Important Election Issues UndecidedPermalink +
Wed, Nov 04, 2015, 12:05 am // John Servais
What to make of the returns? Me thinks that some bets are on hold. We have a low number of counted ballots as of this morning - about 40,500, or 31% of all registered voters. This is probably only two thirds the total ballots that will be counted. A low turnout of 45% to 50%, about 62,000 seems more likely, IMO, than the earlier thinking of 59% or 78,000 ballots. Either way, elections can easily adjust 1 or 2 percentage points. And could adjust more.
In order of which could change between now and next Monday when all ballots should be counted:
Kathy Kirshner and Satpal Sidhu are tied for County Council. Either can win.
Jail sales tax: This can go either way with 51% approval now. We may not know this for sure until next Monday.
Propositions 1 and 9 are both ahead with just 54%. These could reverse, but it is unlikely.
Todd Donovan has almost 55% for County Council and will probably win.
Bobby Briscoe has 55% for port commissioner. He will probably hold that for a win.
But all of the above could reverse. At least 17,000 more ballots will be counted, and it could be as high as 25,000 more. Ballots are slow coming in this year and the count is below earlier estimates by our auditor.
The sure win is Jack Louws with 71% over Joy Gilfilen. Jack will serve a second term of four years as our county executive.
Back to the charter propositions. Several have less than 53% and so they might reverse. But three propositions put on the ballot by the Charter Review Commission are easily passing, and they show a distrust of elected officials and a trust of citizens and direct participation in government.
Term limits of three terms will be law for the council and county executive with an overwhelming 70% support. And a technically minor but important increase in the number of descriptive words allowed for initiatives was passed with 84% approval. People do want to understand a ballot measure. And the number of signatures required for an initiative to amend the charter was lowered from 20% to 15% of voters. This brings the percentage in line with other initiative rules. All good moves towards citizen direct participation in government.
With the possible passage of charter propositions 2, 3 and 10, our council and courts will come into play as these are contradictory amendments. Not the place here to dive into them, but political junkies will have fun the next couple years. There is a modest chance one or more of these three will fail.
Basically, this was caused by the liberal County Council - under the direction of a small and semi secretive group of operatives - working to thwart the work of our Charter Review Commission. Well, they did it. Two poison pill amendments will probably pass - Propositions 9 and 10 - and the liberals will no doubt blame the Charter Review Commission. One, conservatives, worked in the open under the rules and the other, liberals, worked secretly and illegally.
A bit of disheartening trivia. As of this election, the only City Council member we have who was actually elected - actually chosen by us voters - is Pinky Vargas. All six other City Council members got into office by simply filing for office. They all ran unopposed, either this year or two years ago. Oh, we cast votes for them, but it did not matter as the candidates and their families could have elected them.
With that in mind I want to thank Joy Gilfilen for filing and running against Jack Louws. She brought to the public’s attention issues that we would not have heard without her. She knew from the beginning that she had little chance of winning but she felt the jail issue was important, as were some other issues. It is sad the Herald referred to her as a “gadfly,” and that reflects more on where the Herald has sunk to than on Gilfilen. Supposedly it was because the jail tax was her main issue. But then, Bruce Ayers was not called any names for making the jail his main issue. A double standard and, naturally, it insults the woman.
This evening, I attended a couple election gatherings, as I have every election night for many decades. But this year I saw something I’ve never seen before. A crowd of about 40 supporters of a losing candidate stayed an hour after the results confirmed their loss. And all were happy and congratulating Gilfilen. And she gave a speech during which she pointed out most individuals by name and thanked them for specific talents and accomplishments. There was camaraderie in that crowded banquet room. To this old political junkie, it was a clear signal that Joy Gilfilen can be a serious candidate next time, and may have a very real chance of winning if she runs again. Not a gadfly at all. She entered her first political contest and has emerged a more savvy citizen, ready to work with others toward needed changes.
Wed, Nov 04, 2015, 12:05 am // John ServaisThe first returns - probably 60% of the final vote - shows contradictory propositions passing and most candidate races decided.
