Lid Lift Fails — How Stunning

In Brynn Grimley’s story Wednesday about the library lid lift failure, she quotes the regional library chief as being “stunned.”

“I’m really pretty stunned because we didn’t have any formed opposition,” said Kitsap Regional Library Director Jill Jean. “I think what we’re getting is a real backlash” against taxes.

This is not to take a shot at Jean, but I wonder why anyone is stunned anymore when a proposed tax increase fails with the voters.

Well, you could look at the last 24 times that local voters were asked to approve taxes for local taxing districts, going back to 2004. Of those, 15 measures passed. That makes it seem like the odds are pretty good.

But wait, six of those were for fire districts, with at least one win coming after an earlier defeat.

Of the other nine that passed, seven were measures to keep existing funds in place. The two that passed where more spending was requested was a Bremerton School District capital bond measure in 2005 and a similar one on Bainbridge Island in 2006.

The nine that failed include the library lid lift, the South Kitsap School District measure from March, the fast ferry item in February, a law and justice tax in 2005, a Bainbridge technology levy the same year, a Fire District 7 levy in 2004, a Bainbridge fire department lid lift earlier that year and the city’s park district excess levy, which failed to get the 60 percent required.

In 2004 I was covering Bainbridge and writing a column from the Bainbridge Islander publication the Sun sends to BI residents. After the fire levy defeat I wrote,

If you’re going to make the case that you need that money, you better have some pretty convincing evidence and some believable people on your side. Anti-tax moves come with a decided advantage. . .
The bottom line is neither the fire district nor the park district did enough to convince voters this year that their increases were necessary. They couldn’t overcome criticism that came from credible sources.

Perhaps taxing district leaders should study carefully the book “The Tipping Point” by Malcolm Gladwell. In the book Gladwell explains several ways in which large groups of people start heading in the same direction. The library levy effort had some notable supporters, but they obviously didn’t reach about 29,709 voters in a meaningful way.

29 thoughts on “Lid Lift Fails — How Stunning

  1. I just think that it is not wise to have these elections not fall in November. Voter turnout is always going to be low in off elections and the anti-vote is always going to be higher. I bet that both this and the foot ferry election would have passed if they had it in November 08.

  2. Excellent reason to have the votes now: both were lame ideas that didn’t pass the voter smell test.

    Did you see the number of BI politicos and intelligensia that used their best “shame” tactics to get the YES vote. Yawn !!

    KRL — get back to the core mission, tighten the belt and hold off all the “nice-to-have” programs you never had funding for. Breathe deeply and you’ll be OK once the hidden truth is obvious to you.

  3. Jacob — the Dem — is saying he wants these issues to ride on the donkeytails of another sweep of local elections. The problems with Jacob’s calculation is issues of fiscal extravagance are not issues the Dems have a lock-hold on — YET !!

  4. Jacob,

    Are you saying that voters who desire a tax increase only vote in major elections? As Sharon said, almost everyone gets thier ballots in the mail. Do those people just throw them away?

    I have a feeling that the library lost because people are tired of giving out more money.

    By the way, since you are so “in the know”, what tax cuts are people in Olympia working on? Or are they still tied up with lowering gas prices?

  5. What I am saying is that election in spring time have a low voter turnout and have different results than November elections. The lid lift failed by only 6 Points and that could have been taken up if they had the election last November. Having lots of little elections helps the opposition by guaranteeing a low voter turnout. Also if they had it on Election day in November it would help by getting election candidates to take a stand on the various levy issues.

  6. It obviously isn’t necessary to have organized opposition to a ballot measure in order for it to fail, but I suppose the director thought the absence of opposition made failure very unlikely.

    I wonder if things would have been different with a different approach by KRL.

    Assuming the requested levy increase of more than 70 percent was reasonable, would it have turned out differently if KRL had explained the major “line items” and their dollar costs to show why they wanted a $6.1 million dollar revenue increase to cover a projected $2.1 million deficit?

  7. Jim C. The Washington State legislature is not in Session and won’t be until January. Even then the transportation funding packages are funding mega projects that are already under way. Cutting a few cents that the state takes at the pump is no where near the gouging that Oil Barrons in Houston and Riyadh are pulling on you.

    However I would not be surprised to see Congressman Inslee subpoena oil executives before his committee and find out what kind of gouging is going on.

    Personally I think it is every American’s patriotic duty to use as little petroleum as possible. Keeping America addicted to Middle Eastern oil helps the terrorists.

  8. Mr. J. Metcalf — you must be careful about believing some of the nonesense that comes from your party. Congressman Jay “Liberal-white-guilt-gone wild” Inslee is sooo silly that he is getting to be a liability for the First Congressional District of Washington.

    Is JM going to be riding his bicycle to get around or his hybrid car with a link to the electrical grid?

    JM — be a critical thinker and stop with the talking points.

    KRL — NEXT TIME there will be organized resistance to overblown demands for funding.

  9. James why do you love to help the terrorists when you encourage people to buy Saudi oil?

    Why do you hate an energy independant America so much that you want to work against an energy indipendant America?

  10. Jake: For the first time I can remember, I agree with you. We need to conserve fuel for our own sake and for thje good of the nation. Lets start by shipping as many illegal aliens as possible back to thier home country. That will mean millions fewer consumers, and milloions of gallions of fuel saved.

