Thoughts on the Park District Vote

Permalink +

Wed, Feb 13, 2013, 3:42 pm  //  John Servais

Update: 3:42 pm, Wed.  The vote is now 1,894 for the Park District and 1,774 against.  A 120 vote margin.

An additional 386 plus votes were counted this afternoon by the county auditor.  They came in as 231 for the Park District and 155 against.  We expect another 100 to 200 votes to be counted on Friday afternoon.

With this strong Yes finish, we have a Metropolitan Park District on the south side of Bellingham.  Obviously the proponents last few days get out the vote door belling worked.   As an election for their cause, they get the credit for getting a win.  They have gotten their carefully picked five candidates on the commission.  Their victory is complete. 

Now we will monitor how they keep their promises of 28 cents/thousand tax and dissolving their park district as soon as that is done - even this year of 2013. 

But I think they have done some larger damage to the future of liberal causes in general in our community.  They have sacrificed their liberal ethics of fairness, honesty and open process to the expedient of preserving unneeded woods near their homes.  Their area is now surrounded - inundated - with city, county and state parks.

I am a liberal - believing basically in a greater value on community welfare than on the rights to pursue individual happiness.  Liberal values were put aside by the proponents of this park district as they sought to secure higher property values for their own homes and surround themselves with parks.  Throughout the campaign they refused to address the criticisms.  They employed the tactic of repeating half truths - something they accuse the conservative political causes of doing.  And in doing so, they have hurt their credibility for future liberal causes in Bellingham.  We saw liberals stoop to dirty politics to get what they badly wanted - no new homes near where they live.

----------

Below posted 8:30 am, Wed.

If anyone wants to weigh in on the Chuckanut Ridge Park District campaign, the issues, or the state of the ballot counting, here is a place-holder for attaching comments.   We may know definitive results this afternoon about 3 or 4 p.m.  Or, we may need to wait a couple weeks for the canvassing board to finish its work before we know if this measure passes or fails. 

This morning, the numbers are separated by 44 votes, out of 3,382 ballots counted by last night.  "Yes" to create the Park District leads with 1,663 votes, against 1,619 votes for "no." Apparently there are some 160 ballots uncounted at the Auditor's office.   And more votes will arrive in the mail today, with my guess being a high number of maybe 200 or more still to arrive.  

My thinking is the late votes will be overwhelmingly "no," but that is just one political junkie going out on a limb. The thinking is that the advocates for the park voted early and  many late voters came to the realization there was a tax in the issue and finally decided to vote.  My feeling is this thing could well be defeated when the last ballots are counted by Thursday or Friday.   

Regardless, as Bill Geyer said in the Herald this morning, this close vote shows that, "We don't have agreement that a park district is good, that's clear." Indeed, the "yes" votes are almost exactly the same number as signed the initiative.  With a low turnout of only 42%, and given the huge effort by the proponents to turn out their vote with intense doorbelling and multiple direct mail postcards, they only motivated about 20% of the voters on the south side to vote "yes."  I think a higher turnout would have strongly defeated this issue.  But, again, that is speculation.  

So we wait for this afternoon and a new count from our auditor.

Alex McLean  //  Wed, Feb 13, 2013, 12:27 pm

If I’m following your math, then 1,700 people, or roughly 20-percent of eligible voters in these impacted precincts, are all it took to ram this well-oiled herring down our throats.

My wager is that they will wait at least until after the next Greenways levy fails (if one even makes it to a ballot) and then promptly use this as a cue to raise the tax rate.

We’ve already gambled much by allowing this cabal to form, so I’ll put my meager $5 in the pot claiming that 2017 is the year the Park District raises our rates.


Delaine Clizbe  //  Wed, Feb 13, 2013, 5:25 pm

Darn it!  Looks like I will spend the next 10 years monitoring Metropolitan Park District Commission meetings:) 


Delaine Clizbe  //  Thu, Feb 14, 2013, 8:32 am

And now for myself, a landlord in the district, the moral dilemma.  Do I absorb the cost of this levy, the low-income levy, the school levy, the increased water bill.  Or do I pass the cost on to the tenants.  The management company that manages our duplexes will be presenting new rent suggestions to me soon.  What should I do?  If I eat the costs, where will the money come from for the new dishwasher I just bought, the tub/shower that needs replaced, the fencing that is falling down. 

