Replacing Maleng extra tough with new election dates

  • Evan Smith<br>Enterprise
  • Monday, March 3, 2008 12:05pm

Norm Maleng picked a bad time to die. Not only has King County lost a strong and compassionate prosecutor, it faces an awkward schedule in trying to replace him.

Early this week, the county council picked an acting prosecuting attorney.

Now, it gets complicated. The council has 60 days (until late July) to pick a prosecutor from a list of three candidates picked by the King County Republican Central Committee.

That appointment will be good only until the end of the year because state law requires that vacancies be filled at the next general election. So county voters will vote in November to fill the last three years of Maleng’s term.

With the primary moved to August, the filing period is next week, meaning that potential Republican candidates will have to file before the party central committee or the county council has acted.

Ferry us across Lake Washington

Now that the King County Council has created a County Passenger Ferry District, we could have a cheaper alternative to rebuilding the Evergreen Point Floating Bridge. One of the district’s first projects is a demonstration route between Kirkland and the University of Washington. If enough people use the route, it could mean we can build a smaller bridge across Lake Washington.

State shouldn’t advertise stadium sponsors

The signs along I-5 in south Seattle direct drivers to Safeco Field and Qwest Field. Why is Washington’s Transportation Department giving free advertising to an insurance company and a communications company?

Yes, Safeco and Qwest paid the Mariners and Seahawks to get their names on the baseball and football stadiums, but they didn’t pay the state to get their names on highway signs. Nor do they pay this and other newspapers for the advertising we regularly give them. Why can’t we use neutral names like “Mariners Stadium” or “Seahawks Stadium”?

Yes, highway signs carry the names of gas stations and restaurants. But that came from a deal three decades ago to get the gas stations to take down their 100-foot-tall signs.

Ground the Paine Field effort

The Mukilteo City Council has voted to allocate $275,000 to fight establishing scheduled airline service at Paine Field.

Councils in Brier, Edmonds, Lynnwood, Mill Creek, Mountlake Terrace and Woodway will get pressure to take similar action.

They shouldn’t.

It’s not a proper use of tax money to fight a political battle that may be important to some South Snohomish County citizens but not others.

Those who want to fight air service should start a private fund.

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