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Archives: 2010

Dec.
22nd

Washam speaks via Internet, proclaiming the good work of his office in 2010

Embattled Pierce County Assessor-Treasurer Dale Washam,

Dale Washam

who’s been silent for weeks as a recall effort against him gathered steam, posted an accounting of his office’s achievements for 2010 on his website this morning.

His list of accomplishments included the same information he presented to the Pierce County Council during its budget deliberations last month.

Washam, who frequently uses his county website as a pulpit, hadn’t put anything that stayed on his page very long since Nov. 4, when he published a copy of a letter from The News Tribune and his reply. The letter pertained to a story The News Tribune was preparing about Washam.

In the seven weeks since that posting, Puyallup resident Robin Farris gained support for her effort to recall Washam. Last week, Pierce County Superior Court Judge Thomas Felnagle ruled there are sufficient legal grounds for the recall effort to proceed to the signature-gathering stage.

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Dec.
22nd

Capitol’s nativity set won’t be so large after all

The Department of General Administration says a nativity display planned for the Capitol Campus is smaller than initially expected. And it won’t take up nearly as much space.

The sponsor of the exhibit, which was to go up this evening a bit south of the Tivoli Fountain, said he is using three-foot-tall figures of Joseph, Mary, and others – which takes less space than the life-size figures originally indicated.

“It is twelve figures (Jesus, Mary, Joseph, three wise men, a shepherd, two sheep, a cow, a donkey, and a camel). None of the figures are larger

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Dec.
21st

Fee reaction: Pam Roach weighs in

Sen. Pam Roach, who asked Attorney General Rob McKenna to interpret the effect of tax-limiting Initiative 1053 on the Transportation Commission’s authority, has weighed in on the informal legal opinion issued Monday by McKenna’s office.

Roach, R-Auburn, blasted Democratic Sen. Mary Margaret Haugen for telling The News Tribune she would push to restore the Transportation Commission’s fee-setting authority in light of I-1053’s restrictions. Roach said such an effort would be “met by the fiercest resistance.”

Haugen says setting the dollar amount of fees is too time consuming a job for a citizen legislature.

Read the news release from Roach (fired off from all the way in Germany, by the way):

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Dec.
21st

State House musical chairs benefit Jeannie Darneille, Larry Seaquist, Steve Kirby

Rep. Jeannie Darneille lost out to Rep. Ross Hunter for the powerful post of budget chairman, but Darneille is still moving up. She will be one of two vice-chairs to Hunter.

In the reconfigured House committee structure approved by Democrats and unveiled today, Darneille, D-Tacoma, will take point on the spending side of the budget while Rep. Bob Hasegawa, D-Seattle fills the same role for taxes. She will be vice chair for appropriations; he will be vice chair for finance.

Previously, the two were split into different committees with Hunter chairing Finance and Rep. Kelli Linville, who was defeated

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Dec.
21st

Pierce County Auditor’s office closed Thursday as employees take a budget-cutting furlough day

If you have business this week at the Pierce County Auditor’s office, you need to get it done this afternoon or Wednesday.

The auditor’s office and its elections division will both be closed Thursday as employees take one of several unpaid furlough days due to budget cuts. All Pierce County offices will be closed Friday in observance of the Christmas holiday.

Here’s a copy of the news release on the closure:

The Pierce County Auditor’s Office, located in Room 200 of the Pierce County Annex and the adjacent Elections Center, will be closed on Thursday, Dec. 23.

The

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Dec.
21st

Fee reaction: Transportation Commission says it will comply

The Transportation Commission’s chairman says he expects the board to comply — at least until the Legislature says otherwise — with the informal opinion by Attorney General Rob McKenna‘s office that Initiative 1053 removes the board’s power to set fees.

Chairman Philip Parker said the board would continue to vote on rates for tolls and other fees, but would consider them merely advice to the Legislature.

“If that’s the rule, we won’t be setting the fares until it’s changed or the Legislature retains it,” Parker said.

The Legislature next year could set the fees. Or it could return the

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Dec.
21st

Washington comes up a winner in Census count, will get 10th Congressional seat

This morning, the Census Bureau unveiled state population counts from the 2010 Census and accompanying Congressional reapportionment scheme. Washington grew enough – up 14.1 percent from 2000 – to pick up another Congressional seat and the clout that comes with it. The state’s population stands at 6,724,540, with the addition of 830,419 people during the decade.

We are one of eight states in the West and South to pick up seats. Texas gained the most – four seats – and Florida gained two. Arizona, Georgia, Nevada, South Carolina and Utah also gained one seat each. Of note: For the first

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Dec.
21st

Constitutional amendment could cut lawmakers’ pay

Democratic Rep. Marko Liias has proposed a constitutional amendment to let the state’s independent salary commission cut lawmakers’ pay during tough economic times.

The commission, which voters approved in 1986 as a constitutional amendment, sets salaries for elected statewide officials, legislators and judges. But while it has the power to raise pay, it doesn’t have the authority to cut pay, which propelled Liias to action in this anti-spending season.

Read full post.