This vote comes at a time that the Bellingham City Council is considering inspecting rental units to ensure habitability.  I just think it ironic!  This tax increase just chipped away at that ability of rental property owners to maintain habitability. 

Overwhelmingly I know what the decision will be for most landlords.  And then some of the same folks who proposed this little gem will squawk at the injustice.


Wendy Harris  //  Thu, Feb 14, 2013, 3:42 pm

Delaine, just curious.  How much will you pay out for the park district and how many rental units are involved?

Since you are concerned about the injustice this imposes on your tenants, please consider asking the city to include social justice as a goal in the new economic development policy of the city comp. plan. It was included in the 2009 city policy, but has been removed in the current draft.


Delaine Clizbe  //  Thu, Feb 14, 2013, 4:56 pm

Hi Wendy,
I noticed your latest article on this blog.  I have to admit I am uninformed on this issue so will need to look into it before commenting.

We have only 4 units.  We currently pay $244 a year into the Greenways levy.  I had calculated that the new “low income levy” and the “community park levy” will increase our tax bill by $300 a year.  Just to put that figure in perspective.  I just spent $400 on a new dishwasher. 

Not all landlords are evil.  In fact, most landlords make very poor businessmen.  The problem is that we are dealing with a persons “home”.  And once you get to know your tenants it makes “best for business” decisions hard.  I understand that the “big business” landlords can make these decisions easily.  However, the small local “Ma and Pa” landlords, the ones we want to manage the rental housing in our community, struggle with this.


Tip Johnson  //  Tue, Feb 19, 2013, 12:24 am

I’m betting the rents will go up and not strictly on the cost of the levy.  Once landlords are stimulated to review the rents, they will bring it to what the market will bear, plus a margin if possible, to hedge against the problematic eventuality of having to raise it again.


Charter Review and District Only Voting

Thu, Apr 17, 2014, 9:40 am  //  Riley Sweeney

A simple explanation of the Charter Review and analysis of District only voting

0 comments

Roosevelt Neighborhood Pleads for Left Turns

Wed, Apr 09, 2014, 8:07 am  //  Riley Sweeney

City pushes for Alabama Street improvements, residents speak out

3 comments; last on Apr 14, 2014

Paper Dreams in Fairhaven

Next door to Village Books

Assault

Sun, Apr 06, 2014, 3:29 pm  //  Guest writer

By Christopher Grannis: Wherein despite every effort and expense, citizens cannot make the City follow the law or work for neighborhoods

2 comments; last on Apr 07, 2014

Killer Industrial Jobs or Long-term Job Killers?

Sun, Apr 06, 2014, 11:52 am  //  Terry Wechsler

Why commenting on the EIS in Comp Plan revisions for Cherry Point means demanding an EIS in the first place.

4 comments; last on Apr 13, 2014

Anatomy of a Development Part XII - Citizens Win Against University Ridge

Wed, Apr 02, 2014, 5:00 am  //  Dick Conoboy

Ambling University Development Group pulls out. University Ridge will not be built.

12 comments; last on Apr 06, 2014

Tell County To Expand Scope of EIS Review for Plants and Animals

Tue, Apr 01, 2014, 12:27 pm  //  Wendy Harris

Please help us protect county wildlife by ensuring that the scope of the EIS review is adequate. A sample scoping letter is included.

0 comments

Public May Comment On EIS Scoping For County Comp. Plan Until April 7th

Mon, Mar 31, 2014, 1:23 am  //  Wendy Harris

The public has a week to comment on the scope of issues reviewed under the EIS.

0 comments

My State of the Lake Report for 2014

Fri, Mar 28, 2014, 12:32 am  //  Wendy Harris

On March 26, 2014 the city and county provided their update and assessment on the status of Lake Whatcom. This is mine.

