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Election to decide city bonds and candidates
By Dennis Box
In less than a week, Bonney Lake residents will make a choice for president, governor and whether to go to town and spend up to 10 million bucks.
The Tuesday general election ballot will list two municipal bond propositions along with George, John and the rest of the gang.
Proposition 1, if approved, would allow the city to spend up to $5 million using general obligation bonds to buy property and equipment for parks and trails.
Proposition 2 would allow the city to spend $5 million in bonds to build a community/recreation center.
Both issues require 60 percent support, a super majority, to pass.
Each bond measure would be paid off in 25 years through an increase in property taxes. The owner of a $200,000 home would see a $47 increase per year.
A special council meeting was held Thursday, concerning the overall plan of the community/recreation center.
Architects Rex Bond and Emily Wheeler from ARC Architects led the meeting. ARC is the firm that has been contracted to design City Hall and provide an outline for the center.
The meeting was well attended by a broad spectrum of citizens, seniors, parents with children, coaches and single folks.
Bond and Wheeler presented pictures of five community center models and asked people to place a blue sticker on the model of their choice.
The teen and kids model was the most popular, which was the Tukwila Community Center.
Second place was the gymnasium model and third was the senior program model.
Jamie Bendon of Bonney Lake, who coaches wrestling in the Sumner/Bonney Lake Parks and Recreation program, felt gymnasium space was very important.
"More gymnasium and multipurpose rooms," Bendon said. "Wrestling mats for example, can be thrown down and used for a number of different programs."
Joy Buss, who brought her 4-year-old daughter Ashleigh, was looking for rooms that could be used for dance programs.
Bond noted the community provided him with the type of information needed to move the design process forward.
"I thought this went really well," Bond said. "We had a really good cross section of the community."
Laurie Carter, spokesperson for both the community/recreation center bond and the parks bond, felt the meeting was a positive step for the community center.
She said the committee continues to put up fliers and wave signs on street corners at every opportunity to raise awareness and support for the two propositions.
"I think it's going fine," Carter said. "Most of the input we've heard is good. People are interested in the money, but it is been very encouraging."
Remember to vote
Along with the two bond propositions there will be a several highly contested races for area voters to cast their ballots.
There are nine choices on the ballot for president, but the big two, Republican George Bush and Democratic challenger Sen. John Kerry are the ones in the TV headlights.
The race for the U.S. Senate seat offers four choices, but is most competitive between Democratic incumbent Patty Murray seeking her third term, and Republican George Nethercutt Jr.
The race for the governor's mansion has heated up in the last few weeks with accusations flying.
Republican Dino Rossi, a former state senator, and Democrat Christine Gregoire, the state attorney general, have been battling it out since the September primary.
The Republicans are hungry for the nice house in Olympia, it's been almost 20 years. Think back to John Spellman.
Ruth Bennett is on the ballot seeking the governor's job, carrying the banner for the Libertarian party.
Bellevue Republican Jennifer Dunn's retirement from the U.S. House has brought on a horse race for the 8th Congressional District seat.
Democrat Dave Ross, a Seattle radio talk show host, is fighting it out with Republican Dave Reichert, the King County sheriff who helped capture the Green River killer.
Spencer Garrett is running for the seat for the Libertarian Party.
Secretary of State is has three candidates running. The incumbent Republican is Sam Reed; Democrat Laura Ruderman scored big in the primary election and the Libertarian candidate is Jacqueline Passey.
The race to fill Christine Gregoire's job as state attorney general features four candidates.
Former insurance commissioner Democrat Deborah Senn and Republican Rob McKenna, who is King County Councilman, are in a hammer and tong race to the wire.
J. Bradley Gibson is running from the Libertarian Party and Paul Richmond is a member of the Green Party.
One of the best races continues to be for Superintendent of Public Instruction, a battle between incumbent Terry Bergeson and challenger Judith Billings, who happened to hold the seat a few years ago.
Four initiatives will be on the ballot and one referendum.
The following initiative and referendum information and more is available in the state voters' pamphlet and online at the Secretary of State's Web site, www.secstate.wa.gov and at the Pierce County auditor's Web site, www.piercecountywa.org/pc/abtus/ourorg/aud/default.htm.
Initiative measure 872
This measure would allow voters to select among all candidates in a primary. Ballots would indicate candidates' party preference. The two candidates receiving most votes advance to the general election, regardless of party.
Initiative measure 884
This measure would create an education trust fund for smaller classes, extended learning programs, certain salary increases, preschool access, and expanded college enrollments and scholarships, funded by increasing retail sales tax by 1percent.
Initiative measure 892
This measure would authorize licensed non-tribal gambling establishments to operate the same type and number of machines as tribal governments, with a portion of tax revenue generated used to reduce state property taxes.
Initiative measure 297
This measure would add new provisions concerning "mixed" radioactive and nonradioactive hazardous waste, requiring cleanup of contamination before additional waste is added, prioritizing cleanup, providing for public participation and enforcement through citizen lawsuits.
Referendum measure 55
This bill would authorize charter public schools and would set conditions on operations. Charter schools would be operated by qualified nonprofit corporations, under contracts with local education boards, and allocated certain public funds.
Dennis Box can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org