Tag Archives: King County Council

BIG CHANGES to bus service beginning Sept 27 ~~ King County Metro

So, Prop1 failed and now the lives of folks who depend on Metro will forever change unless or until funds are found. The question most folks are asking is what happened to the $$ its citizens invested in Metro over the last few years, least we ask about the deal struck voted and passed between Republicans and Democrats to take away the free zone and make $$ which, was said to be a savings … we all remember what happened right … bus tickets for the homeless etc were provided for about a year …

 …. Now, there are 28 routes eliminated and counting ? Nativegrl77

Keep families in their homes: Call for an eviction moratorium in Seattle & King County

SeattleWAthumbpixsPutting an End to the Foreclosure Crisis in Seattle and King County.

By Olu Thomas (Contact)

To be delivered to: Seattle City Council and King County Council

Declare an eviction moratorium in Seattle and King County, using eminent domain as a tool to force the banks to negotiate with homeowners and enforce principal reduction.

Petition Background

I am a victim — like millions of other Americans — of a predatory home loan. I am at risk of losing my home, thereby making my children and me homeless. I ended up here because of a death in the family and an injury restricting my ability to work. The banks refused to negotiate with me when I got into an emergency situation.

The banks claim that they have no legal obligation to negotiate with homeowners, but what about their moral obligations? They have completely forgotten that they were bailed out of their situation. They would rather foreclose on homes and make the people homeless and leave the homes vacant, sometimes for years. They are destroying the fabric of existing communities and neighborhoods. This is setting the stage for crimes and further encouraging gentrification. Housing is a human right.

This is another white collar crime.The banks think they are invincible. They believe they are too big to be fought. Of course they have forgotten the power of collective bargaining! Let us come together and bring down this “Tower of Babel.” There is no power like the power of the people!

Is AG Rob Mckenna Unethical

Funny … isn’t AG McKenna a State Worker running for a powerful State job: Governor of Washington State. I don’t know about you but someone who has no respect for State Workers has no business running for a State JOB with this kind of power …

McKenna’s county files raise campaign-ethics concerns

Published: May 23, 2012

Using a fax machine and letterhead from the Metropolitan King County Council in April 2002, the office of then-Councilmember Rob McKenna sent off an invitation to the U.S. secretary of the interior.

McKenna, listed as the sender on both the fax cover page and underlying note, requested on behalf of the Washington State Republican Party that the Cabinet leader speak at the party’s annual convention. It was a political memo that may have placed McKenna’s office afoul of state or county ethics laws, which bar the use of government facilities for “personal convenience” and political campaigns.

An Associated Press review of thousands of pages of official McKenna documents stored at the King County Archives identified hundreds of records that have no place in government files: fundraising lists, candidate strategy ideas, a voided campaign check and a packet titled “Rob McKenna For Attorney General.” And there are strong indications that McKenna himself was at least aware of how his District 6 office mixed campaign and government documents.

McKenna, now the attorney general and Republican favorite in this year’s race for governor, said in an interview that many of the documents were likely left accidentally in the office by someone doing outside campaign work. Questioned about the fact that political issues were scheduled for discussion during staff meetings, McKenna said those in the office inevitably discussed politics but were careful not to use county resources for personal or campaign matters.

“Part of what you do in the county council business is politics, but that’s not the same thing as running a campaign,” he said.

A few days before the faxed invitation to the interior secretary, McKenna himself sent an officially headlined memo to his legislative-affairs director, Hunter Goodman, that discussed various council business. But it also included information on what McKenna deemed “External Business,” in which the councilman said he was looking to pursue the Republican convention invitation.

In another memo, Goodman wrote to “District Six Staff” in January 2003 about items for discussion at a staff meeting. While the agenda included many council issues, such as a newsletter to constituents and an update on solid-waste matters, it also scheduled staff to discuss “grass roots fundraising and candidate meetings” as well as McKenna’s re-election kickoff scheduled for March of that year.

That re-election event is prominent in his files. His folders include lists of attendees, a map of where supporters would sit and a minute-by-minute schedule of events.

Another memo for a staff meeting a year prior referenced work needed for a specific fundraiser. Another asks staff members what needs to be done to get a fundraiser going for McKenna. Another memo from Goodman tells District 6 staff that an “action item” is related to the 2004 campaign for governor: “what is our next step in finding our candidate?”

One of the District 6 staff meetings from 2002 had McKenna’s initials next to an item labeled “PFA.” Handwritten notes from that meeting indicate it was about Progress For America, a group designed to support the policies of President George W. Bush. Another folder in McKenna’s archives is dedicated to Progress For America materials and notes about McKenna’s efforts to raise money for the group.

State laws related to using government offices for political work may no longer be applicable to McKenna’s files, since the statute of limitations for such laws is five years. However, he could be subject to an ethics complaint in King County, since those rules do not have explicit time constraints.

Bruce Laing, who was McKenna’s Republican predecessor on the council and now chairs the King County Board of Ethics, declined to comment on the specific files found in McKenna’s archives. But he noted both the county’s ethics code and advisory opinions that explain what types of activities are improper.

“It’s pretty specific. It’s pretty clear,” Laing said.

One of those ethics opinions, published in 1996 not long after McKenna took office there, gives broad guidance to county workers about how to use various county facilities. When it comes to fax machines, for example, the ethics board said plainly that they “may be used only to conduct official county business.”