2 comments; last on Apr 01, 2014

County Considers Purchasing Toxic Property

Wed, Mar 19, 2014, 9:32 am  //  Riley Sweeney

Riley digs into the county's plan to buy the county morgue

3 comments; last on Mar 24, 2014

Propaganda Replaces Public Information:  An Analysis of the Lake Whatcom TDML Process

Sun, Mar 16, 2014, 11:52 pm  //  Wendy Harris

The public is not provided with a proposed plan or adequate information prior to the annual "state of the lake" meeting

4 comments; last on Mar 18, 2014

Mobile Slaughter

Sat, Mar 15, 2014, 12:11 pm  //  Tip Johnson

Wherein there's a crackdown on growing plants, and plans to let slaughter run free

2 comments; last on Mar 16, 2014

Fukushima Radiation Found In Canada

Fri, Mar 14, 2014, 9:47 am  //  John Servais

Fukushima radiation has been found 20 miles from Whatcom County farmland along the Fraser River in British Columbia.

1 comments; last on Mar 17, 2014

Is ALEC Jr. Coming to Whatcom County or Bellingham Soon?

Wed, Mar 12, 2014, 7:28 am  //  Dick Conoboy

The infamous American Legislative Exchange Council plans to send its spawn to cities and counties throughout the U.S.

1 comments; last on Mar 24, 2014

Rep. Vincent Buys Appears to Break State Fundraising Laws

Tue, Mar 11, 2014, 10:24 am  //  Riley Sweeney

Riley catches State Rep. Vincent Buys for soliciting funds during session

0 comments

County Hires GPT Permit Lead as Senior Planner

Mon, Mar 10, 2014, 9:51 am  //  Riley Sweeney

Riley digs into an unusual hiring decision at the County Planning Dept

1 comments; last on Mar 10, 2014

Whatcom Watch Editor Resigns

Sun, Mar 02, 2014, 2:22 pm  //  John Servais

The editor of the Whatcom Watch, Richard Jehn, has resigned effective today. Chalk up a victory for Craig Cole and Pacific International Terminals.

8 comments; last on Mar 05, 2014

Relevant Documents to Libel Threat

Tue, Feb 25, 2014, 8:29 pm  //  John Servais

The full text of Craig Cole's threatening letter of libel against the Whatcom Watch. And the emptiness of the threat.

16 comments; last on Mar 20, 2014

Action Alert for Tonight: Waterfront Wildlife and Habitat Not Being Protected as Promised

Mon, Feb 24, 2014, 3:33 pm  //  Wendy Harris

We were led to believe the city would review waterfront wildlife and habitat connectivity. It turns out that the city intends to focus only on nearshore fish.

0 comments

Wendy Harris on Citizen Journalism

Sat, Feb 22, 2014, 12:16 am  //  Wendy Harris

Accepting the Paul deArmond award of citizen journalism on Feb 7, Wendh Harris gave this speech. We think it deserves its own post.

0 comments

Craig Cole Threatens Libel Suit

Wed, Feb 19, 2014, 4:48 pm  //  John Servais

Craig Cole, the local contact for the proposed Cherry Point coal port has threatened the Whatcom Watch with a libel lawsuit.

6 comments; last on Mar 20, 2014

Do Changing Liquor and Marijuana Laws Affect DUIs

Mon, Feb 17, 2014, 7:26 am  //  Riley Sweeney

Riley digs through court data and discovers the real impact of privatization and legalization

0 comments

Bellingham Seeks “Flexibility” To Sell Wholesale Rural Sewer Services

Sun, Feb 09, 2014, 9:35 pm  //  Wendy Harris

The mayor wants to amend a city law to increase flexibility for a GMA provision that should be used rarely, if ever at all.

3 comments; last on Feb 11, 2014

The Hidden Costs of Costco

Sun, Feb 09, 2014, 2:36 pm  //  Wendy Harris

Costco imposes indirect costs on our community that are as real and tangible as road construction expenses.

1 comments; last on Feb 13, 2014

Reid Boiler Works Burns Down

Sun, Feb 09, 2014, 9:13 am  //  John Servais

The old empty Reid Boiler Works industrial building in Fairhaven burned to the ground Saturday night.

0 comments

Panem et Circenses - Why I Did Not Watch “The Super Bowl”

Mon, Feb 03, 2014, 5:30 am  //  Dick Conoboy

Professional and even college sports have morphed into a circus of corporate greed and the fleecing of the public.

3 comments; last on Mar 01, 2014

Have You Exceeded Your Right To Information?

