An opponent of Sound Transit’s expansion measure has formally complained that an eight-page guide sent out by the agency fails to discuss what would happen if voters say no to Proposition 1.
Sound Transit’s eight-page mailer explaining Proposition 1 amounts to “illegally assisting a campaign,” because it explores only the “yes” outcome while ignoring what a “no” vote would mean, a longtime opponent alleges.
“It amounts to a full description of the result of passage of Proposition One, which is the case for a YES vote,” the complaint says.
He argues Sound Transit should have explained it would finish the 50 miles of light rail voters approved in 2008, with existing taxes, even if the measure fails.
Under state law, Sound Transit is required to produce “a document describing the systems plan and financing plan,” which also discusses land use and transportation demand.
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Its eight-page Mass Transit Guide meets those criteria, which don’t include a rejection scenario or opposing arguments, said transit-agency spokesman Geoff Patrick. A color map in the guide clearly distinguishes existing and previously-approved projects from the new “Sound Transit 3” rail and bus extensions on the ballot, Patrick said.
The PDC will ask for a response from Sound Transit, which will have about a week to reply to Niles’ complaint, said spokeswoman Lori Anderson.
Ballots are being sent out this week. Voters have until Nov. 8 to mail them in or put them into approved dropboxes.
So what does happen if the $54 billion, 25-year proposition fails?
Construction would continue under ST2 to Lynnwood, Bellevue, Overlake and Highline College by 2023, CEO Peter Rogoff told The Herald of Everett. “There is no Plan B sitting in a drawer somewhere,” he said.
Niles predicted the agency would try again in 2020, the next presidential election year, if voters balk this year.
Earlier this year, a Seattle Times inquiry led Sound Transit to revise an online survey after the PDC said one portion seemed to measure voter support for certain campaign themes.
Later, PDC Chairwoman Anne Levinson said Sound Transit didn’t break the law when it released 173,000 email addresses of ORCA fare card holders to the Mass Transit Now campaign, because the release was accidental. The state Attorney General’s Office said Wednesday morning it reviewed the case and will not take further action.