ELECTION 2022: School bond passing, and other notable results

November 9th, 2022 Tracy Posted in Election, White Center news 1 Comment »

After the first round of King County general-election results, here’s where local races/measures of note stand:

HIGHLINE SCHOOL DISTRICT PROPOSITION 1 (bonds for school projects including Evergreen HS rebuild)
Approve 66%
Reject 34%

34TH DISTRICT STATE SENATE
Joe Nguyen* (D) 85%
John Potter (R) 15%

34TH DISTRICT STATE HOUSE POSITION 1
Emily Alvarado (D) 69%
Leah Griffin (D) 30%

34TH DISTRICT STATE HOUSE POSITION 2
Joe Fitzgibbon* (D) 82%
Andrew Pilloud (R) 18%

KING COUNTY CHARTER AMENDMENT 1 (county election-date change)
Yes 69%
No 31%

KING COUNTY PROPOSITION 1 (Conservation Futures levy)
Approve 68%
Reject 32%

The second King County ballot count is expected around 4 pm today (Wednesday).

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ELECTION 2022: Vote by Tuesday!

November 6th, 2022 Tracy Posted in Election, Politics, White Center news Comments Off on ELECTION 2022: Vote by Tuesday!

If you haven’t returned your ballot yet, you’re running out of time. You need to either get it into USPS mail ASAP, so that it’s postmarked by Tuesday, or get it into a King County Elections dropbox by 8 pm (sharp!) Tuesday night – White Center has one, outside the library (1409 SW 107th).

One big local issue on the ballot is the Highline Public Schools bond measure, Proposition 1. It would raise half a billion dollars for projects including a new Evergreen High School.

Also big: An open seat in our area’s state legislative delegation. Rep. Eileen Cody is retiring; Emily Alvarado and Leah Griffin are the two finalists for Cody’s seat, 34th Legislative District House Position 1. Here are video interviews we published recently on partner site West Seattle Blog – first video below is Griffin, second is Alvarado:

Griffin and Alvarado also were at last month’s North Highline Unincorporated Area Council meeting; here’s our report.

The ballot also includes a King County charter amendment that would change elections, moving County Executive, County Councilmembers, County Assessor, and Elections Director to even-numbered years. Plus there’s a King County levy proposal, the Conservation Futures Levy.

Besides those issues, the ballot includes U.S. House, U.S. Senate, two other 34th Legislative District races, Secretary of State, King County Prosecutor, and 17 judicial positions, only two of which are contested. Two state advisory measures are on the ballot too. Not registered to vote but eligible? You can still do that in person Monday or Tuesday. But if you are already registered and waiting to fill out your ballot, don’t wait any longer!

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ELECTION 2022: Prop 1 land-conservation levy supporters return to White Center

October 17th, 2022 Tracy Posted in Election, Environment, White Center news 1 Comment »

King County Elections will send out general-election ballots later this week. Though you’ve probably heard a lot about local and national Congressional races, you’ll find a lot more on your ballot – including King County Proposition 1, which raises money for land conservation/acquisition by restoring an existing levy to the original rate that’s been reduced by various state actions. Five months after announcing it at White Center Heights Park, County Executive Dow Constantine returned there this morning with other supporters to ask for your “yes” vote. Here’s our video of what they all had to say:

In order, the speakers were:
King County Councilmember Joe McDermott
Paul Winterstein from the Issaquah Alps Trails Club
Executive Constantine, who stressed that the quest to preserve green space is “racing to keep up with population growth, racing to keep up with environmental changes”
Sammamish Mayor & Former DNR wildland firefighter Kali Clark, whose observations about the relevance of land preservation to wildfire prevention were timely for obvious reasons
King County Open Space Equity Cabinet member Sarneshea Evans, who observed that too many KC residents don’t live close to green space
Zazueta Family Farm owner/farmer Guillermo Zazueta, who told the story of starting his organic permaculture farm earlier this year (Constantine had explained that the measure would preserve farmland as well as other types of green space)
King County Councilmember Rod Dembowski, who declared that Prop 1 is “incredibly affordable (and) incredibly meaningful”

As noted when the ballot measure was announced in May, it would add about $2 per month to the taxes of a median-priced King County home. Supporters say tens of thousands of acres of land have been identified for potential acquisition/preservation; we asked what percentage are in urban areas like White Center – here’s the written response from the campaign:

Of the 45,000 acres targeted for acquisition as part of the Land Conservation Initiative, 10% are for urban open space and regional trails.