7 comments; last on Nov 04, 2015
Sun, Sep 13, 2015, 8:42 am // John ServaisBeware walking RR tracks on the Fairhaven waterfront in the event of unexpected encounter with a high speed train
2 comments; last on Sep 18, 2015
Mon, May 25, 2015, 7:17 pm // John ServaisYoung Chiara spent 3 nights hanging from the anchor chain of Shell Oil's Arctic Challenger as a protest to arctic oil drilling.
Sat, Apr 04, 2015, 12:15 pm // John ServaisThe port's latest bone-headed deal calls for the good citizens of Whatcom County to consider the options...unless we're enjoying our Groundhog Day.
3 comments; last on Apr 07, 2015
Tue, Mar 31, 2015, 11:20 pm // John ServaisPort of Bellingham today sold out our public waterfront to a foreign shell company formed 6 days ago. Sold it cheap and with a screwy arrangement.
32 comments; last on Apr 05, 2015
Thu, Mar 12, 2015, 12:06 pm // John ServaisAdd your thoughts and remembrances. Robyn du Pre` was a stalwart and true environmental advocate for Bellingham and Whatcom County. She died this week.
9 comments; last on Mar 23, 2015
Tue, Dec 09, 2014, 12:31 pm // John ServaisThe Horizon Lines ship - the many year resident of the Port of Bellingham - broke loose this morning due to failure of some system. A few photos.
3 comments; last on Dec 10, 2014
Mon, Apr 21, 2014, 10:43 am // Wendy HarrisThe public needs to support city council and request that a waterfront habitat assessment include terrestrial species and habitat connectivity.
Sun, Feb 09, 2014, 9:13 am // John ServaisThe old empty Reid Boiler Works industrial building in Fairhaven burned to the ground Saturday night.
Tue, Jan 14, 2014, 2:19 pm // Guest writerDo we actually need to say that we, as citizens, want accurate information from government officials?
1 comments; last on Jan 14, 2014
Fri, Dec 20, 2013, 3:56 pm // Wendy HarrisA Port of Bellingham internal memo tries, but fails, to justify changes in cost estimates for alternative marina sites.
5 comments; last on Dec 22, 2013
Sat, Dec 07, 2013, 12:33 pm // Wendy HarrisLocal activist calls on Bellingham City Council to table the unpopular waterfront plans and engage in meaningful public process
2 comments; last on Dec 08, 2013
Thu, Dec 05, 2013, 11:58 am // John ServaisThe Political Junkie has posted a 3 minute video showing Bellingham City Council members explaining their idiocy for all of us to watch.
2 comments; last on Dec 06, 2013
Wed, Dec 04, 2013, 10:53 am // John ServaisBellingham City Council and Port of Bellingham finalize the waterfront plan. In his weekly Gristle, Tim Johnson blasts the corrupt public process.
4 comments; last on Dec 05, 2013
Fri, Nov 22, 2013, 9:01 pm // Wendy HarrisIf the port can not construct the airport safely, should it be entrusted with dangerous waterfront cleanup work?
Tue, Nov 12, 2013, 10:21 am // Riley SweeneyRiley crunches the numbers on Renata and McAuley's races to find answers
2 comments; last on Nov 13, 2013
Tue, Nov 05, 2013, 8:21 pm // John ServaisWith lots of outside county money flowing in to our local races, this election is weird. But real - and we county residents have spoken.
11 comments; last on Nov 09, 2013
Sat, Oct 26, 2013, 7:36 pm // John ServaisBeach reconstruction is done at Boulevard Park on the Bellingham waterfront. Paths along shore are again open - and it looks good.
6 comments; last on Nov 01, 2013
Sun, Oct 20, 2013, 7:07 pm // John ServaisKen Bell has my vote over Mike McAuley for port commissioner. And Renata Kowalczyk has it over Dan Robbins.
