Saturday, November 21, 2009

The Stranger, Reading Today: A Nickname for Mike McGinn?

This question has been posed at the SeattleWeekly, as well as today in the Stranger; what should the be the nickname for the new mayor?

At Seattle Mystery Bookshop, it's time for Derek Haas. Columbus is about an international assassin who is nicknamed "The Silver Bear." I think "The Silver Bear" would be a great nickname for our new mayor.

posted by PAUL CONSTANT on SAT, NOV 21, 2009 at 10:04 AM
Reading Today: A Nickname for Mike McGinn? , The Stranger [Slog].

First, barf, second, I have selected my own nickname for McGinn.

I will be calling Seattle Mayor-elect Mike McGinn Mayor McTaft. This name is for his neighborhood "Dollar Diplomacy" that he is chasing, as well as serving as his own Secretary of War with the Washington State Legislature.

Have a great day,
Mike Baker

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Peter said...

you wrote this on SC:
"Ballmer is not obligated to Seattle, KeyArena, or that deal, beyond 12/31/2009."

from hearing dow constantine on KJR, it seemed like he was assuming ballmer was gonna stay in, at least give us morw time. i think an exact quote was "i will work with ballmer to meet him half way". he also said earlier in that interview that an special session was "highly unlikely" do you think dow knows something we don't?

Mr Baker said...

True, Ballmer, by Dow's assumption, is still in. I trust Dow would know that.
My point was that Ballmer was obligated to act as part of the settlement. The city agreed to let Clay Bennett walk with the $30 mil hanging over his head through the end of this year because Ballmer agreed to be a partner with the Public through the end of the year, and the NBA agreed to support Ballmer and his plan.

As Bennett proved, it takes about 18 months to buy and mice a team.
January 1 Ballmer is choosing to participate, others could choose to participate, or offer to do something completely different. Once the 5 years passes then just about anybody with the will and the money can do anything they want.

Peter said...

does the NBA have to support any plan ballmer agrees to next year if dow is right and ballmer stays in? correct me if i'm wrong, but according to dow, the only thing that changes january 1st is the 30 mil payment to the city possibility is gone, right? what is the possibility ballmer will jettison keyarena jan 1st and fund his own arena?

Peter said...

people seem to be so down on the idea Dow will get anything accomplished to bring the sonics back. i think, however, he gave a very forceful response in the interview he did with KJR. do you think it is just the fact people have come to expect failure on this issue? there wasn't a acceptable arena plan to me until the ballmer plan, and the economy did a good job in killing it this year. it was the worst state defecit in 80 years.

Peter said...

you posted this on SC:
"Dow just happens to be on the right side of reality."

"Bills like 6116 get looked at for the other things in them, and what they can pay for that are being cut in the current budget."

what did you mean by the first comment?
If dow is right and ballmer's still in, 6116 being brought back up next year is a good thing, right?

Mr Baker said...

Sorry Peter, I accidentally turned off email notification for comments.

The State of Washington receives revenue from 36 separate taxing sources. Cities like Seattle have 6 separate taxing sources.

Counties have only two principal sources of tax revenue to support public services – the property tax and the sales tax – a structure that dates back to the farm-based economy of the 1850’s. This explains why the State and Seattle are able to increase programs and build revenues while the Executive’s budget proposes drawing down reserves, using furloughs and making cuts.

King County is now the 13th most populous county in the nation, with nearly 1.8 million residents, and is the second largest provider of government services in Washington State.

By voter initiative, the amount of property taxes levied by counties can only grow 1 percent per year, plus the revenues from new construction. As a result, revenues for counties are only growing 2 to 3 percent a year, while expenses for the same level of services are rising 4 to 5 percent a year. This gap is what’s often referred to as the “structural gap” in King County’s budgeting.

Annexations and incorporations also reduce the County’s tax base, as previously unincorporated areas send their tax revenues to cities.

Federal and state governments have also made significant reductions to their support of vital human services and left other critical needs unfunded, leaving it to counties to fill the gap.

The reality is that King County (and county) has two main direct revenue sources. No matter who is Executive the kind of revenue sources do not match up with the kind of expenditures.
Between arts and cops, coos will win in budget battles. The restriction of how much can be raised vs the rising cost of everything means that this is an unending battle as-is.

Ross Hunter already said, when the state budget shortfall was announced, that he could be back to push for flexability for counties.
Both Hunter and Constantine are already on the side of collecting tourist taxes to pay for tourist infrastructure (arts, cultural stuff). If they can also get other things like public health, outreach partly funded by taxing rental cars and hotels they are going to do it.
The reality is the funding structure, the right side is aligning the kinds of revenue with similar kinds of things.

Seattle provides many services in coordination with King County, they have a shared problem.
It is hard to get businesses, or citizens in general, to carry a tax their operating budget if they do not see some kind of direct return on the tax.
Hotels want to see infrastructure that, as Ross Hunter says, "puts heads in beds".

These tax changes are coming, the county is plainly pointing the issue out on their budget page. Good thing for us that he sees the benefit to supporting bills like SB6116.

I rambled, sorry.

Peter said...

so it sounds like if ballmer's still in next january of february, there is a fair chance 6116 passes and we get a new nba team?

Mr Baker said...

Fair chance? It is possible, and there are many reasons for that to happen.
How the politics play out over the next month are unknowable.

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