second part of the measure, which asks which of the two measures a voter would prefer no matter how they voted on the first part, the group is recommending that voters choose 1A. 

The League very much wants to see the best aspects of both plans incorporated into one proposal.

"The League is very supportive both of increasing day care options, and of early childhood education programs, and very much wants to see leadership from both sets of supporters of the competing proposals join with the Seattle School District to create one harmonious plan, with the best aspects of both plans incorporated into one proposal," Seattle League director Ellen Barton said in a statement yesterday. 

2.  The city council is currently reviewing Mayor Ed Murray's $4.8 billion budget proposal including, really, the $1 billion city general fund. While the next public hearing on the budget isn't until October 23 (the first one was on Tuesday night; check out Casey's tweets here), today, several key city departments, including the Department of Planning and Development, the Office of Housing, the Department of Neighborhoods, Seattle City Light, and the Office of Economic Development, are presenting their specific budgets to city council member Nick Licata's budget committee. 

It's during these presentations, where you find out exactly what the city is spending its money on, that you can get a true picture of the state of the city. For example, gentrification.

Noting that "significant increases in development activity have increased the number of tenant households eligible to receive relocation assistance," DPD is asking for $153,000 extra to help tenants who are being priced out and displaced.

By their estimate, there will be a 16 percent increase in the number of displaced tenants between 2014 and 2015 and an 11 percent increase the following year. 

The nitty-gritty of the city is exposed during budget time.

Tune in. 

3.  As of March 2015, King County Metro will have raised fares five times since 2008. Do they plan to hike fares again in the near future? (Metro has a goal of raising fares only once every three years or so).

"[A Metro fare increase is] something the council might want to consider."—Metro general manager Kevin Desmond


Metro head Kevin Desmond told Fizz: "Our financial plan assumes that the next fare increase will be in 2018. The county executive has not proposed any new change to the fares." And, implying that a fare increase sooner might be on the table, Desmond added, "That's something the council might want to consider."

The King County Council just rejected a proposal to cut Metro service in February of next year, agreeing unanimously with Democratic council member Rod Dembowski that Metro can avoid cuts by relying on increased sales-tax revenues and additional savings from line items like the agency's capital acquisition budget. They will simultaneously look at Metro cuts during the upcoming county budget process.