8 comments; last on Oct 30, 2013
Tue, Oct 08, 2013, 2:22 pm // Wendy HarrisThe city staff considers the overwater walkway a done deal before official approval or resolution of treaty right conflicts
4 comments; last on Oct 16, 2013
Wed, Oct 02, 2013, 5:40 am // Riley SweeneyRiley uncovers how the Coal Industry is funding conservative candidates in Whatcom County
11 comments; last on Oct 03, 2013
Sat, Sep 28, 2013, 5:05 pm // Wendy HarrisThe city and port have not addressed wildlife impacts from waterfront development and this should be done before a waterfront plan is enacted.
Thu, Sep 19, 2013, 6:08 am // Riley SweeneyRiley examines who is donating to which candidates
Fri, Jun 28, 2013, 6:29 am // Riley SweeneyRiley Sweeney examines Sen. Ericksen's legislative methods
Fri, May 17, 2013, 4:44 pm // John ServaisTuesday morning and nothing in today's Bellingham Herald. Nor online. We provide the basics to fill in this latest omission by our "daily" newspaper.
9 comments; last on May 23, 2013
Tue, Mar 26, 2013, 8:59 pm // Wendy HarrisThe City Planning Department has included a technical document in the waterfront proposal without disclosing important impacts.
1 comments; last on Mar 30, 2013
Sun, Mar 17, 2013, 8:42 pm // John ServaisWendy Harris writes about the proposed $8 million concrete bridge along the Bellingham waterfront - using Greenways funds to build.
3 comments; last on Mar 20, 2013
Tue, Feb 19, 2013, 9:40 pm // Wendy HarrisAn "Updated Preferred Alternative" reduces the number of waterfront jobs and expands the boundary of the waterfront district.
Sun, Nov 04, 2012, 9:21 am // Paul deArmondThe Whatcom county Voters’ Pamphlet containing misleading and untrue statements by unregistered, unaccountable and anonymous front groups.
3 comments; last on Nov 06, 2012
Wed, Oct 31, 2012, 7:29 am // Riley SweeneyHere's your shot at fame and glory as a political pundit
4 comments; last on Nov 02, 2012
Mon, Oct 01, 2012, 11:07 pm // Guest writerHarriet Spanel and Ken Hertz on why we should vote YES to increase the Port of Bellingham to 5 commissioners.
3 comments; last on Oct 05, 2012
Mon, Aug 20, 2012, 8:00 am // Riley SweeneyRiley sits down with Matt Petryni with Power Past Coal to get the latest scoop
Fri, Aug 03, 2012, 11:18 pm // John ServaisGraphics projected on building each night in effort to bring attention to threatened building
3 comments; last on Aug 11, 2012
Mon, Jul 23, 2012, 6:05 pm // John ServaisWhere a planning staff desire for view corridors in the Fairhaven plan yields a view corridor that does nothing for views.
1 comments; last on Jul 25, 2012
Wed, Jun 27, 2012, 12:46 pm // John ServaisA special - short notice - Port of Bellingham Commission meeting on Thursday, June 28 starting at 8:30 a.m.
6 comments; last on Jul 03, 2012
Sun, Jun 17, 2012, 8:52 am // Paul deArmondPort Commissioner Scott Walker and attorney Frank Chmelik get caught ballot-rigging again
20 comments; last on Jun 21, 2012
Mon, Jun 04, 2012, 4:51 pm // John ServaisPort Commissioners plan to change their Port Expansion resolution on Tuesday - based on advice from port attorney Chmelik. No notice of this item on the agenda.
6 comments; last on Jun 05, 2012
Wed, May 16, 2012, 3:15 pm // John ServaisIn today's Cascadia Weekly, Tim Johnson analyses the Port Commissioner meeting and the shenanigans of Walker and Chmelik.
Mon, May 14, 2012, 5:07 pm // John ServaisPort Commissioners McAuley and Jorgensen voted to put on November ballot the question of expanding commission from 3 to 5 members.
5 comments; last on May 15, 2012
Wed, May 09, 2012, 5:11 am // John ServaisToday's Cascadia Weekly rips the Port staff on changed waterfront plans and sees 5 commissioners as possible solution to poor decision making.
2 comments; last on May 10, 2012
Thu, May 03, 2012, 8:23 pm // John ServaisThe Joe Show had John Servais on the air for a full hour on Thursday - and we link to the pod cast.
