Final Proposition 1 talley shows percent voting yes; contribution reporting error acknowledged

By Doug Petrowski

As the final tally for the April 23 special election was being certified by the county, questions were being raised concerning the reporting of one donation to the YES for MLT Committee during the last campaign cycle.

The Snohomish County Elections Division officially certified the vote count for Mountlake Terrace Proposition 1 as 2,335 (53.4%) voting “yes” and 2,038 (46.6%) voting “no.” The municipal bond measure was defeated as it required a 60-percent yes vote for voter approval.

Meanwhile, representatives from the Mountlake Terrace Nile Shriners and the YES for MLT Committee acknowledge an error was made in the reporting of a $500 contribution to the political group that campaigned for passage of Proposition #1.The donation is listed with the Washington State Public Disclosure Commission (PDC) as a $500 donation from the “Nile County Club” on April 8.

“That was a mistake,” said Mountlake Terrace Nile Shriner Treasurer Dave Ramich.

The only charitable giving that the Mountlake Terrace Nile Shriners do is to the Nile International organization that operates the group’s hospitals worldwide, Ramich said.

The $500 was the amount collected from a March 16 fundraising event put on by the YES for MLT Committee at the Nile Country Club and Golf Course, said Mayor Jerry Smith.

Money collected at the event was delivered to the YES for MLT committee in the form of a check, Smith explained. “But as it came in, it came in as a check from the Nile (caterers), because they collected the door money, then gave us the money.”

“Cheryl Heppner (YES for MLT Committee treasurer) reported to the PDC that $500 came in from the Nile; we all knew what it was, but nobody else did,” Smith added.

Tony Perkins, Lead Political Finance Specialist for the state’s PDC, wasn’t familiar with the YES for MLT Committee reporting error, but has seen errors made in by plenty of groups in the past. He also recognized that errors can be made easily. “They may have come very close to reporting it correctly,” he said, adding, “They should correct their report as soon as possible.”

As for the Citizens Against Prop 1 political organization, they too were registered with the state Public Disclosure Commission, but didn’t report any contributions nor expenditures because they didn’t have to. The group filed under the “mini-reporting” category, which allows groups that do not collect more than $5,000 nor receive a donation of more than $500 from any one contributor to refrain from reporting it’s specific numbers.

Margaret Loiseau, spokesperson for the Citizens Against Prop 1, said the group was well below the thresholds of the mini-reporting requirements, stating the amount of money raised wasn’t even half of the $5,000 limit. “And we didn’t get any donations of more than $100 from any individual,” she added.

Political groups filing under the mini-reporting option are required to open their financial books to anyone requesting to see them during a period of eight days before the election up to Election Day.

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13 Comments

  1. Margaret C. Loiseau  /  May 8, 2013, 12:30 am Reply

    City of Mountlake Terrace
    19/19 100.00%
    Vote Count Percent
    YES 2,335 53.40%
    NO 2,038 46.60%
    Total 4,373 100.00%

    Check your #’s, They are wrong in the story Doug.

    • teresa  /  May 8, 2013, 10:23 am Reply

      Just to clarify — the numbers we reported were initially off by 1 percent. We did correct them. Apologies.

  2. Bob Smith  /  May 8, 2013, 3:47 am Reply

    Wow, Margaret has issues.

  3. Seaun Richards  /  May 8, 2013, 7:54 am Reply

    Margaret, I would say it one more time.

    • Ada Nicky  /  May 8, 2013, 8:10 am Reply

      Wondering what is the reason behind Richards’ comment? Or maybe is as useless as it seems.

      • Bob Smith  /  May 8, 2013, 9:27 am Reply

        Ada, haven’t you figured it out yet? The City Council sees no problem with repeating itself in trying to ram the same thing, twice, down the throats of its electorate. Yet this City Council member calls out a commenter for repeating herself on a blog. What a hypocrite.

        Useless, indeed.

