Editorial | Elect Jarrett, Maxwell; No on Prop #1

As is our custom, the Reporter publishes its picks on political races that affect Mercer Island directly. This is an even-year race, meaning there are no Mercer Island City Council or Mercer Island School District Board of Directors positions up for grabs.

We are fortunate that we presently have excellent Legislative incumbents who represent us well in the 41st District. We highly recommend that voters send Fred Jarrett and Judy Clibborn back to Olympia. They both have experience and expertise that is not matched elsewhere. Bob Baker, who is running against Mr. Jarrett, is serious and well-meaning, but he does not have the depth of experience on the issues or hands-on knowledge of the workings of the Legislature to be effective.

In the race between Marcie Maxwell and Steve Litzow, the Reporter supports Ms. Maxwell, who was summarily and unfairly dismissed by a single sentence in a Seattle Times editorial that favored Mr. Litzow. While Mr. Litzow is a smart and capable Mercer Island City Councilmember, Ms. Maxwell has a much broader base of experience in nearby Renton. She is thoughtful and balanced in her approach to issues and has worked with leaders throughout the state — not just in her own backyard. She covers several bases in her background with leadership positions that include the Renton Chamber of Commerce and the Renton School District Board of Directors — a large and diverse school district with many challenges. Despite the cosmic shift toward issues concerning the economy, funding education will remain one of the most important tasks facing state government. Finally, Ms. Maxwell’s long public involvement in Renton, a town that mirrors the pressures of growth on transportation and services on the Eastside, will make her an asset to all 41st District taxpayers as well as Islanders.

The revised Prop. 1 is still too big, unwieldy and confusing. As much as the transportation investments will pay off with lower greenhouse gas emissions and fewer cars on the road, it does not appear to do much in the short run. Taxes will increase for individuals and businesses — and bridges will crumble. In any case, it might be best to wait for the next bus rather than light rail, which under any scenario is still years away. Vote no on Prop 1.

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