After latest returns, Civic Center yes campaign says passage of bond measure unlikely

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Updated with No on Proposition 1 comment and statement

The Yes on Proposition 1 committee ended its campaign on a positive note Friday night, issuing a statement that declared success for getting a majority of  yes votes for a $25-million bond sale to fund a new Civic Center, even though the percentage wasn’t enough to put the measure over the top.

The latest vote count from the Aug. 7 election, released Friday, showed the yes side with 533 additional votes compared to 407 votes against the measure. As a result, the percentage of yes votes actually dipped slightly — from 57.03 percent of the total Thursday to 56.95 percent Friday. A 60-percent vote was required for passage.

“Where some might see this as failure, we see it as a success,” a statement issued by the campaign said. “While we didn’t succeed in getting the measure passed what did happen was the community was brought together and rallied around a positive issue.”

If it has been approved, Proposition 1 would have authorized the city to raise $25 million through the sale of municipal bonds to build a new city hall, build a new community/senior center, remodel and enlarge the current police station, upgrade furnishings and the roof of the library building, and construct outdoor campus space on the southwest corner of 232nd Street Southwest and 58th Avenue West.

The Yes campaign committee noted that “this issue won’t go away,” adding that the Mountlake Terrace City Council will have some tough decisions ahead. “We are still renting space for City Hall with no source of financing after mid-2014. Our police are still working in cramped and potentially unsafe conditions. Our library is still in desperate need of repairs. Our senior center is still bursting at the seams,” the statement said.

Looking ahead, the committee said it will regroup and ask for feedback from all those who voted both for and against the measure. “Together we will solve these issue and help move Mountlake Terrace move forward,” the campaign said.

Speaking for Proposition 1’s opponents, Margaret Loiseau responded to the yes campaign’s statement, stating it is “one take on the way this whole city hall thing has played out, but it is by no means inclusive of the entire context.

“Not having a real source to pay rent, not just after 2014, but right now, was the Achilles heel of this strategy from the beginning,” Loiseau said. “By betting that within five years they could coax or coerce with misinformation 60 percent of the people into a commitment of unprecedented size, the City misread both the economy and the citizens they represent.

“As they note, this isn’t over,” Loiseau added. ” If they really want a solution rather than a continuing battle they should spend their time proposing an affordable ballot measure an overwhelming majority could support when the entire community is in town and engaged. Try November.’

Mountlake Terrace Prop 1
Results as of 5 p.m. Friday, Aug. 10
Vote Count Percent
YES 2,066 56.95%
NO 1,562 43.05%
Total 3,628 100.00%

Statement from the Yes on Proposition 1 campaign:

Friends, the good news is that the vast majority of Mountlake Terrace residents are in support of the Civic Center project. You have said loud and clear that you are behind the vision of a vibrant city full of culture, life, and economic opportunity.

A 14-percentage point spread would be considered a blowout in most races. We needed at least 60-percent of the vote, though, and unfortunately it looks like we aren’t going to reach that threshold. Where some might see this as failure, we see it as a success. While we didn’t succeed in getting the measure passed what did happen was the community was brought together and rallied around a positive issue.

Let us be clear: this is not over and this issue won’t go away. We are still renting space for City Hall with no source of financing after mid-2014. Our police are still working in cramped and potentially unsafe conditions. Our library is still in desperate need of repairs. Our senior center is still bursting at the seams.

The City Council has some tough decisions to make in the coming weeks and months. We will be keeping you updated as the process moves along. The yes campaign will be regrouping and will be asking for feedback from all of our supporters as well as those who voted against the measure.

Together we will solve these issue and help move Mountlake Terrace move forward.

Statement from the No on Proposition 1 campaign

Digging in their heels on $25 million and then discussing how much they can get with only a 50-percent vote instead of 60 percent doesn’t sound like a real start on reconciling our differences. Especially since they just spent two months saying how stupid paying rent is, which is what the levy lid lift requiring only 50 percent is all about. What they really want is to raise our taxes a lot temporarily in order to buy time to convince us to raise them a lot permanently.

Maybe they still don’t get the bigger picture.  They cannot dictate what people think they can afford.

 

1 COMMENT

  1. Perhaps if a business case can be made to the residents of MLT on how the apparent push to cater to Senior Citizens (focus on community Center as a Senior Center; new construction for an Assisted Living Facility; and a new building with residential units only for 55 and over) in the Town Center will benefit them when recent data suggests MLT is a community of young families with young children. For the next vote I’d probably vote yes on the basis the new construction would resurrect our home value faster so we could sell and move out to a community with better schools. Focus should be on our schools and our young families (like us). But of course most likely they will not generate the revenue Seniors would most likely guarantee.

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