OK, almost certainly not. But here are some thoughts with a day’s reflection:
First off, I’m somewhat ambivalent about initiatives. There is too much money in them, and they have all sorts of problems, but I’m not ready to do away with them. Still, I’m glad it made the ballot even if it lost. Before McGinn’s election the cost overrun provision being enforced was a given. After his election, most people said it wasn’t enforceable. And during the campaign, both candidates for governor and most of the political establishment said Seattle wasn’t on the hook. So it helped shift the debate on the sticking it to Seattle aspect of the project (in my opinion the worst part, and the thing McGinn ran against throughout his campaign). I suspect we’ll start to hear the establishment push for enforcement of the cost overrun provision again, but at least we had a year and a half, and especially this year, where they had to oppose it.
Second, I didn’t mention the drunk Legislative staffers I got into an argument with (and I’m not going to name names here) in last night’s post. But try to isolate McGinn all you want, he has been a better mayor than Dow has been an executive or Gregoire has been a governor. I’ll take McGinn’s record over Gregoire’s or Dow’s any day of the week and twice on Sunday. While Gregoire and the Democrats in the Legislature are cutting education and social services to the bone and beyond, while King County has had to cut social services and had a hell of a time just getting continued bus service at a much higher cost for riders, McGinn has signed a budget that doesn’t cut social services and has put transit and education improvements on the ballot.
You can say that he was in a better position when he took office; you can say he doesn’t have to deal with Eastern and Southern Washington or Eastern and Southern King County; you can decide how much of that is McGinn and how much is the City Council. That’s all fine, but I’ll take McGinn’s record of human decency, at least potentially better transit, and better education over Gregoire’s Republican budgets and Dow’s 2 zone peak trip costs $3 each way (and one zone trips are expensive too) for the same service.
Third, I hope I’m wrong, but the I-Told-You-Sos are going to be some comfort. When people complain about the worse traffic downtown, or when they wonder where the on and off ramps went, at least I’ll be able to say, “you were warned.” If buildings have to close or the cost overruns are somehow back on Seattle, if the tunnel machine gets stuck, well that’ll be awful and I hope it doesn’t happen, but at least I’ll be able to say something.