500 County Workers May Take No Pay Increase Next Year

King County Executive Dow Constantine announced that nearly 500 unionized county workers will forgo a pay increase next year, saving between $500,000 and $600,000.

08/16/2010 By Erica C. Barnett


King County Council Candidate Barred from Her Former County Office

Diana Toledo, a candidate for the King County Council seat being vacated by Jan Drago, was barred from the county courthouse earlier this year after she received a "proposed layoff letter" from the county, where she worked until this year as an enforcemen

08/03/2010 By Erica C. Barnett


County Sales Tax Goes to November Ballot

The King County Council's Democratic majority moves a 0.2-percent sales-tax increase for public safety to a countywide November ballot.

07/19/2010 By Erica C. Barnett


County Council Proposes Tougher New Labor Policy

King County employees could face tougher restrictions on overtime, no automatic cost-of-living pay increases, and slightly higher health-care costs. The changes are an effort to chip away at the $60M budget deficit.

07/14/2010 By Bryce McKay


Constantine Proposes Salary Freeze, Ditching Automatic Cost-of-Living Increases

King County Executive Dow Constantine freezes wages and asks county union members to make sacrifices to close a $140 million two-year budget gap.

07/13/2010 By Erica C. Barnett

The C is for Crank

County Should Revisit Automatic Wage Increases

If King County wants voters to approve a sales-tax hike to pay for public safety, county officials and the unions need to get serious about cutting costs.

07/09/2010 By Erica C. Barnett

The C is for Crank

Clarification: City Could Only Access One-Third of Potential Sales Tax

The city could only raise the sales tax 0.1 percent if a sales-tax increase fails to pass the county, county staffers now say. Also, my predictions about the tax.

07/07/2010 By Erica C. Barnett

PubliCola Adds Life


Erica will be on KUOW's The Conversation today to talk about the behind-the-curtain politics at the King County Council.

07/06/2010 By Josh Feit


What Cutting 400,000 Hours of Metro Service Would Look Like

King County Metro's $60 million budget shortfall will almost certainly mean service cuts. Tonight, transit planners will give an initial look at the worst-case scenario.

07/01/2010 By Erica C. Barnett


Metro Union Fears Layoffs; Part-Time Drivers Would Bear Brunt

With King County Metro facing record budget deficits, the bus drivers' union fears layoffs may be imminent.

07/01/2010 By Erica C. Barnett

City Hall

City Could Get Sales Tax Authority if County Fails to Put Tax on the Ballot

If the King County Council stalemates again on a proposed sales-tax increase for criminal justice, the power to increase taxes could revert to the city—with a much more favorable split between Seattle and the county.

06/30/2010 By Erica C. Barnett


PubliCola Reporting Forces KC Council Member Pete von Reichbauer to Return Illegal Contributions

After reporting by PubliCola revealed that Republican King County Council member Pete von Reichbauer's PAC took illegal overlimit contributions, the state has asked von Reichbauer to return the money.

06/28/2010 By Erica C. Barnett

PubliCola Adds Life

Cola on KUOW

In case you missed Erica on KUOW's Weekday yesterday, where she talked about new SPD chief John Diaz, the City budget, and her story on King County Council Member Pete von Reichbaeur, here's the link.

06/26/2010 By Josh Feit


County Council Democrat Questions Sales-Tax Increase Proposed by Democrats

King County Council member Larry Phillips, a Democrat, has questions about a sales-tax increase proposed by his fellow council Democrats.

06/25/2010 By Erica C. Barnett


Von Reichbauer Mystery PAC Contains $10,000

Republican King County Council member Pete von Reichbauer is bankrolling a mysterious political action committee that, Democrats worry, may be used to fund the state senate campaign of his protege, Joe Fain, who's running against incumbent Claudia Kauffma

06/21/2010 By Erica C. Barnett