Inside Opinion

What's on the minds of Tacoma News Tribune editorial writers

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Tag: endorsements


For Gig Harbor: Tim Payne, Derek Young

This editorial will appear in tomorrow’s print edition.

From its beginnings as a fishing and boat-building village, Gig Harbor has been one of the most distinctive and picturesque communities in Washington.

It’s been struggling for many years to preserve its character in the face of relentless growth. Now it’s also struggling to make ends meet, its budget riddled by recession-driven declines in sales tax collections and other revenue streams.

It says something about the citizens’ confidence in their leadership that only two of the five City Council members up for election this year have drawn challengers. It also says something good about the city that both of those incumbents are high caliber – and both their opponents as well.

When an incumbent is doing a good job, our inclination is to stick with him or her. We’re endorsing the re-election of Tim Payne in Position 1 and Derek Young in Position 3.
Read more »


For Lakewood City Council: Moss, Brandstetter, Whalen

Lakewood voters are particularly fortunate this election cycle for two reasons.

First, they have the opportunity to inject fresh blood into their City Council without having to oust a seasoned incumbent to do it. Three current council members – Helen McGovern, Ron Cronk and Pad Finnigan – are stepping down, opening the way for three new faces on the seven-person body.

And second, all their choices on the Nov. 3 ballot are good ones. None of the six candidates would be a disaster if elected – a luxury voters in some other South Sound cities don’t have.

The News Tribune editorial board was impressed by all six candidates, but we think three rise to the top: Mary Moss, Mike Brandstetter and Jason Whalen. Read more »


Julie Anderson for Pierce County auditor

This editorial will appear in tomorrow’s print edition.

A funny thing happened to the Pierce County auditor’s office in the two years since citizens voted to make it nonpartisan: It seems to have become more partisan than ever.

Its current occupant, Jan Shabro, was appointed by the Republican majority on the County Council early this year after former Auditor Pat McCarthy was elected county executive.

In appointing Shabro, the council rebuffed the Democratic Party’s nominees – which included Shabro’s chief challenger, staunch Democrat Julie Anderson. The contest this year looks as partisan as any in the past.

Perhaps it’s understandable that the Republicans and Democrats want to keep their stamp on the office. The auditor gets to print her name on every ballot sent out, which is a nice way to pick up name familiarity. That makes the position a good springboard to higher office, as McCarthy’s election demonstrated.

Still, the county’s chief elections officer ought to be more than nominally nonpartisan, if only to avoid the perception (inaccurate so far) that a particular party has its thumb on the scale when the ballots are counted. Running elections is pure administrative work, as are licensing, animal-control and the other responsibilities of the office. There’s no liberal or conservative way to chase pit bulls.
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Our picks for Bethel, Clover Park school boards

This editorial appeared in the Monday print edition.

The Bethel School District gets the prize for having, if not the most vigorous school board campaigns, at least the oddest. It’s remarkable that the races are even contested.

In District 1, a staunch opponent of the school district is running against the one person on the school board who sees eye-to-eye with him on some issues.

Ron Morehouse, a physician’s assistant, has opposed school bond measures and thinks Superintendent Tom Seigel could be doing a better job.

We’re wondering what his beef is with incumbent Ken Blair, who has repeatedly voted against the superintendent’s positive performance evaluations and has been anything but a pushover on school funding measures.
Read more »


Barney and Griffin for Federal Way schools

This editorial will appear in Tuesday’s print edition.

The races for Federal Way school board took on additional significance last week when Superintendent Tom Murphy, a respected 20-year veteran of the district, announced his retirement.

Murphy will leave in June, making the next school board responsible for hiring his replacement.

Even with less than a majority of the board at stake this election, the outcome is bound to influence the hiring of Murphy’s successor. Voters will want the right people in office to make that pick.

Read more »


For Tacoma: Campbell, Lonergan, Woodards

This editorial will appear in Thursday’s print edition.

Tacoma voters could change the direction of city government this election, with a majority of the nine-member City Council potentially at stake.

Tacomans will elect a new mayor and three new council members next month to replace term-limited officials. With that many seats up for grabs, the next council is bound to look and act differently than its predecessor.

And should either Councilwoman Marilyn Strickland win her bid for mayor or Councilwoman Julie Anderson take Pierce County auditor, the new council would have to fill the vacancy. Up to six of the council’s nine seats could change hands.

Read more »


For Tacoma school board: Ushka-Hall, Miller

This editorial will appear in Friday’s print edition.

The races for Tacoma school board won’t be decided for another month, yet there’s already been an upset.

In the August primary, retired schoolteacher and principal Connie Rickman lost her bid for a second six-year term. Rickman, a supporter of ousted schools superintendent Charlie Milligan, faced some formidable challengers.

One of them, Catherine Ushka-Hall, is headed to the general election’s runoff for Position 2.

Read more »


Bacon, Marzano, Meyer for Port of Tacoma

This editorial will appear in Thursday’s print edition.

The blows to the Port of Tacoma just keep on coming.

Three months ago, when the editorial board endorsed Commissioner Connie Bacon’s re-election for lack of a better option, we noted that the port has had quite a run of misfortune and missteps. Mostly the latter.

The port plunked down $21 million in 2006 to buy land near Maytown for a rail yard, assuming that its foray into Thurston County would be treated as deferentially by the locals there as the port’s projects are here at home. Wrong.

Then, after port officials were successful in luring NYK Line here from the Port of Seattle, they discovered that they had underestimated the cost of developing the Blair Waterway for NYK and others by 50 percent.

Last week, the port halted the project after spending $190 million on property, design work, staff time and environmental preparations. NYK will now call at an existing terminal.

Given all that, this would seem the year to toss port incumbents who failed to exercise the kind of oversight that could have prevented such fumbles. We might have recommended voters do just that, had we been impressed with the alternatives.

Read more »