There aren’t enough fuck-offs for whatever legislator this is:
Mayor McGinn described how a coalition of mayors presented a united front for transit funding, including Mayor Skip Priest (R – Federal Way). However, when the mayor talked with a Senate Republican leader, who he did not name, he was told, “We want Seattle to starve until we get what we want.”
Sen. Kohl-Welles said the votes were there in the Senate to pass the transportation package (House Bill 1954), but that leadership would not allow it to come up for a vote. In a telling sign that transit advocates did not have a presence in Olympia, the senator said “I wish you were down here with us.” She offered that “There is hope the governor will call a special session.”
It’s impossible to know for sure who said that, but it was either Rodney Tom or someone he has elevated to a position of power. Whoever it was, I’m sure they talk like that all the time, and so Seattle legislators must know who they are. It’s not OK that Seattle legislators aren’t pushing to starve their city or district.
But OK, fine. Our legislators favor a one sided congeniality over protecting their constituents. It’s terrible, but kind of understandable. What I don’t understand is that the non-Seattle legislators think Seattle will let ourselves starve.
Ideally transit solutions will come from the state, but Seattle is pretty good at figuring out work arounds when the state doesn’t do its job. Think of the Families and Education Levy. Sure it would be better if the state would fund education at an adequate level. But Seattle didn’t wait around for that when the state failed year after year with Republican and with Democratic legislatures. We passed, and recently expanded the levy to make up some of that shortfall. Oh, and by the way: we didn’t have to share with the people who want to starve Seattle.
It’ll be tough to do something like that to save Metro funding without the authorization from the state. But I’m sure Dow, and some of the King County mayors, have staff and attorneys working on something. It almost certainly won’t be as elegant as what they asked the state for authority to do, but they aren’t just going to give up on Metro, just let it starve.