Since 2016, 30% of LCI acquisition dollars (all sources) have been spent on urban greenspaces and regional trails.

Since 2020, 25% of Conservation Futures funding has been awarded to match waiver projects in opportunity areas (those projects meeting specific criteria for need)

Read a summary and/or the full text of Prop 1, as well as statements for/against, by going here. Once you get your ballot, you’ll have until November 8th to vote and turn it in.

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SATURDAY: Informal way to learn about Highline Public Schools bond and Evergreen High School plan

September 21st, 2022 Tracy Posted in Education, Election, Evergreen High School, Highline School District, White Center news Comments Off on SATURDAY: Informal way to learn about Highline Public Schools bond and Evergreen High School plan

As part of the latest round of community outreach, Highline Public Schools reps will be at Dubsea Coffee in Greenbridge on Saturday to talk about the upcoming bond vote and the Evergreen High School plan that’s part of what the bond measure would pay for, if passed in November. Just drop in with your questions and/or comments between noon and 2 pm Saturday (September 24th) at 9910 8th SW.

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ELECTION 2022: Voting is about to begin

July 13th, 2022 Tracy Posted in Election, Politics, White Center news Comments Off on ELECTION 2022: Voting is about to begin

checkbox.jpgKing County Elections announced today that the ballots for the August 2nd primary are in the mail – so voting is about to begin. No ballot measures for our area, but there are races to narrow down – including U.S. Senate, U.S. House District 7, Secretary of State, 34th District State Senator and 34th District State House Position 1, which has no incumbent as longtime State Rep. Eileen Cody is retiring. You can see all the candidates listed, with links to their websites, here. You can send your ballot back by postal mail, as long as it’s postmarked by August 2nd, or take it to an official dropbox (here’s where to find them – including the one outside White Center Library). Not registered? It’s not too late – go here.

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New Evergreen High School part of a Highline district bond measure headed for your November ballot

June 23rd, 2022 Tracy Posted in Election, Highline School District, White Center news Comments Off on New Evergreen High School part of a Highline district bond measure headed for your November ballot

(Highline Public Schools photo – from left, board members Joe Van, Angelica Alvarez, Azeb Hagos. Aaron Garcia

Highline School Board members hope you’ll support a bond measure they’ve sent to the November ballot, to pay for projects including a new Evergreen High School. Here’s the announcement:

The Highline School Board voted unanimously to place the next school bond on November 8 election ballots as recommended by the volunteer-led Capital Facilities Advisory Committee (CFAC).

The construction bond would pay to rebuild two high schools and a middle school plus fund critical capital needs and improvement projects across the district.

Voters must approve a capital construction bond by 60 percent for the funding measure to pass. If approved, here is the estimated timeline:

Rebuild Evergreen High School — open in fall 2025
Rebuild Tyee High School — open in fall 2025
Rebuild Pacific Middle School — open in fall 2027

Three new schools built with funding from the previous 2016 bond were completed on time and under budget, continuing Highline’s 20-year track record of on-time, on-budget construction.

The district decided to run a bond now for these reasons:

Previous school bonds replaced aging schools for students in Des Moines and Burien. The 2022 bond would replace aging schools in SeaTac and White Center so students across our district have safe and modern places to learn.

The designs for new schools at Evergreen, Tyee and Pacific were funded by the 2016 bond.

This funding measure would not raise the current tax rate due to expiring taxes.

The 2016 bond projects were completed $10 million under budget—this savings is being applied to the costs of the 2022 projects, decreasing the cost to taxpayers.

Approval of this bond would trigger $34 million in additional funding. The funds would come from the Federal Aviation Administration and the Port of Seattle for noise mitigation, and from the state School Construction Assistance Program.

Capped Bond Amount
The bond would raise $518,397,000. The district can only collect that amount and not more. If property values go up more than projected, the tax percentage rate goes down per $1,000 of value.

Critical Capital Improvements Fund Included in Bond
The $17 million fund for critical capital needs and improvements in the November 2022 bond includes roofing, painting, emergency repairs and other improvements districtwide like replacing the Sylvester Middle School dirt field with synthetic turf.

More details and answers to questions are available on Highline’s 2022 Bond website: highlineschools.org/bond.

