Here is a handy clip-and-save wrap-up of Seattle Times endorsements for the 2009 general election.
HAPPY Election Week. Election Day of yesteryear is morphing into something longer and less defined. For the first time in King County general-election history, no traditional polling places will be open. This is an all-mail event. Tuesday is simply the final day to mail one’s choices.
The Seattle Times has been interviewing candidates and proponents and opponents of ballot measures for several months. We offer our recommendations in key races.
×Initiative 1033 — Vote a resounding no on Tim Eyman’s one-size-fits-all formula for revenue growth in cities, counties and state. The recession is too lengthy and pernicious to institutionalize lower spending for education, health care, public safety, even libraries. The initiative is tempting because it provides property-tax relief, but its consequences make this plan a dud.
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×Referendum 71 — Vote yes to affirm legislation providing fundamental fairness for all Washington families. We strongly endorse voter passage — mark “approved” on the ballot — of a bill that expands rights for registered domestic partners. Ignore the hyperbolic scare campaign against this measure.
×Executive — With the county in dire financial straits, this election is about change. Susan Hutchison is endorsed because she is a political outsider who brings a host of fresh ideas to tackle the budget. She is the right candidate to change the culture of the county.
×Assessor — Graham Albertini is the best person to fill the job left open by the departure of Scott Noble. Albertini has been an appraiser for more than 20 years and also teaches the craft.
×County Council, Position 9 — Voters should back Reagan Dunn, a proven, effective public servant. Dunn works well with others and also has the gumption to go his own way when he believes he is right. He gets extra kudos for standing up to the county’s foot-ferry tax with a goal of putting ferries on Lake Washington.
×Charter Amendment 4 — Vote yes to provide enhanced protection for thousands of acres of high-conservation-value properties. The amendment tightens rules for adding or removing property from an existing inventory by requiring a supermajority vote of the council.
× Charter Amendment 3 — The new and promising system of ranked-choice voting deserves a longer test. The charter amendment repeals this new form of voting without giving it a real chance to prove itself. The measure should be rejected.
×County Council — Three solid incumbents have earned re-election at an extraordinary time for this fast-growing county. Voters would be wise to re-elect John Koster in District 1, Dave Gossett in District 4 and Dave Somers in District 5.
×Mayor — Joe Mallahan is endorsed as the practical managerial candidate to lead Seattle out of its economic doldrums. Mallahan supports the tunnel to replace the Alaskan Way Viaduct and doesn’t believe in undoing decisions long in the making, a key tenet of his opponent’s campaign. Mallahan was one of the first to call for repeal of the employee head tax. The tax sends a lousy message to businesses. He, better than his opponent, grasps the enormous challenge of the economic downturn.
×City Council — Seattle voters have excellent choices this year to strengthen the council. For Position 2, we recommend re-electing Council President Richard Conlin. Voters should replace incumbent Nick Licata in Position 6 with a bright, well-studied newcomer, Jessie Israel, and select two thoughtful individuals who will be a plus on the council, Sally Bagshaw in Position 4 and Robert Rosencrantz in Position 8. Rosencrantz has run three times for the job. Bagshaw learned her public service in the county prosecutor’s office under the principled hand of the late Norm Maleng.
×City Attorney — The Times recommends a change by endorsing challenger Pete Holmes, who is strong on public disclosure and has a better fix on who exactly are his clients: the people of the city, not just City Hall employees.
×Housing Levy — In these tough times, we support the seven-year, $145 million housing levy. Vote yes. Goals for production of housing for seniors, low-income and moderate-income families and formerly homeless individuals are worthy ones, especially now.
×School Board — Three School Board races prompt three recommendations: Kay Smith-Blum, who has a very clear grasp of the goals and values of public education; Wilson Chin, a University of Washington researcher; and voters should return incumbent Michael DeBell, a bright light on the board.
Port of Seattle
×Port Commission — The Times endorses Tom Albro and Rob Holland. Albro is a local entrepreneur who has built up several companies, including the company that operates the Seattle Monorail. He is a civic-minded businessman with a steady demeanor. Holland is the union-backed candidate who knows the Port as a customer. Albro and Holland represent a good mix of business and union viewpoints.
×City Council — In Bellevue, the sour economy provided a speed bump for the city’s breathtaking growth. Neighborhoods need tending. In Position 2, Vicki Orrico is our choice. With his dynamic style and strong ideas, developer Kevin Wallace should be elected over appointed Councilwoman Patsy Bonincontri in Position 4. Veteran Councilman Don Davidson, in Position 6, provides strong vision for the city and its role in the broader region. His leadership and connections earn him another term. For Position 7, Jennifer Robertson deserves support because of her extensive knowledge of the city. She chaired the planning commission and knows a lot about Bellevue’s innovative Bel-Red policy.
Around the Sound
×Everett mayor — Incumbent Ray Stephanson is endorsed for re-election.
×Issaquah City Council — Maureen McCarry deserves re-election to Position 5; Tola Marts wins the endorsement in Position 7.
×Kent mayor — Re-elect Suzette Cooke.
×Kirkland City Council — We endorse Amy Walen, Joan McBride, Doreen Marchione and Penny Sweet.
×Sammamish City Council — Voters would be wise to support Don Gerend, Tom Odell, John James and Tom Vance.