SOUTH COUNTY POLITICS: Simple majorities for school levies

  • By Evan Smith Enterprise political writer
  • Tuesday, February 2, 2010 7:54pm

The school levies on local ballots will have an easier time passing than comparable levies four years ago.

The maintenance and operations levies that voters in both the Edmonds and Everett school districts passed four years ago go to voters for renewal in next week’s election.

Four years ago, the levies could pass only with a 60 percent majority with a turnout of at least 40 percent of the turnout in the last statewide election.

That changed with a 2007 state constitutional amendment that reduced the requirement to a simple majority.

The technology levy on the ballot in Mill Creek and the rest of the Everett School District also can pass with a simple majority.

The super-majority still applies to bonds for school construction.

Accessible voting machine in Lynnwood

Voters can use an accessible voting machine at the Lynnwood Library, Monday and Tuesday, Feb. 8 and 9.

The machine is available during the same hours as drop sites, 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. Monday, and 7 a.m. to 8 p.m. Election Day, Tuesday.

While the machines are designed for voters who are disabled, there is no restriction on who can use the machines.

New Mill Creek mayor, mayor-pro-tem

Mill Creek has a new mayor and mayor-pro-tem.

The City Council voted unanimously at its first meeting in January to name Councilman Mike Todd the city’s mayor and Councilwoman Donna Michelson the mayor-pro-tem.

Michelson said Monday that she and Todd were the only nominees for the two positions. She noted that this was the first time in city history that the council voted unanimously on the first ballot for both positions.

A quick selection in Edmonds

After Edmonds City Council members nominated candidates for the vacancy on the council, it looked like the council was headed for another long night. Just a year ago the council took more than five hours to appoint Councilman Strom Peterson.

Three councilmen nominated Diane Buckshnis, two nominated former Councilman Ron Wambolt and new Councilwoman Adrienne Fraley-Monillas nominated former Councilwoman Lora Petso.

It looked like a 3-2-1 split at the Jan. 19 meeting, with a prospect of another 30-plus ballots before any candidate could get the needed four votes for appointment.

But on the first ballot, Fraley-Monillas switched her vote to Buckshnis, giving Buckshnis four votes and the appointment.

Why switch so quickly?

“I could see after the nominations that my candidate didn’t have a chance,” Fraley-Monillas said last week. “Why waste everyone’s time?”

Evan Smith can be reached at

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