    • Margaret Loiseau  /  May 8, 2013, 10:53 am Reply

      Welcome to the coversation Seaun, its only been going on for a few months now. Last night it said it did not post, so I posted it again. While I have your attention don’t you think it’s time for the city and those representing us to tell the truth and be honest with their #’s.

  4. Ada Nicky  /  May 8, 2013, 8:12 am Reply

    I’m wondering what would be the reason behind Richards’ comment above.. Or maybe its as useless as it seems. *shrugs*

  5. Eiya Wolfe  /  May 8, 2013, 9:38 am Reply

    Doug, thanks for reiterating the Prop. 1 results. Even though our YES campaign didn’t meet the 60% threshold, it’s still gratifying to know that more citizens voted YES than no. Even more encouraging is the positive, progressive momentum that’s building in our city.

    • Bob Smith  /  May 8, 2013, 10:35 am Reply

      There’s that ‘progressive’ word again. I would suggest that the vote results indicate that a smaller percentage of MLT residents were willing to buy into the debt burden this time around than last summer. Isn’t that what the election showed? 57% in favor last time and 53% in favor this time. That’s momentum AWAY from the result your side wanted, isn’t it?. Kind of the opposite of what you allege to be the case.

      What IS occurring are development and expenditures in this city by private companies – witness 56th/236th and Diamond Knot, for instance. That’s not ‘progressive’ effort in the liberal sense, but market forces at work and private capital invested, which are preferable to government spending without accountability.

      To me, ‘progress’ is what I see behind that construction fence at the corner I mentioned above, and behind the glass next to DD Meats. That’s happening using private funds. To those who self-refer as ‘progressive’, it’s really just a term used by those who know that the word ‘liberal’ polls poorly.

  6. James Ito  /  May 8, 2013, 8:45 pm Reply

    I find it interesting that Seaun Richards’ comment garners such attention but Bob Smith stating Margaret Louiseau “has issues” gets by without a peep. I find Bob’s statement offensive.

    I also find it interesting that the one positive comment also receives such a negative attitude. The only suggestion I can see from the comments above are that market forces and private capital will provide what the City needs — new City Hall and needed upgrades and improvements to the Police Station and the Library. Those things aren’t going away and will cost more to build. I don’t understand how those will get done through market forces.

    NO ONE wants government spending without accountability. That mantra does not apply to the City of Mountlake Terrace. But the other mantras are catchy, too. No new taxes. It’s too much. We want a City Hall not a Taj Mahal. Allegations of government wrongdoing. Dishonest City officials. Lies and damn lies. Bullies. Threats. Harassment. Rogers Market is going to close. Cartoons of City officials sitting on a big pile of money. All very effective. However, more votes were cast in favor of Prop 1 this election than the last election. Again, very effective.

    No one likes a sore winner. Instead of continuing to tell us what we should be afraid of and who is to blame, please provide reasonable specific solutions to these infrastructure and safety issues. Please.

    • Bob Smith  /  May 9, 2013, 5:26 am Reply

      Mr. Ito:

      That was someone else calling himself by the same name. Moderator can confirm if necessary.

      I found that comment offensive as well. More offensive is the clownish behavior of a City councilman who did not listen to the message sent by the voters in August, and then ridiculed the comment(s) of a voter, above.

      For the record, I previously have commented specifically about suggestions to streamline a proposal and get it passed and see no reason to do so every time for your benefit. I also see no reason for the losing side’s repeated mention of their majority when the requirement was for more than that. The losing side had a huge funding advantage, City Council backing, demographics pertaining to the last vote, and eight months to work its magic. Result was a worse approval percentage. Time to give that line up, Mr. Ito.

  7. leonard french  /  May 9, 2013, 6:26 pm Reply

    I have raised the issue of distortions by the city in the last two campaigns many times. I have also many times invited anyone who wants to sit down with me and explain the numbers to which I refer. I’m still waiting.

    Anyone who wants to chide the opposition for questioning the city’s accountability should step up. Anyone wondering why the extent of the opposition’s participation doesn’t go further than voting NO (which is, BTW, participating) should speak to their freinds on the city council who never listen to anything other than what they want to hear.

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