Aaron Reardon wants to join Ron Sims in the “Politicians who will never become Governor” club:
Snohomish County Executive Aaron Reardon and Edmonds City Councilwoman Deanna Dawson, who both serve on the transit board, said they oppose the 12-year plan, partly because it doesn’t bring light rail to Snohomish County.
“I will vote no on it,” Reardon said. “I will actively campaign against it.”
This is why “regionalism” will always fail. King County voters want transit and are willing to tax themselves to get more of it. The nature of Sound Transit’s governance structure makes it necessary to seek Reardon and Dawson’s approval for King County voters to tax themselves for transit. The problem is, the Seattle sub area doesn’t have the tax capacity to build enough light rail to reach their sub area to the north. So unless Snohomish County wants to spend their money building light rail outside their sub area, they won’t get light rail soon.
This highlights the flaws of sub area equity. Expensive projects are slowed because we don’t have flexibility to spend money where it should be spent. Imagine if a massive freeway overpass project in Yakima couldn’t be built because their taxing authority was too narrow? They wouldn’t stand for it, and they would expect, as they always have expected, that parts of the state that pay more in transportation taxes than they receive (hello city folks!) would subsidize their overpass. We do this in our Department of Highways, but it’s impossible to do when paying for transit. This makes no sense.
Starry-eyed regionalists in the legislature (hi Rep. Deb Eddy!) who want to dilute King County’s urban transit-loving majorities should watch Aaron Reardon in action. This guy really knows how to throw the brakes on.
[H/T Seattle Transit Blog]