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Originally published November 4, 2007 at 12:00 AM | Page modified November 4, 2007 at 2:02 AM

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Old-fashioned Election Day has morphed into a voting season that spans several weeks. Now, in the homestretch, with fewer voting at polls...

The Seattle Times

Old-fashioned Election Day has morphed into a voting season that spans several weeks. Now, in the homestretch, with fewer voting at polls Tuesday and many others sending ballots by mail, we offer The Times' clip-and-use recommendations for Election 2007.

Proposition 1

The biggest question on the ballot in King, Pierce and Snohomish counties is Proposition 1, the $18 billion roads-and-transit package. Vote NO on a spending plan that costs too much, lasts too long and accomplishes too little.

EHJR 4204

Voters should pay attention to an important statewide measure obscurely titled EHJR 4204, substituting a simple majority, instead of a supermajority, for school levies. Vote YES to bring fairness and a more-reasonable assessment of the levies essential to basic school funding.

Initiative 960

Vote YES on Initiative 960, which makes statewide tax increases more difficult. I-960 imposes reasonable limits on a spendy Legislature and serves as a wake-up call to stop abusing the power to declare a tax bill an emergency.

Referendum 67

We recommend a YES vote on the hotly contested Referendum 67, which gives judges the power to award triple damages to people who sue their insurance companies. Our support is based on the imbalance of power between an insurance company and a customer. This measure, while imperfect, tilts the balance where it needs to go, toward the consumer.

Seattle

In Seattle, a few seemingly sleepy City Council races turned into barnburners. In Position 7, vote for Tim Burgess, a highly qualified candidate who ought to be elected over incumbent David Della.

Seattle attorney Bruce Harrell in Position 3, the open seat, exhibits better judgment and a more effective political style than challenger Venus Velázquez.

Voters should readily support incumbents Jean Godden, Position 1, and Sally Clark, Position 9.

Seattle School Board

The four races for Seattle School Board represent a turning point for voters. It is time to stop pretending everything is hunky-dory at the school district.

Voters should make dramatic change by electing Peter Maier, a consumer-rights attorney, over incumbent Sally Soriano, who fixated on misguided causes. Maier promises steady, responsible and focused leadership.

Similarly, it is time to bid adieu to incumbent Darlene Flynn. Her opponent, Sherry Carr, a Boeing senior finance leader and past president of the Seattle PTSA, has broad support and is more-qualified to help turn the district around.

Steve Sundquist is the better choice over Maria Ramirez. Sundquist has the policy and organizational skills gleaned from a financial-services career and service on nonprofit boards. He is the right candidate at the right time.

The other endorsement goes to Harium Martin-Morris. The Boeing exec and public-schools advocate offers a fresh and thoughtful voice.

Port of Seattle

At the Seattle Port Commission, it is time for wholesale change. Voters should turn out Alec Fisken and Bob Edwards and bring on two newcomers: Gael Tarleton and Bill Bryant. The dysfunction of the entire five-member commission explains the need for a changing of the guard.

King County prosecutor

For King County prosecuting attorney, Dan Satterberg, the Republican who was the late Norm Maleng's chief of staff for 17 years, ought to win election to the remaining three years of Maleng's term. Satterberg has the kind of experience and equanimity that gives him the edge over a strong challenger, Bill Sherman.

Snohomish County

Looking northward to Snohomish County, voters should re-elect County Executive Aaron Reardon, who earns high marks for eliminating deficits, shoring up reserves and improving the county's bond rating. Admittedly, he has been aided by a solid economy.

The endorsement in the sheriff's race goes to Bureau Chief Tom Greene, the strongest choice to replace Rick Bart, who is finishing up a three-term limit.

On the Snohomish County Council, voters can comfortably back state Rep. Brian Sullivan for the District 2 council seat, and Renee Radcliff Sinclair in District 3.

Bellevue

In Bellevue, go with three incumbents for re-election. Mayor Grant Degginger has demonstrated experience and leadership on regional issues. Voters should fill the bubble next to Deputy Mayor John Chelminiak's name. Chelminiak has shown a commitment to economic development and environmental responsibility. Phil Noble, with his long history of civic involvement, has been a stalwart on human services. He, too, deserves re-election.

Redmond

In Redmond, John Marchione has the right stuff to be a very good mayor. For council, we recommend Dayle "Hank" Margeson for Position 3, Richard Cole in Position 5, and Brian Seitz in Position 7.

Renton

Incumbent Mayor Kathy Keolker should be re-elected and given a chance to build on existing momentum in Renton, a city marching forward in a very positive way.

For City Council, voters should re-elect Marcie Palmer to Position 3. She is a quick study and constructive voice on the council. Voters should also support Greg Taylor, a small-business owner, for Position 4. They can further help their city by electing King Parker in Position 5.

Quick picks

Seattle charter amendments: YES to 17, on the city preamble; NO to 18, regarding mayoral speeches.

King County Initiative 25: NO to an elected elections director.

King County Assessor: Vote for Scott Noble, not the other guy with a similar last name.

King County EMS (also called Proposition 1): a hearty YES.

SHJR 4215: YES to more investment flexibility for higher-ed institutions.

SJR 8212: YES to allow the state to contract with private employers to offer prisoners work.

SJR 8206: NO to a constitutionally mandated state rainy-day fund.

Mercer Island City Council: Vote for Maureen Judge and Bruce Bassett.

Sammamish City Council: Michele Petitti for Position 2; John James, Position 4; Mark Cross for Position 6.

Issaquah City Council: Fred Butler, Position 2; Vincent Ippolito, Position 4; David Kappler in Position 7.

Shoreline City Council: Vote for Paul Grace, Maggie Fimia and Terry Scott.

Snohomish County Treasurer: Jerry Lindsey.

Copyright © 2007 The Seattle Times Company

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