Caffeinated News


1. City council incumbent Sally Bagshaw, who, unlike her colleagues, has been spared a serious challenger, will reportedly have legit competition in the next 24-plus hours (filing deadline is tomorrow).

Word is, a progressive tech-community guy is set to jump in. (A woman named Deborah Zech Artis already filed against Bagshaw this week.)

While districting was supposed to provide a stampede against "entrenched" incumbents, nearly half of the 40 newcomers are running in just two of the seven districted seats where there is no incumbent. However, per usual, all the incumbents—and now Bagshaw too apparently—have at least one credible challenger. Bagshaw is running in position seven, which includes downtown and north to Queen Anne and Magnolia.

2. State representative Zack Hudgins (D-11, South Seattle, Tukwila, Renton) is jumping into the race for King County Elections director. Longtime director Sherril Huff is not seeking reelection. Hudgins, a longtime legislator, best known for championing the state DREAM Act, served as an observer in the first postwar Iraqi election—so presumably (barring another Chris Gregoire versus Dino Rossi standoff) the gig is a step down. Shoreline city council member Chris Roberts has already declared.

3. And in more deadline-week filing news (and non–Shell/Foss Maritime/Port of Seattle news) Ken Rogers, a member of Delta Air Lines' board, is running for Bill Bryant's open seat. Bryant, a potential GOP gubernatorial hopeful (and Shell backer), is not running for reelection.

Never mind the Shell fight. Watch for Alaska Airlines to run someone now? (Marion Yoshino, Des Moines economic development manager, has already declared.)

4. PubliCola has obtained a draft copy of the controversial Neighborhood Conservation District legislation that retiring city council member Tom Rasmussen is pushing. According to the Seattle Planning Commission, the legislation, which is being drafted to help neighbors preserve the character of their blocks in the face of new development, would upend comprehensive plan goals around housing affordability. I've already been skeptical of Rasmussen's idea, and Erica C. Barnett over at The C Is for Crank has done some great reporting on the SPC's concerns, which also include worries about equity between different neighborhoods. (For example, would wealthy neighborhoods be at an advantage, with design and process costs, to create these amber zones.)

Of interest in the legislation—drafted, by the way, by former legislative staffer Rebecca Herzfeld, who has come under conflict of interest scrutiny in the past for working on legislation to rein in development in her own neighborhood, is the definition of how to create an NCD:

The petition may be filed by: Property  owners in the district, in which case the petition must include signatures of the owners of 50 percent or more of the lots within the proposed district and include the signatures of the owners of 50 percent or more of the land area within the proposed district.

Two problems. What about the other 50 percent of neighbors who perhaps can't afford any new local regulations? And, what about renters? Do they have any say about their neighborhoods?