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VIDEO: King County Executive comes to White Center to announce land-conservation ballot measure

May 19th, 2022 Tracy Posted in Election, Environment, King County, White Center news 1 Comment »

(Also published on partner site West Seattle Blog)

(WSB/WCN photo)

$1.81 a month to raise more money to save the “last, best” green spaces from disappearing.

That’s what King County Executive Dow Constantine is proposing charging property owners in a ballot measure he announced at White Center Heights Park.

The cost, Constantine says, is what the owner of a “median-priced” home in King County would pay if voters approve the measure, which he is asking the County Council to place on the November general-election ballot.

Even at that, he says, it’s not an entirely new tax – he says it would bring back what property owners used to pay for the half-century-old Conservation Futures Program. The announcement explains:

Land conservation in King County – and 13 other counties – is largely funded by the Conservation Futures program that the state created 50 years ago. A series of actions by the state has dramatically reduced the amount of revenue that the program can generate for counties. Voters have the option to restore the local program to its original rate of 6.25 cents per $1,000 of assessed property value from its current rate of 3.12 cents. That would cost the owner of a median-value home about $21.75 more per year.

Constantine was joined at the park – setting of other media events for environmental programs – by De’Sean Quinn, the Tukwila City Councilmember who co-chairs the Land Conservation Advisory Committee, as well as Open Space Equity Cabinet co-chair Michelle Benetua, Trust for Public Land’s Northwest director David Patton, and King County Councilmember Rod Dembowski. Here’s our video of what they said:

The money raised by this would, according to the announcement, “accelerate the Land Conservation Initiative, a regional partnership of communities, cities, farmers, businesses, and environmental leaders to protect 65,000 acres of the highest conservation-value open space.” Constantine launched the initiative three years ago. The land it’s saved includes a five-acre site in North Highline. That’s one of the sites intended to bring public green space closer to more people; Constantine said that 20 percent of the people in King County don’t live close to any. It’s about equitable access, climate change, wildlife protection, and more, he said while making the case. Quinn lauded him for the “political will” to push for this “to meet the urgency of now.”

WHAT’S NEXT: Dembowski, who chairs the Transportation, Economy, and Environment Committee, will sponsor the proposal. Councilmembers have until late July to approve sending it to the November ballot. Meantime, the Land Conservation Initiative continues working on potential sites to protect – not only via buying them; sometimes other tools are used, such as conservation easements, or the purchase of development rights, to take the pressure off property owners. Constantine said they can’t comment on what’s in negotiations or under consideration, for obvious reasons.

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ELECTION 2021: First-night results

November 2nd, 2021 Tracy Posted in Election, White Center news Comments Off on ELECTION 2021: First-night results

checkbox.jpgFrom the election-night results count, a few races of particular note:

KING COUNTY EXECUTIVE
Dow Constantine – 169,087 – 57.3%
Joe Nguyen – 122,573 – 41.5%

HIGHLINE PUBLIC SCHOOLS PROP. 1
Yes – 8,946 – 60.1%
No – 5,933 – 39.8%

These are just the first results – next round, tomorrow afternoon.

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ELECTION 2021: Hours left to vote!

November 2nd, 2021 Tracy Posted in Election, White Center news Comments Off on ELECTION 2021: Hours left to vote!

8 pm is your absolute last moment to turn in your ballot for the general election – and that’s only if you’re taking it to a King County Elections dropbox – White Center has one at the library, 1409 SW 107th; if you are intent on using the US Postal Service, hurry – the ballot has to be postmarked today. The two major decisions for White Center-area voters are King County Executive and the Highline Public Schools levy. First results will be out around 8:15 tonight.

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THURSDAY: North Highline Unincorporated Area Council hosts town hall with King County Executive candidates

October 2nd, 2021 Tracy Posted in Election, North Highline UAC, White Center news 5 Comments »

Voting in the general election is now less than two weeks away – ballots will be sent on October 13th. For this area, the King County Executive race tops the ballot, and the North Highline Unincorporated Area Council will host both candidates online Thursday night:

UPDATED: Since that image isn’t clickable, here’s the viewing info:

us02web.zoom.us/j/81026514238?pwd=QVp2NURRcGJCMlYxRE5JUUFyNzBqQT09

Meeting ID: 810 2651 4238
Passcode: 980226

For direct link to Zoom meeting go to: nhuac.org
Join by Phone:
+1 253 215 8782 US (Tacoma) Meeting ID: 810 2651 4238
Passcode: 980226

