Thursday, October 27, 2011

And now, the rest of the story…

I've gone this far, so I'd best run through the rest of the races on my ballot. There are two contested school board races. There was a Shoreline School District for decades before there was a City of Shoreline. Retaining our independent school system was, in fact, a major driver behind our incorporation. There are two contested School Board seats on the ballot, and no one has successfully made a case against retaining the incumbents, Mike Jacobs and Richard Potter.

The school district's also put a levy on the ballot to support smaller class sizes in the face of state budget cuts. I'm voting yes.

There's some unusual intrigue at the bottom of the ballot. A number of services in our town, including the fire department and the water and sewer departments, are administered by independently elected commissions. That's a legacy of our not too distant past as an unincorporated suburb. They're usually no hotly contested elections, offering virtually no pay and perhaps less prestige.

There are a pair of contest this year, though, one for the fire commission and one for the Ronald Wastewater District, our local sewer service.

Jon Kennison has served as a Fire Commissioner for a quarter of a century, and I was a bit surprised to see him draw an challenge at all, and even more surprised when his opponent snagged an IAFF endorsement. The endorsement was a little less surprising when I learned that the challenger is the wife of a firefighter. In any event, this is another case where I see no reason to replace an experienced incumbent. I'm supporting Jon Kennison.

There's a hotter issue behind former City Councilman Bob Ransom's challenge to incumbent Wastewater District Commissioner Arne Lind. As I said, the commissions are a left over from the city's pre-city days, and there are some who think it’s time to consolidate service under the city umbrella. Ransom is a stalwart advocate of that view, at least with regard to sewer service. Lind hasn't argued vigorously against such a move, but insists that it only take place with the approval of a public vote. Voters created the district and have supported it over the years. They should be guaranteed a voice in any change. I'm supporting Arne Lind.

And that's my ballot. If you're a Washington voter, all the races on your ballot, and the endorsements of the legislative district, county and state Democrats, can be found with the Washington State Democrats Personal Democratic Endorsements Finder, a remarkable service from our State Party office.

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