3 comments; last on May 05, 2012
Tue, May 01, 2012, 9:24 am // John ServaisBellingham Port Reform has a Facebook page, courtesy of Tip Johnson.
1 comments; last on May 02, 2012
Tue, May 01, 2012, 8:34 am // John ServaisPort of Bellingham signed lease a month ago to hoopla and now the boat builder is exiting for Anacortes.
11 comments; last on May 08, 2012
Mon, Apr 30, 2012, 9:54 pm // John ServaisSeveral people will be urging the Port of Bellingham commissioners to place the question of expanding to 5 commissioners on the ballot.
Sat, Apr 28, 2012, 9:09 am // John ServaisA county wide initiative will allow voters to decide whether to expand the Port of Bellingham commission from 3 to 5 commissioners.
1 comments; last on Apr 28, 2012
Tue, Apr 24, 2012, 8:25 am // John ServaisToday's Bellingham Herald carries an article from Sheldon, with facts, falsehoods and his perspective on his forced resignation as Executive Director of the Port of Bellingham.
Wed, Apr 18, 2012, 11:28 am // John ServaisA 26 minute video of the port commissioners explaining their positions on the firing of executive director Charlie Sheldon is posted.
7 comments; last on Apr 19, 2012
Tue, Apr 17, 2012, 11:51 am // John ServaisAt 3 p.m. today - Tuesday, April 17 - the Port of Bellingham meets. Let's attend and support rehiring Charlie Sheldon.
3 comments; last on Apr 18, 2012
Fri, Apr 13, 2012, 4:47 pm // John ServaisFriday update: Herald reports Jim Jorgensen could change his mind on firing of Port of Bellingham Executive Director Charlie Sheldon
3 comments; last on Apr 17, 2012
Tue, Apr 10, 2012, 7:52 pm // John ServaisAn illegal serial Port Commission meeting should be investigated by the State Auditor, and two commissioners should be made accountable for their actions.
5 comments; last on Apr 11, 2012
Thu, Apr 05, 2012, 3:00 pm // John ServaisAn Online petition has been posted where citizens can sign on to request the Port Commissioners revote on Charlie Sheldon's termination.
5 comments; last on Apr 06, 2012
Wed, Apr 04, 2012, 2:16 pm // John ServaisState law allows us to pass an initiative and increase the number of port commissioners from three to five. Thanks to Harriet Spanel.
4 comments; last on Apr 05, 2012
Tue, Apr 03, 2012, 5:25 pm // John ServaisPort Commissioner Mike McAuley did everything he could do to change Jim Jorgensen's mind. Jim and Scott Walker forced Charlie Sheldon out.
6 comments; last on Apr 06, 2012
Mon, Apr 02, 2012, 11:35 am // John ServaisThis morning, Charlie Sheldon, unexpectedly resigned as Executive Director of the Port of Bellingham.
10 comments; last on Apr 03, 2012
Tue, Jan 31, 2012, 8:36 am // Paul deArmondPort Commissioner Scott Walker and attorney Frank Chmelik get caught ballot-rigging again
Wed, Nov 09, 2011, 9:31 am // John ServaisWill close races shift to the other candidate? Just how many ballots are left to count? When will we know for sure?
1 comments; last on Nov 09, 2011
Wed, Oct 19, 2011, 8:16 pm // John ServaisCharlie Sheldon shifts Port staff to help economic development of private business and to support needed infrastructure.
4 comments; last on Oct 23, 2011
Wed, Oct 19, 2011, 12:13 am // John ServaisBellingham Port Commissioner Scott Walker motioned for the port to ask Executive Director Charlie Sheldon to resign.
5 comments; last on Oct 20, 2011
Thu, Sep 08, 2011, 9:37 am // Riley SweeneyLook at the title, it spells it out.
6 comments; last on Sep 12, 2011
Tue, Aug 09, 2011, 4:44 pm // Riley SweeneyRiley interviews Clayton Petree about his view of Downtown Bellingham
6 comments; last on Aug 12, 2011
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