Seattle City Council
9/22/2005 1:43:00 PM
COUNCIL TO VOTE ON FUTURE OF MONORAIL GREEN LINE TOMORROW
Two resolutions—no advisory ballot measure
SEATTLE –At this morning’s Special Meeting of the Full Council, councilmembers unanimously voted to refer two resolutions regarding the future of monorail for a final vote tomorrow.
A Resolution sponsored by Councilmember Peter Steinbrueck and Nick Licata calls for no advisory ballot measure to be put forward to the voters. It states that the Seattle City Council will not allow the construction of the Green Line project on city property unless: 1) the SPMA assures the Council before October 13, 2005 that it will put a measure on the February 7, 2006 ballot asking voters to either increase taxes and/or cut the project scope and cost, or terminate the project; 2) the Council will receive enough time to conduct a thorough, independent assessment of the financing plan before the ballot measure is put before the voters; 3) the Council determines that the proposed financing plan is prudent and responsible; 4) the Council is satisfied the Green Line will achieve its goal of excellence in design; 5) the final Green Line proposal will provide the City a cost-effective transit system with sufficient capacity and scope that it can serve as an integrated component of the region’s transportation system. Further, the resolution states that if the SPMA does not act by these deadlines to place a definitive measure on the ballot, the Council will use all means available to seek the dissolution of the SPMA, including a direct appeal to the State Legislature.
A second Resolution, 30806 (version 2b) and sponsored by Councilmember Richard McIver, also calls for no advisory ballot measure. If approved, this resolution would mean that the Council will not authorize the issuance of any construction permits for the Green Line now or in the future.
Councilmember Peter Steinbrueck
“We’re committed and determined more than ever to build an effective, cost-efficient transportation system that will serve the citizens of Seattle and the broader region. These actions we take today will get us there faster and without unmeasured and dangerous risks. We will not take legislative action until the SMP Board commits to a final, definitive ballot and answers the tough questions. Ultimately this issue must be decided by the voters.”
Council President Jan Drago
“This resolution gives the SMP Board the opportunity to set out a feasible monorail plan that is fiscally prudent. Our responsibility as public servants is to protect the taxpayers of Seattle and we will review a new financial plan.”
Councilmember Richard Conlin
We’re not elected to pass the buck on hard decisions. The buck stops here. Our course is clear. Until and unless the SMP comes clean and asks the voters for more money and the voters agree, the project must come to an end.”
Councilmember Richard McIver
“It is time to pull the plug. The SMP is collecting $50-million a year and producing nothing but hot air. They have already squandered millions on self promotion, high salaries and pie in the sky projections.”
Councilmember Nick Licata
“An advisory measure brings no closure. And even a closer look at the current facts won’t take us where we need to go. We have not seen an alternative financial package and the ball is in SMP’s court. As legislators we have the responsibility to assure that the right and necessary information is made available so voters can decide whether to move forward or bring closure to this difficult process.”
Councilmember Jim Compton
“I admire SMP’s hard work and admirable goals. However, SMP is in denial and has sometimes been secretive and even arrogant. I hope we can go forward and in good faith take responsibility to bring clarity to this difficult moment so Seattle’s voters can give either a thumbs-up or thumbs-down.”
Councilmember Jean Godden
“We have to come to grips with the realities. There is not enough money, ridership numbers are unrealistic and the design does not fulfill its promises. An advisory ballot would be a foolish bate-and-switch.”
Councilmember David Della
“We need to take decisive leadership and work toward a system that’s affordable, integrated and holds a promise for the future. The Green Line Project is not it. Today we're taking a hard look and currently see no solutions here that are affordable. It's time to move on.”
Because City Clerk Judith Pippin requires the Council to submit to her office a ballot measure for the November ballot by Friday, September 23, 2005 at 2:00 p.m., in order to make the deadlines needed for submittal to King County, the Council will make their decisions on these resolutions at tomorrow’s 11:00 a.m. continuation of today’s meeting.
The Council cannot legally place a binding measure on the ballot concerning SPMA — only an advisory measure and cannot dissolve the monorail project.