September 19, 2007
Sims doesn't endorse light rail expansion
King County Executive (and former Sound Transit board chairman) Ron Sims is not endorsing this fall's road-and-transit ballot measure. He's not opposing the measure either, but his witholding of support is notable and prompts the question: why?
Is he siding with environmentalists (e.g. Sierra Club) who support rail, but believe the ballot measure spends too much on roads?
Does he support the measure but fear his active support would hurt the measure with some constituencies more than it would help with others?
Does he believe the measure is doomed and doesn't want to be associated with its defeat?
Has he seen the light that this rail expansion is too expensive for the benefits it provides?
Posted by Stefan Sharkansky at September 19, 2007
11:09 AM | Email This
Now THAT"S the kind of "leadership" I'M talkin' about!!!
Wait a minute... is it just me, or is their common thread in this gutless move of Sims and the gutless move of Chrissy and her failure to made a decision on the viaduct?
1. he knows at some point we're going to need tolls, and he believes in congestion pricing on roads. These have the potential to get us much farther down the list of fixing roads and bridges in serious need of repair than do sales tax increases and MVET.
2. Maybe he thinks the sales tax is not an appropriate way to fund transportation this time (though in the past he has supported it).
I'm definitely very surprised.
Sims IS Sound Transit. It is very telling that he can't give any reasons why voters should support it.
My theory - he just approved what ST staff presented to the ST board. A couple of months have gone by since then, and people have clued him in to why it is bad policy, how the taxpayers could get ripped off by ST contractors, and how massive additional taxes will be needed even if it passes. In other words, now that Sims has a clue, he can't support it. Same with all the other politicos.
What is reprehensible is his arrogant position "let the voters decide - I'm not saying anything." He should be explaining what is good and what is bad about this, not remaining silent. What he is doing is the antithesis of good leadership.
Truth is, ST2 would be a massive waste of dollars that should instead be spent covering the full costs of the SR 520 work, the viaduct work, the I-5 repair work, etc. Sound Transit light rail is not deserving of the billions that would be taken from the families of this region under this particular proposal.
4. As an elected, is he even allowed to take a position on an initiative?
"As an elected, is he even allowed to take a position on an initiative?"
Of course he can state his position on a ballot measure. Elected officials frequently endorse (or oppose) measures.
Nothing in the PDC rules prohibits public officials from suggesting voters vote yes or no on any measure.
What the rules prohibit is local governments spending public money to promote their propositions, or support one candidate over another. ST can not use public money to promote ST2, for example.
6. I think it's most likely because Sims knows that Sound Transit has had an accuracy rate on predicting costs, ridership, delivery dates, feasibility, etc. that any bank would envy. Oh wait ....
7. The SEATTLE TIMES reported that "Robert Mak caught up to the executive at an event downtown and was able to fire off eight questions in 90 seconds." Nice to know that the Executive is taking the time out of his busy schedule to "no comment" on the largest tax package in the history of the state that will impact his county for the next 50 years. I believe he still doesn't take public transit to work, but this is Ron's way of leading by example.
@7: He usually rides his bike to work, as evidenced by all the weight he has lost over the last year.
I believe it's a combination of reason 1 and 3, along with his support for congestion pricing as noted by Stuart Jenner @ 2
9. He rides his bike to work? I will be looking for him riding up to the county building in January. Now if he would just insist all of his county employees would take transit as a condition of employment we could actually get some congestion relief.
10. Smokie @9,
I've often thought that would be a great way to ease traffic. Take for instance what traffic looks like on MLK day or Presidents day. Any day the gov employees have off that the private stiffs still do their normal grind.
But I'm sure the county would pay for the bus passes and you have that snake eating it's own tail thing going.
11. Just slightly OT. Once again, Seattle with its transit projects has made the national news and, once again, is a laughingstock. FOX has been airing today the "joke" of the day. South Lake Union Trolley, i.e. SLUT, and the T-Shirts that are selling like hotcakes, which say "Ride the SLUT". You gotta wonder where their heads were if they didn't think of what the acronym would spell. Oh, well, leaders in action.
I think it's because he's batshit insane. It's like whatever his idea of the week is can be the only thing on the table, no matter how long previous work has been in progress.
Those who see my comments know I strongly support transit, and it's really pathetic to see someone like this just drop the ball.
By the way, as ST has a federated board, it's not as if he chose to be involved in ST. He is part of the board based on his elected position, as I understand it.
13. Sims is lusting for those sales tax dollars to fund his future pet socialistic programs or for such things as buying the eastside rail corridor. He doesn't care about citizens stuck in traffic, just his power.
14. you guys are lucky the rest of the state doesn't have a say in it. I'm sure there are some people with a Gregoire wind farm in their front yards who would like to stick the Seattle elite with a fat tax for their own stupid folleys
Sims is toad of the highest order -- he's sniffed a breeze that smells like "boondoggle" and now that he's got to deliver votes for Illery he don't want to saddled with failed transit project to nowhere.
16. He's just still overwhelmed at the moment that Hillary called him and seems to think he is the god of all assest theft (watch out OJ!)
18. Is it true that Ron is pushing for a new transfer station on the South Lake Union Transit (SLUT) that will mesh seemlessly with the newly renamed Sound Transit light rail system THUGS (Transit Helping Urban Gangs Spread). Essentially he is proposing that THUGS can ride the SLUT without a token.
Katmoar wonders, "You gotta wonder where their heads were if they didn't think of what the acronym would spell. Oh, well, leaders in action."
You gotta actually read the story. The official name is "Seattle Streetcar". How exactly could the city have prevented people from calling it SLUT?
This is what rail should really be like.
My worst fear as I hope for the defeat of Prop 1 is that the public will associate opponents of Prop one with people like some who have just commented here.
The best thing racist old-style conservatives (What's OJ got to do with the question) could do to help defeat this big-government boondoggle (I'm against the roads, btw,not the rail) is keep their mouths shut.
You guys aren't helping at all, and there's a serious job to do.
That's why the Sierra Club tried to rewrite the opponents position on Prop 1--they know if it becomes a liberal-conservative fight about rail, Prop one will lose in a landslide.
That's the way the Puget Sound basin is. Look how bad Carlson (a person I deeply respect intellectually, like many regular conservatives, while not agreeing with many of his positions) got beat here.
This is unfolding in slow motion. It'll be a massacre of the anti-boondoggle forces.
Thanks all, Best wishes, new left conservative #1
22. The fact that Sims doesn't come out and support Referendum 1 ought to be a BIG clue as to how bad it really is ! Don't be surprised if he comes out in favor of it before election time due to a payoff from the pro-campaign - that's just the kind of spineless, unprincipled elitist he really is.
A late comer to this thread but the answer is obvious.....
Sims is trying to save his popularity.
24. Recall WTO demonstrations. At first Ron Simms and Governor Locke were with the Mayor, smiling and congratulating each other over their success but when the spam hit the Sham those two were NOWHERE to be found. If old 'I NEVER SAW A TAX I DIDN'T LIKE' isn't saying anything... perhaps he learned a lesson.