“Facsimile equipment, telephone line, and paper are provided for transmitting and receiving correspondence to conduct official business, and may not be used for private or personal business,” the advisory opinion said. Similar rules apply for other county facilities, though the opinions approve the use of county facilities for emergencies or if the use is brief, infrequent, cost-free and unobtrusive.

For personal use, the county ethics code says that no employee “shall request or permit the use of county-owned vehicles, equipment, materials or property or the expenditure of county funds for personal convenience or profit.”

For campaign issues, the county ethics code largely mirrors state law and says that workers “shall not use or authorize the use of the facilities of King County” for personal or ballot elections.

Goodman said the campaign-related files in the archives were his and that they must have been accidentally brought in from the outside and co-mingled with the county records. He said it was an error but not an indication that campaign work occurred there.

The staff meetings that referenced campaign events took place off site and after business hours, Goodman said. He now works for McKenna at the Attorney General’s Office and said staffers have always taken care not to misuse government facilities, recalling how they would leave county offices before discussing campaign issues.

“We don’t even take calls from our campaigns ever during business hours,” said Goodman, who would only speak to a reporter on the topic outside of his current work hours. “We are very, very diligent about that. It’s something Rob would never permit, and it’s something we’re very cognizant of.”

Laing, the ethics chairman, said he has found that county politicians work very hard to avoid any conflict while in office. He said they worked hard to schedule times outside of work to deal with campaign issues and crafted newsletters to constituents to make sure they did not include any campaignlike statements.

“Using county time or county resources for purposes of campaigning was just not acceptable,” Laing said.

McKenna was first elected to the Metropolitan King County Council in 1995. He then won a campaign for his current position as attorney general in 2004.

upcoming transit fights …Julia Deak Sandler

Dear transit supporters,

I just noticed that this petition had not been taken down yet, and people were continuing to sign it. I will take it down today, but I just wanted to reassure those who were still signing that we in fact WON on this issue, and the $20 congestion reduction charge was passed, saving metro service for the next 2 years.

Nevertheless, our fight for improved, sustainable transit options and more progressive funding sources for them is far from over. Some of you replied to my last email with deep and valid concerns about the final deal that the County Council reached, which included cutting the Free Ride Zone and funding metro with a regressive $20 fee on all car owners.

If you would like to move past such regressive funding sources and increase the share of the tax burden on those who can actually afford it, consider joining one of these groups and working on this issue over the next two years:

– the fledgling Save Our Metro campaign, which is dedicated to grassroots organizing of transit riders who are not on email
– the Moveon.org Seattle Council’s transit sub-committee, which will be fighting to make sure Seattle does all it can to support transit, bike infrastructure, and sustainable transportation options (just reply to this email to sign up)
Transportation for Washington, a state-wide coalition of groups fighting to make sure our state has a progressive funding source for the transportation options that make the most sense for our planet, our health, and our communities.
FUSE Washington, which fights for more tax revenue and all kinds of public services in the state
– The NO on 1125 coalition which has been organized against Tim Eyman‘s latest attempt to derail light rail in Bellevue with Kemper Freeman’s money

You can also help from home by commenting on the conservative-biased news reports you see, such as this one in the Seattle Times today about the $60 car tab fee for Seattle residents only, which will be on the ballot in November:


thanks again for all you do, and so long.
Julia Deak Sandler

Final Vote on Bus Cuts on Mon. 8/15

King County Metro 30' Gillig PHANTOM coach #11...
Image via Wikipedia

Your support for saving King County Metro has made a huge difference. More than 8,200 people signed our SignOn petition to save our buses, and more than 14,000 total signed letters or petitions. The testimony at the 7/26 hearing was fantastic, and we didn’t lose! But we also haven’t won yet…

We need six of nine councilmembers to vote in favor of the two-year stop-gap measure to save our buses. We have the support of 5 members, but the sixth has been elusive.

The King County Council was set to vote on the matter that day. Luckily, thanks to the thousands of people who voiced their support, the four remaining councilmembers — all Republicans — agreed to take three more weeks to seriously consider the the measure.

Now, we must double-down. This is our last chance to save our buses from devastating 17% cuts that will significantly hurt 4 out of 5 riders. Though I started this petition as an individual, I’ve learned that many professionals are working on this and related issues under the umbrella of the Transportation for Washington campaign. Here’s what they recommend:

First, please send your own personal letter to the King County Councilmembers. There are no more opportunities for public testimony, so calling or sending another letter is the best way to remind them of our arguments. Feel free to edit or add personal details.

 Click here to send your letter.   http://org2.democracyinaction.org/o/5127/p/dia/action/public/?action_KEY=7814

Next, pack the meeting on Monday, August 15.
Click here to RSVP.    http://org2.democracyinaction.org/o/5153/p/salsa/web/questionnaire/public/?questionnaire_KEY=608

Finally, we need volunteers to help petition, phonebank, write letters to newpaper editors, and enter data.
Email Brock Howell, field director of Transportation 4 WA, at brock@futurewise.org to volunteer.

Thanks again for your support. Your dedication to the betterment of our society and planet warms my heart.
Together we can save our buses. Stay strong & don’t give up!

Peace to all of you,

Julia Deak