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ELECTION 2020: Fire & school districts’ ballot measures approved

November 3rd, 2020 Tracy Posted in Election, White Center news 1 Comment »

Local voters answered the call for local districts asking for funding help. In tonight’s first-and-only election-results release from King County, the North Highline Fire District “benefit charge” was approved overwhelmingly, 85 percent yes, 15 percent no. And a big win for the Highline Public Schools tech levy – 74 percent yes, 26 percent no. The other local ballot measure we’re watching closely, King County Charter Amendment 5, is passing with 57 percent approval, so that means the KC Sheriff will go back to being an appointed job, after current elected Sheriff Mitzi Johanknecht‘s term runs out.

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ELECTION DAY: Time’s running out to drop off your ballot

November 3rd, 2020 Tracy Posted in Election, White Center news Comments Off on ELECTION DAY: Time’s running out to drop off your ballot

Procrastinating on voting? You have until 8 pm to get your ballot in, if you use a King County Elections drop box. KCE staff is standing by at the boxes in these final hours, including the White Center Library (1409 SW 107th) and the Boulevard Park Library (12015 Roseberg Ave. S.). Don’t use the USPS mail unless you’re sure it’s going to be postmarked today (some Post Offices are open until 6 and you can ask that it be hand-canceled). King County’s one-and-only first-night results report is expected around 8:15 pm; we’ll break out the local ballot measures of note, including the North Highline Fire District benefit charge, the Highline Public Schools tech levy, and the King County charter amendments related to the Sheriff’s Office.

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VOTING: White Center drop-box update, with 1 week to go, and ballot-measure reminders

October 27th, 2020 Tracy Posted in Election, White Center news Comments Off on VOTING: White Center drop-box update, with 1 week to go, and ballot-measure reminders

That’s the King County Elections drop box outside White Center Library (1409 SW 107th), where you can take your ballot any time, day or night, until 8 pm next Tuesday (November 3rd). As of first thing this morning, 7,049 ballots had been turned in there. In another measure of local turnout – this one, counting ballots received via both drop boxes and USPS mail – almost half the North Highline Fire District‘s 11,258 registered voters have turned theirs in so far – 5,367. Mentioning the NHFD is relevant since its “benefit charge” is one of the issues on the ballot. Also of note, the Highline Public Schools technology levy, and King County charter amendments including whether to revert the Sheriff’s job to an appointed, rather than elected, position.

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VOTING: Sounders FC VOTE Tour kicks off with White Center stop Tuesday

October 26th, 2020 Tracy Posted in Election, White Center news Comments Off on VOTING: Sounders FC VOTE Tour kicks off with White Center stop Tuesday

From Sounders FC:

Tomorrow, Tuesday, October 27, from 8:30-9:30 a.m. PT, former Sounder Brad Evans is visiting the White Center Starbucks Community Store to kick off the Sounders FC VOTE Tour presented by Starbucks. Those stopping by the event can enjoy free coffee samples courtesy of Starbucks while Evans hands out up to 100 high-quality RAVE Foundation soccer balls for youth and takes socially distant selfies with fans. Please note face masks are required.

The Sounders FC VOTE Tour is a three-day event taking place this week to encourage voter turnout and celebrate voting early. Evans is visiting 12 ballot box locations identified by King County Elections as having historically lower turnout in King County. At each location, Evans will distribute “VOTED” stickers and offer the opportunity for fans to take socially distant selfies.

As you likely know, Starbucks is at 16th SW/SW 100th.

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ELECTION 2020: Appointed sheriff? And 6 other questions to decide in November

July 24th, 2020 Tracy Posted in Election, King County, King County Sheriff's Office, White Center news 1 Comment »

Should the King County Sheriff go back to being appointed rather than elected? That’s one of the proposed charter amendments going to voters this November, as announced:

With the approval of three more measures on Tuesday, the King County will now send seven county charter amendments to the November ballot for a public vote to approve or reject them. The Charter Review Commission recommended 11 amendments in its final report last year, though it wasn’t expected that all the amendments would be considered by voters in the same year.

