Political Buzz

Talking WA politics.

NOTICE: Political Buzz has moved.

With the launch of our new website, we've moved Political Buzz.
Visit the new section.

Category: Suburbs


U Place school board member Kent Keel will challenge Tami Green in 28th district

Kent Keel, a three-term member of the University Place school board announced today that he’ll run for the state House from the 28th District.

Keel, a Republican, will challenge incumbent Democrat Tami Green of Lakewood.

“After talking to others in our community, I am convinced that people share my priorities of public safety, a balanced budget, efficient government, reasonable taxing and effective regulatory policy,” Keel said.

The 28th is something of a rarity in Washington – a legislative districts that is competitive between Republicans and Democrats. While both House members are Democrats, the Senate seat is held by Republican Mike Carrell.

Green won the seat in 2004 by defeating appointed GOP incumbent Bob Lawrence.

Here is Keel’s announcement release Read more »


Lakewood gets clean audit, ends streak

Just got Lakewood City Manager Andrew Neiditz’s weekly update. The first item is that the state Auditor’s Office issued a report with no findings for the city:

City gets clean state audit: The State Auditor’s Office conducted its exit conference on January 7th to conclude its annual audit of the City of Lakewood with no management letters of findings. An unqualified opinion, the highest level of report, will be issued this month, which means the financial statements are presented fairly, in all material respects. The report also concluded that prior audit findings regarding preparation of financial statements were resolved.

Read more »


Bill would help homeowners get new swan

Washington’s mute swans have finally found someone to speak for them.

State Rep. Larry Seaquist and state Sen. Derek Kilmer, both Democrats from Gig Harbor, are looking to ease restrictions on trafficking the birds so that a Gig Harbor homeowner’s association can buy one for a private lake.

State wildlife officials have banned the sale and ownership of mute swans since 1991, deeming them deleterious exotic wildlife that can destroy wetlands and occasionally attack people and other animals.

That’s nonsense, say homeowners in Gig Harbor’s Sylvia Lake community, who have kept a pair of mute swans on their lake for more than 20 years to ward off Canadian geese. Read more »


Lots of open government talk at Lakewood council meeting

There was plenty of talk about government transparency at the Lakewood City Council meeting Monday.

As I reported last week, the city’s management hopes lawmakers can figure out a way that cities can recoup some of the cost they endure from people who habitually request public documents, which can require one, maybe two staffers tending to a single request.

One resident, public meetings regular Fredric Cornell, requested almost 78,000 pages worth of documents from Lakewood last year. The city estimated that by late October, his requests had cost almost $16,000 worth of staff time and resources.

On Monday, four residents told the Lakewood City Council that it should, if anything, work to become more transparent.

Paul Wagemann, a Clover Park School District board member, said the city’s approach to solving the dilemma appears more like an effort to be less transparent.

“Let’s make it as open as we possibly can,” he said, adding that, “The more we can get people involved, the better the community will be.”
Read more »


Federal Way delays setting date for mayoral election

The Federal Way City Council has put off until Dec. 1 a decision on when voters will elect a mayor.

Council members decided Tuesday night to wait to hear from the Washington Secretary of State’s office about whether the city’s first strong-mayor election must be held within six months of Nov. 24.

On Nov. 3, voters opted to switch from the current council-manager form of government, but some ballots are still being counted. The official election certification is set for Nov. 24, which is next Tuesday.

City Attorney Pat Richardson said she and King County elections believe state law does

Read more »


Federal Way judge concedes defeat in re-election bid

Federal Way Municipal Court Judge Michael Morgan conceded defeat today in his race against Seattle prosecutor Rebecca Robertson.

Morgan, who has been the focus of investigations over how he managed court employees, was losing by a substantial margin to Robertson Tuesday night in his bid to remain on the Federal Way bench.

“I congratulate Ms. Robertson for winning the election and will offer my assistance and cooperation to her as she makes the transition to the bench,” Morgan said in an e-mail today to The News Tribune.

To read this morning’s election story about the race, click here.


Bird trailing in UP council race

Sitting mayors and council members in most Pierce County suburbs were  winning their re-election bids Tuesday night, with few challengers unseating incumbents in early returns.

The biggest ouster so far looked to be in University Place, where mayor and councilwoman Linda Bird was trailing challenger Javier Figueroa.

Bird has sat on the University Place City Council since the city’s incorporation in 1995 and has been a tireless defender of the city’s Town Center project. The downtown civic and retail complex on Bridgeport Way has been in the works since 2003, but has yet to move forward beyond the start of

Read more »


Robertson defeating Morgan for Federal Way judge; strong mayor measure passing

Seattle prosecutor Rebecca Robertson was handily defeating Federal Way Municipal Court Judge Michael Morgan tonight.

In the race for Federal Way’s other judicial position, Judge Dave Larson was easily defeating lawyer and prosecutor Renee Walls.

Federal Way voters also were approving changing to a strong, elected mayor, according to early returns.

Morgan has been the focus of controversies surrounding how he managed court employees.

Robertson, a prosecutor in the Seattle City Attorney’s Office for the past six years, said during the campaign the court needed a new judge who would treat court staff members with integrity and that she was

Read more »