Sat, Feb 01, 2014, 12:35 am  //  Wendy Harris

Filing a public record request could land a citizen in jail under a proposal reflected in a Herald opinion article.

2 comments; last on Feb 03, 2014

Wendy Harris Receives deArmond Award for Citizen Journalism

Wed, Jan 29, 2014, 6:18 am  //  Guest writer

Tim Johnson writes about the first recipient of the Paul deArmond Citizen Journalism award, Whatcom County writer Wendy Harris.

3 comments; last on Feb 08, 2014

Anatomy of a Development Part XI - The Doldrums at University Ridge

Mon, Jan 20, 2014, 5:14 am  //  Dick Conoboy

The developers of University Ridge have been silent since shortly after the hearing examiner's decision on 23 October last year. Will they walk?

0 comments

The Marijuana Bowl

Sun, Jan 19, 2014, 8:39 pm  //  John Servais

Super Bowl ... Weed Bowl ... This bud's for you ... Bong Bowl ... Marijuana Bowl ... whatever. It is on!

1 comments; last on Jan 20, 2014

Port’s Alternative Marina Analysis a Scam

Tue, Jan 14, 2014, 2:19 pm  //  Guest writer

Do we actually need to say that we, as citizens, want accurate information from government officials?

1 comments; last on Jan 14, 2014

City too Poor for Power Pennies or Discrimination?

Fri, Dec 27, 2013, 4:00 am  //  Guest writer

Guest writer Barbara Perry writes about Bellingham Parks refusal to allow motorized wheel chairs to recharge at public electrical outlets.

6 comments; last on Jan 03, 2014

Port Memo Addresses Marina Fraud Allegations

Fri, Dec 20, 2013, 3:56 pm  //  Wendy Harris

A Port of Bellingham internal memo tries, but fails, to justify changes in cost estimates for alternative marina sites.

5 comments; last on Dec 22, 2013

Lummi Influence Over the Waterfront Planning Process Continues to Grow

Tue, Dec 17, 2013, 12:21 am  //  Wendy Harris

Army Corps advised DOE that it will not issue a waterfront permit without Lummi approval

2 comments; last on Jan 13, 2014

Gary Jensen Not Running for State Senate

Mon, Dec 16, 2013, 12:30 pm  //  John Servais

Ferndale Mayor Gary Jensen has decided not to file for the 42nd state Senate seat currently held by Doug Ericksen.

5 comments; last on Dec 24, 2013

Larrabee School; Its Future

Mon, Dec 09, 2013, 12:24 pm  //  Guest writer

Barbara Perry writes about the closed nature of the Bellingham School Board on the future of the Larrabee School.

1 comments; last on Dec 15, 2013

Steal this Waterfront: Costs without Benefit

Sat, Dec 07, 2013, 8:23 pm  //  Tip Johnson

Wherein the direct, indirect, hidden and lost opportunity costs make this a waterfront boondoggle of billions

3 comments; last on Dec 11, 2013

On Monday, City Council Votes “third and final” Approval of Waterfront Plan

Sat, Dec 07, 2013, 12:33 pm  //  Wendy Harris

Local activist calls on Bellingham City Council to table the unpopular waterfront plans and engage in meaningful public process

2 comments; last on Dec 08, 2013

Lecture on County Water Issues Draws Crowd

Fri, Dec 06, 2013, 11:03 pm  //  Wendy Harris

The county will be required to consider water quality and water quantity when planning rural growth.

3 comments; last on Dec 10, 2013

Video Exposes City Council Dysfunction on Waterfront Plan

Thu, Dec 05, 2013, 11:58 am  //  John Servais

The Political Junkie has posted a 3 minute video showing Bellingham City Council members explaining their idiocy for all of us to watch.

2 comments; last on Dec 06, 2013

The Bellingham “Riot” - Let’s Expand the Conversation

Thu, Dec 05, 2013, 5:00 am  //  Dick Conoboy

The post "riot" conversation is terribly lacking in several areas. We must expand the discussion or risk learning little from the experience.

3 comments; last on Dec 15, 2013

Cascadia Weekly Blasts Waterfront Plan

Wed, Dec 04, 2013, 10:53 am  //  John Servais

Bellingham City Council and Port of Bellingham finalize the waterfront plan. In his weekly Gristle, Tim Johnson blasts the corrupt public process.