The following amendments will now appear on the November ballot:

=Specify that inquests should be performed for deaths in the county’s jails and provide the family of the deceased with legal representation during the inquest process.
=Include subpoena power for the King County Office of Law Enforcement Oversight to aid in its investigations.
-Make the King County Sheriff an appointed rather than elected position.
-Remove the Charter impediment to the sale of county-owned property below market value for affordable housing purposes, in accordance with recent amendments to state law.
-Update the Charter to change references to “citizen” to “resident” or “public” depending on the circumstances. This change would address several references in the Charter to the concept of citizenship being necessary to access certain aspects of county government.
-Prohibit discrimination in county employment and contracting based on someone’s status as a family caregiver, military status, or status as a veteran who was honorably discharged or discharged solely as a result of sexual orientation or gender identity.

“I am pleased to give the voters the opportunity to decide on these amendments to the way our county is governed,” said Council Chair Claudia Balducci.

The seventh amendment set for a vote in the fall was not a recommendation of the Charter Review Commission, but instead was a council-proposed amendment. This amendment would allow the Council to establish the duties of the Sheriff’s Office. Those duties are currently set by the charter.

The sheriff was appointed until voters decided in 1996 to change that.

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ELECTION RESULTS: North Highline notes

November 6th, 2019 Tracy Posted in Election, Politics, White Center news Comments Off on ELECTION RESULTS: North Highline notes

The second round of results from the general election are out. Here are local races of note:

HIGHLINE SCHOOL BOARD, DISTRICT 1
Aaron Garcia – 7,440 – 52.13 %
Tracy Castro-Gill – 6,697 – 46.92 %

HIGHLINE SCHOOL BOARD, DISTRICT 5
Fa’izah Bradford – 7,631 – 51.21 %
Jeanette Burrage – 7,216 – 48.43 %

North Highline Fire Commissioner Julie Hiatt won re-election without opposition.

See all results from around King County here; for the statewide ballot measures, go here.

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ELECTION DAY 2019: Time to vote if you haven’t already!

November 5th, 2019 Tracy Posted in Election, White Center news Comments Off on ELECTION DAY 2019: Time to vote if you haven’t already!

Election Day is here. Besides the statewide ballot measures, you have local races to decide too:

King County Council District 8
Highline School Board District 1
Highline School Board District 5
Port of Seattle Commission Position 2
Port of Seattle Commission Position 5

And there’s one countywide ballot measure, the Medic One levy.

If you’re using the White Center Library ballot dropbox, get there by 8 pm. (Or any other King County Elections dropbox.) If you’re putting your ballot in the postal mail, do it earlier, because you need to b sure it’s postmarked today.

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ELECTION 2019: Highline School Board race set

August 13th, 2019 Tracy Posted in Election, White Center news Comments Off on ELECTION 2019: Highline School Board race set

With just a few ballots left to count, the Highline School Board race that was almost a three-way tie on Election Night has settled into a clear result: It’ll be Tracy Castro-Gill vs. Aaron Garcia for the District 1 position. Today’s results bring it to:

Tracy Castro-Gill – 6,726 – 34.22%
Aaron Garcia – 6,703 – 34.11%
Michael T. Lewis – 6,124 – 31.16%

The results will be certified next week.

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ELECTION RESULTS: After 2 counts, 1 local race is too close to call

August 8th, 2019 Tracy Posted in Election, White Center news Comments Off on ELECTION RESULTS: After 2 counts, 1 local race is too close to call

Two rounds of election results are in now – and one local race is too close to call. It’s Highline School Board District 1, which includes White Center. Any two of the three candidates could end up advancing to the general election. Here are the latest numbers:

Tracy Castro-Gill – 5,039 – 34.44%
Aaron Garcia – 4,765 – 32.57%
Michael T. Lewis – 4,728 – 32.31 %

Next update, Thursday afternoon.

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ELECTION DAY! Vote by 8 pm

August 6th, 2019 Tracy Posted in Election, White Center news Comments Off on ELECTION DAY! Vote by 8 pm

Just a quick reminder that this is it – you have 3 1/2 more hours to get your ballot in. New this year, you can even register at the last minute, if you do it in person at one of the county’s four accessible-voting centers (where you then can immediately vote). You’ll be voting on King County Council, Highline School Board, and Seattle Port Commission seats, plus the countywide parks/open space levy. Safest way to be sure your vote will be counted is to take it to a King County Elections dropbox – the map and list are here (including the one at the White Center Library). The dropoff deadline is 8 pm. You also have accessible voting options including four centers where you can vote until 8 pm – and that’ where you can register up until the 8 pm deadline too.

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