Inside Opinion

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

NOTICE: Inside Opinion has moved.

With the launch of our new website, we've moved Inside Opinion.
Visit the new section.

Tag: Pierce County Auditor


Seeking power and fame? Filing week’s almost here

This editorial will appear in Friday’s print edition.

OK, that headline is a little deceptive. The offices that will be on the Aug. 6 primary and Nov. 6 general election ballots are, for the most part, the kind of local positions where people make the nuts-and-bolts decisions for cities, schools and other bodies.

If you’ve ever complained about local officials and said something like, “If it were up to me . . .,” this is the time to back up those words with action.

Filing week begins Monday (online or at the Pierce County auditor’s office kiosk) for the Aug.

Read more »


Voters guide statement fiascos show change is needed

This editorial will appear in Friday’s print edition.

Pierce County now has had back-to-back debacles over who writes the “against” statement that appears in the voters pamphlet.

Both involve a notorious local felon and publicity hound, Robert “The Traveler” Hill, and they reflect obvious flaws in how statement writers are selected.

In the first case, Hill applied to write the statement opposing last fall’s Pierce Transit tax measure. Only one other person applied, and he said he wouldn’t participate if he had to collaborate on the statement with Hill – a jail inmate who’s had widely publicized, bizarre run-ins with the law. The Pierce Transit board’s lawyer reportedly said that no candidate could be rejected unless there were at least four applicants.
Read more »


Julie Anderson for Pierce County auditor – again

This editorial will appear in Wednesday’s print edition.

Pierce County voters can be forgiven for spotting Julie Anderson’s name on the November ballot and possibly wondering, “Didn’t we just elect her?”

Anderson is running for county auditor again a year after she first won the office by beating the incumbent-by-appointment, Jan Shabro.

The Pierce County Council appointed Shabro in early 2009 after predecessor Pat McCarthy’s election to county executive created a vacancy in the auditor’s office.

Anderson, a former Tacoma city councilwoman, won the 2009 special election and is now vying for her first full term. The News Tribune editorial board endorsed her in 2009 and does so again this year.

Read more »


The watchdog that didn’t bark

Shame on us.

I’ve scoured our past elections endorsements and failed to find any real warning to the voters how big a catastrophe Dale Washam would be as Pierce County auditor.

Most citizens probably pay no attention to our endorsements, which is fine. But some do. If we had shared what we knew about Washam’s obsessiveness and anger problems, it’s possible he might not sneaked in under the radar in a crowded ranked-choice ballot and wound up in charge of a major department of county government.

The fact is, we – like many others – were blindsided by Washam’s

Read more »


At what cost should county keep poll voting?

This editorial will appear in Tuesday’s print edition.

Pierce County is facing a hard-knocks budget that would send more people to the unemployment line, give thieves a freer reign and stymie efforts to ensure timely justice.

But poll voting will be spared.

That’s at least the County Council’s plan. The council last week adopted a budget that slashed 300 jobs, pulled sheriff’s deputies from the roads, raised parks and sewer fees and eliminated a Superior Court judgeship.

It also put a twist on County Executive Pat McCarthy’s recommendation to cut the $150,000 set aside for poll voting. The council took the money out of the auditor’s budget – and then forbade the auditor from closing a single polling place.

Read more »


Status quo was loser in county elections

This editorial will appear in Thursday’s print edition.

Change is often what elections are about, and this one didn’t disappoint.

Pierce County voters were an unsentimental bunch, showing a ready inclination to abandon old allegiances for something – or someone – they deemed a better fit.

They scrapped a voting experiment after just one try, vented their frustration about a failed University Place development and vetoed the Pierce County Council’s choice for county auditor.

Read more »


Some ballot choices more crucial than others

This editorial will appear in Monday’s print edition.

Voters should always take care when making their election picks, but some parts of the ballot deserve more attention than others this year.

In many South Sound races, voters have two good options, and the public will be well-served no matter the outcome of the election.
Other decisions are more pivotal. Take the election for Federal Way Municipal Court. Judge Michael Morgan has hurt the court’s standing and its internal workings. He has to go.

Read more »


Would Julie Anderson and Jan Shabro endorse each other as No. 2?

Kelly Haughton of ranked-choice voting fame wants to Will Baker-proof the upcoming election for Pierce County auditor. He’s asking rivals Jan Shabro and Julie Anderson to endorse each other as No. 2 choices for their supporters.

Shabro and Anderson are sharing the county’s ranked-choice ballot with Will Baker, a self-aggrandizing clown with a history of arrests and disorderly conduct convictions.

The nightmare scenario (alluded to in today’s editorial) is that Baker will wind up a hair ahead of one of the other two in a three-way race, then win in the next round when second-ranked candidates are counted. It’s conceivable that some of Anderson’s supporters will make Baker their second preference and that some of Shabro’s supporters will do the same rather than cast their second-choice vote for their candidate’s major opponent.

Here’s Haughton’s proposal, which I think is a good one:

Julie and Jan – I believe we can all agree that Will Baker would be a disaster as Auditor. To emphasize this point, I suggest that the two of you recommend each other as your second choice.
Read more »