4 comments; last on Dec 05, 2013

Waterfront Development Bonus Yet Another Bad Idea

Sat, Nov 30, 2013, 8:11 pm  //  Wendy Harris

The waterfront plan allows a development bonus for payments made to the Lake Whatcom land acquisition fund

1 comments; last on Dec 01, 2013

City and Port Ready To Act on Waterfront Plan

Fri, Nov 29, 2013, 9:43 pm  //  Wendy Harris

A number of important issues need to be resolved before waterfront planning is complete, but the city council and port commission are ready to act.

2 comments; last on Nov 30, 2013

Port Unable To Protect Public Safety

Fri, Nov 22, 2013, 9:01 pm  //  Wendy Harris

If the port can not construct the airport safely, should it be entrusted with dangerous waterfront cleanup work?

0 comments

Walmart and McDonald’s - Partners in Institutionalized Cluelessness

Wed, Nov 20, 2013, 5:03 am  //  Dick Conoboy

The advice coming from Walmart and McDonald's to its low paid employees becomes more and more bizarre and inane.

0 comments

Anatomy of a Development - Part X Appeals of the Hearing Examiner’s Decision

Tue, Nov 19, 2013, 5:35 am  //  Dick Conoboy

Ambling's motion to the hearing examiner for reconsideration was definitively rejected. The developer has not met the deadline for an appeal to the Superior Court

0 comments

Smoking Gun: Fraud and Deception

Mon, Nov 18, 2013, 2:18 pm  //  Guest writer

In which we find the hidden core of the waterfront plan is rotten through and through

7 comments; last on Nov 21, 2013

County Releases EIS, Prepares to Purchase Jail Site

Mon, Nov 18, 2013, 10:59 am  //  Riley Sweeney

The county takes two big steps forward on the new jail, while still missing the point

0 comments

Noballmacare and Setting the False Standard

Thu, Nov 14, 2013, 1:39 am  //  Tip Johnson

Dear Mr. President, There's a sucker born every minute, and two to take him.

7 comments; last on Nov 21, 2013

City Council Misled On Waterfront Planning

Wed, Nov 13, 2013, 3:16 pm  //  Wendy Harris

The city adminstration has been providing misleading/ incorrect information to the city council to avoid waterfront plan revisions.

1 comments; last on Nov 18, 2013

Election Analysis: What Happened with the Port Races?

Tue, Nov 12, 2013, 10:21 am  //  Riley Sweeney

Riley crunches the numbers on Renata and McAuley's races to find answers

2 comments; last on Nov 13, 2013

Puget Neighborhood Likely New Home for 1,300 Students

Tue, Nov 12, 2013, 5:16 am  //  Dick Conoboy

Puget Neighborhood will likely have in the immediate future 1,300 new rental units that will be marketed primarily to the student population.

0 comments

Gloomy Fate For Waterfront Wildlife

Sat, Nov 09, 2013, 9:47 pm  //  Wendy Harris

The COB administration continues in its refusal to analyze waterfront wildlife issues, even though this is a prerequisite step in protecting wildlife from the impacts of development

3 comments; last on Nov 10, 2013

Election Results - November 2013

Tue, Nov 05, 2013, 8:21 pm  //  John Servais

With lots of outside county money flowing in to our local races, this election is weird. But real - and we county residents have spoken.

11 comments; last on Nov 09, 2013

Health Insurance Scams - Washington Not Spared

Mon, Nov 04, 2013, 9:55 am  //  Dick Conoboy

The call of the dollar speaks more loudly to health insurance companies than does the voice and well-being of the consumer, even here in Washington.

8 comments; last on Nov 06, 2013

Anatomy of a Development - Part IX BMC Rule of Three Thwarts Plans

Thu, Oct 31, 2013, 10:19 am  //  Dick Conoboy

Four bedroom dorm rooms have been nixed by the hearing examiner. University Ridge may be in trouble as a cash cow for Ambling Development of Georgia

3 comments; last on Nov 04, 2013

The Slaughterhouse Referendum - Citizens Opposing Widespread Slaughter (COWS)

Mon, Oct 28, 2013, 10:19 pm  //  Tip Johnson

Wherein we discover why we exert our rights - and grab some more petitions before it's too late

3 comments; last on Nov 06, 2013

Dick’s Picks for City Council - Burr and Petree

Mon, Oct 28, 2013, 12:00 am  //  Dick Conoboy

Independent voters are for independent thinkers on the city council. Vote for Burr and Petree.

