Voters on Tuesday have a couple interesting decisions to make.
And some pretty darn important ones for their community as well.
There are two high-profile statewide measures.
Initiative 976 targets streams of transportation funding used by cities, counties, the state and Sound Transit.
If passed it would cut the cost of vehicle registration fees, also known as car tabs, to $30 and axe certain fees levied by local governments through transportation benefit districts. And, it would erase the motor vehicle excise tax collected by Sound Transit for its planned expansion of light rail service to Everett and Tacoma.
The sponsor, Tim Eyman, insists there will still be plenty of money for the state and local governments. But opponents contend it will eliminate billions of dollars counted on for building and fixing roads, repairing bridges, filling potholes and operating public transit systems across the state.
Referendum 88, the other major statewide measure, concerns the future of Initiative 1000, an affirmative action law enacted earlier this year.
The law, which is on hold pending the outcome of the election, would allow the state to use affirmative action measures in hiring, contracting and admissions to public universities. It does not allow use of quotas or preferences though opponents contend it will. They insist the result will be fewer opportunities for veterans and college enrollment slots for Asian Americans.
Meanwhile, Snohomish County will be deciding whether to keep Ty Trenary as sheriff for another term or to put his underling, Adam Fortney, a sergeant, in charge for the next four years. They also will be choosing a new auditor and a new treasurer.
Megan Dunn, a Democrat, and Anna Rohrbough, a Republican, are vying to fill an opening on the County Council.
There’s a slew of contests for mayoral jobs and seats on school boards, fire commissions and city councils.
In Mukilteo, the make-up of the City Council could undergo a big change because four of the seven seats are on the ballot.
In addition, voters are considering a change in how the city is run. A ballot proposition would replace the present strong-mayor form of government with a council-manager form. If passed, voters would no longer directly elect the mayor. Instead, the city would be run by a professional administrator hired by the City Council.
In Stanwood, the outcome of a School Board race is garnering a lot more attention than one might expect. Charlotte Murray and Keith Pappas filed as candidates for the two-year term on the Stanwood-Camano School District Board of Directors. Pappas later announced he was withdrawing for personal reasons and stopped campaigning. He did so too late to get his name off the ballot.
In recent days, board president Al Schreiber reportedly passed around materials urging voters to back Pappas. His motives are unclear and he’s declined multiple requests for comment. Pappas has said if he wins, he will serve rather than allow the board to fill the seat.
Ballots for Tuesday’s election can be placed in a designated drop box— there are 23 in Snohomish County and six in Island County — which are open around the clock until 8 p.m. on Election Day. If you mail it back, you do not need a stamp as the postage is paid. It must be postmarked no later than Nov. 5 to be counted.
And if you’re not registered and want to vote, it’s not too late. Thanks to a new state law you can register Tuesday in the county auditor’s office and receive a ballot.
For more information, call the Snohomish County elections office at 425-388-3444 or go online at www.snoco.org/elections.