I’ve written about it before, but never in such detail as Paper Noose at Blogging Georgetown… the bizarre, semi-secret way we elect the King County Conservation District board. This is the only kind of election the righties win around here anymore — you know, the kind almost nobody votes in.
Roger Rabbit spews:
This election needs to be conducted by KCRE, not a private contractor, and needs to be on a regular ballot instead of in smoke-filled rooms. Write your legislators today! KCCD is a public agency, not a private company, and should be run like one, and should represent all of us.
Roger Rabbit spews:
Maybe Richard Pope would be interested in this job. Maybe he could get elected! If 5 of us vote in the 2009 election that could put him over the top. If he wins, it could be the start of something big for him.
I’m not sure how the Conservation District elections work in Pierce County, but the Conservation District folks down here do good work.
One of the reasons people do not vote in these elections are the number of polling places is so few, people do not know the election is happening except for when a blogger finds out, and people do not even know the Conservation District exists! I noticed one of their projects after the fact. Supposedly one of the grants paying for the restoration of the natural spawning grounds for fish near Seward Park, came from the Conservation District.(The project was replacing the old fish hatchery in the park).
I listen to podcasts from time to time of this one radio station in Anchorage, and they were giving both sides for a mail-in election for a Utility Co-Op Board in the Chugach. The anti-union slate of candidates was pretty vicious in their attacks despite forgetting who owned the station carrying their ads. KUDO 1080 is the Progressive Talk station in Anchorage, owned by the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers. They carry the other sides ads too.
In both the KCCD and the Utility Board election I just mentioned, it just seems so odd that people would make such a big deal over such a small board. Although the implications for an Electric Utility Board are very big, the KCCD is not a regulatory but an advisory body. Probably because they know they can win if it is something nobody knows about. Just like the Monorail Board(sorry to bring it up) getting a Republican elected in Seattle.
We promote conservation through demonstration projects, educational events, providing technical assistance and, in some cases, providing or pointing the way to funds which may be available for projects. The KCD has no regulatory or enforcement authority. We only work with those who choose to work with us. (Just quoting the part from the KCCD website’s About Us section)
After reading the article, I’m confused why the board even exists. Sure, it can provide a nice resume line item, and for someone in the field it probably provides some recognition and a network of contacts. But given it has no regulatory or enforcement power, what good does it do the BIAW to control this board? Are they just interested in making sure the board doesn’t take a position against their interests in some hearing or another, where it would really matter?
If the commission is that toothless, perhaps we should just abolish it and give it’s budget to a real regulatory agency. Do those commissioners have a part-time salary, a staff, offices, or anything more than a photocopy budget? Maybe doing away with five of them could fund a couple of real enforcement officers.
Seriously, guys, this insistence on voting for everyone down to the local dog catcher is ridiculous, and it just encourages such abuse.
Richard Pope spews:
Roger Rabbit @ 2
I thought I was going to run for King County Elections Director in that special, low-turnout, winner-take-all primary in February 2009.
Richard Pope spews:
The King County Conservation District actually has no taxation authority whatsoever. The property fee levy has to be approved each year by the King County Council. If I had been on there, the KCCD would not have gotten funded at all.
The property tax is probably unconstitutional. I don’t know how a $10 per parcel fee can be sustained. I pay the same tax on my rabbit hovel, as does the Columbia Tower or Bill Gates mansion.
Likewise, I would think the election method is also not constitutional either.