  11. Jacob, you are right. We need to start drilling for the oil we have within our borders and build more refineries. Heck with them Arabs!

  12. I am not so sure. I’ve seen a lot of poor immigrants on the bus while I’ve seen a lot of gas wasting SUV with W04 stickers.

    Who do you think wastes more gas? The Republican in the SUV or the immigrant that takes the bus to their job cleaning up after the rich Republican.

  13. Jacob — in answer to your question about wasting gas — illegal immigrants riding on empty buses all over King/Pierce/Kitsap County on nearly empty HOV lanes while everyone else crawls along at 3 MPH is more wasteful than your nightmare SUV driven by a Republican.

    As for a W04 stickers on SUVs, actually I generally see them on family vehicles with a Mom, Dad and children riding in them. On the other hand the “WAR COSTS $$$”, “KERREDWARDS ’04”, “I’M A PROGRESSIVE” or “HILLARY -08” bumper stickers are on cars where it looks like the stickers were applied during a crazy drug binge.

    Jacob — keep on that bicycle regimen you touted recently. Watch out for the potholes that local government didn’t manage to get filled.

  14. It’s amazing library’s are failing, but money is found to start a spanish immersion program. It’s a sad day in our education system.

  15. illegal immigrants riding on empty buses all over King/Pierce/Kitsap County

    Are you claiming that you can tell who’s a legal immigrant vs. who’s not, JUST BY LOOKING AT THEM???Or, are you REALLY saying that “they all look alike” to you?Both possibilities are equally absurd. And one of them is racist.

    As for a W04 stickers on SUVs, actually I generally see them on family vehicles with a Mom, Dad and children riding in them.

    Wrong. Almost all of the few remaining W04 stickers are on very large pickup trucks driven by middle-aged white guys who are alone in the vehicle. I suspect there aren’t very many remaining W04 stickers out there because most people who voted for Dubya are embarrassed and have removed them, and I don’t blame them.

  16. Liberal Curmudgeon — get your eye prescription checked. Your bumper-sticker profiling is off-the-mark but it could be a simple prescription issue.

    Are you questioning the Honorable Jacob “Jake” Metcalf’s ability to profile the “illegal immigrants” he stated he saw on the buses? Direct your challenge to him.

    When you put your “billHillary ’08” sticker on your micro car, aim to get it on squarely on your bumper — be a left-wing iconoclast.

    And where have all the kerryedwards ’04 and goreliberman ’00 stickers gone from our Kitsap highways?

  17. Jaime Olsen,

    Jacob didn’t say he saw illegal immigrants, but you did. So I’m challenging you.

    Now answer my question. Do they all look alike to you, or are you claiming some mysitical ability to determine someone’s immigration status just by looking at them?

    Oh, and in case you’re wondering why I’m more likely to believe Jacob and not you, the answer is obvious. I’m much more likely to believe the one who wasn’t accused of perjury.

  18. Liberal Curmugeon — ambulance-chasers attorney are in fact pests a world lives with when acts of courage are taken against public officials who do Class C perjury over voter fraud.

    First take Jacob “Jake” to your woodshed for re-programming, then get your eye prescription updated, then get a name.

  19. James, isn’t it great to be schooled on personal responsibility from someone who has maneuvered them self into a position to have none?

    Speaking of stickers, the best one was on dirty beige, diesel Volvo the other day. This person was so against ISC and the “horrors” that this sport would impose on Kitsap that they handwrote a sign in the back window that said “ISC 0, Kitsap 1. Oh, boy this person is really doing their part to save Kitsap and keep it green. In fact they were so concerned about preserving the existing environment, that they are not paying attention to their own car and forgoing a visibly much needed front end alignment. While attempting to save the rest of us, they ignored the uneven tire wear that is causing their petroleum based tires to wear out faster and is reducing their gas mileage. But the motto is, “it is their right to point out what they think others are doing wrong, not take responsibility for their own property or actions”.

  20. Well James Since your a right wing thug awaiting trial for lawsuit fraud I am not going to go out of my way to take time and respond to your inane pro-internment camp racist rantings.

  21. Jaime,

    I’m still waiting for you to answer the question. Take responsibility for your actions and the statement that YOU made.

    Do they all look alike to you, or are you claiming some mysitical ability to determine someone’s immigration status just by looking at them?

  22. Jacob “Jake” Metcalf — “lawsuit fraud” for speaking the incovenient truth about elected Kitsap officials — hmmm, that’s a good one but not believable.

    Check out competition to Steve Gardner’s site http://www.614DivisionStreet.blogspot (article: Is Josh Brown a felon?) for real voter fraud. Or do a Google search “Josh Brown felony.”

    Liberal Curmellion — by the way, what is your real name and when are you scheduling the trip to the woodshed for re-education program on illegal immigration think?

  23. Jim, asking for someone’s “real name” where you mix your posts with your “shogun” alias seems a bit disingenuous don’t you think?

  24. Jacob “Jake” Metcalf — the truth is an inconvenient reality for some electe4d officials — as you well know. Reciting courtroom testimony — given under oath — may be a smear in your simple world but it is the testimony In re the Election of Joshua W. Brown.

    Did Curmedgeon take you back to illegal-immigrant re-education lesson out behind the woodshed yet? Let us know how it goes.

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