0 comments

Boulevard Park Reopens

Sat, Oct 26, 2013, 7:36 pm  //  John Servais

Beach reconstruction is done at Boulevard Park on the Bellingham waterfront. Paths along shore are again open - and it looks good.

6 comments; last on Nov 01, 2013

Ken Bell and Renata for Port

Sun, Oct 20, 2013, 7:07 pm  //  John Servais

Ken Bell has my vote over Mike McAuley for port commissioner. And Renata Kowalczyk has it over Dan Robbins.

8 comments; last on Oct 30, 2013

 

New Links

Julia Ioffe/New Republic
the Oatmeal

Current Interest

Community Wise Bellingham
counterpunch
Friends of Whatcom
Guardian Unlimited
Lummi Island Quarry
Reconveyance Challenge
Whatcom Elections

Publisher Recommended

counterpunch
GlobalPost
Guardian Unlimited
League of Women Voters
Paul Krugman - economics
Sweeney Politics

Local Blogs & News

Bellingham Herald
Bham Herald Politics Blog
Bham Politics & Economics
Bob Sanders
Cascadia Weekly
Citizen Ted
Ferndale Record
Friends of Whatcom
Get Whatcom Planning
HamsterTalk
Jack Petree
KGMI
Latte Republic
League of Women Voters
Lynden Tribune
MikeatthePort
Northern Light
Sweeney Politics
Twilight Zoning
Wally Wonders
Western Front - WWU
Whatcom Watch

Local Causes

Bellingham Police Activity
Chuckanut Community Forest
Chuckanut Mountains
Citizens of Bellingham
City Club of Bellingham
Community Wise Bellingham
Conservation NW
Cordata & Meridian
Facebook Port Reform
Futurewise - Whatcom
Lake Whatcom
Lummi Island Quarry
N. Cascades Audubon
NW Holocaust Center
RE Sources
Reconveyance Challenge
Reduce Jet Noise
Salish Sea Org.
Save the Granary Building
Transition Whatcom
WA Conservation Voters

Governments

Bellingham
Port of Bellingham
Skagit County
US - The White House
WA State Access
WA State Elections
WA State Legislature
Whatcom Auditor
Whatcom County
Whatcom Elections

Weather & Climate

Cliff Mass Weather Blog
Climate Audit
NW Radar
Two day forecast
Watts Up With That? - climate

Leisure

Adventures NW
Edge of Sports
Entertainment NNW
Famous Internet Skiers
Sailing Anarchy

Good Links

Al-Jazeera online
Alaska Dispatch
AlterNet.org
Antiwar.com
Arab News
Asia Times
Atlantic, The
Common Dreams
counterpunch
Crosscut Seattle
Daily Kos
Daily Mirror
Doonesbury
Drudge Report
FiveThirtyEight
Foreign Policy in Focus
GlobalPost
Guardian Unlimited
Gulf News
Haaretz
Huffington Post
Innocence Project, The
Intrnational Herald Tribune
James Fallows
Jerusalem Post
Joel Connelly
Juan Cole
Julia Ioffe/New Republic
Le Diplo
Media Matters
Michael Moore
Middle East Times
MoveOn.org
Nation, The
New American Century
News Trust
NMFA
numbers
Online Journal
Palestine Daily
Palestine News
Paul Krugman - economics
Personal bio info
Portland Indy Media
Progressive Review
Project Vote Smart
Reuters
Sea Shepherd
Slate
Talking Points Memo
the Oatmeal
Tom Paine.com
truthout
War and Piece
Washington Votes
WikiLeaks.ch
ynetnews.com

NwCitizen 1995 - 2007

Early Northwest Citizen

Internet At Its Best

TED

Quiet, Offline or Dead

Bellingham Register
Carl Weimer
David Hackworth
N. Sound Conservancy
No Leaky Buckets
Northwest Review
Orcinus
Post-Oklahoman Confessions
Protect Bellingham Parks
The American Telegraph
The Crisis Papers