Three-way tie for mayor, bag fee rejected

As expected, the race for mayor is tight as ever, with Mayor Greg Nickels, Mike McGinn and Joe Mallahan neck-and-neck in primary results. Meanwhile, the 20-cent bag fee initiative has been rejected by a wide margin, and Susan Hutchison and Dow Constantine will battle it out in November for King County Executive. You can get the latest wrap-up on the Seattle Times.

Since the election was held entirely by mail, the final results could take several days, especially for close races. Just before polls closed at 8 p.m., one Ballard voter said there was a last-minute rush at the Ballard library. “About 2 people per second are dropping off their ballots,” he tweeted. This is a photo taken earlier today when a rush of early-morning ballots jammed the drop-off box, forcing some people to walk away without casting their vote.

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Reba1
Guest
Reba1

Crap. I'm really sad about the bag thing.
Sorry to all the variety of supporters out there, I know even saying that I supported the bag fee thing will give me grief.
But I was hoping for a change.
Ah well.. I know I'm doing my part albeit the little part that it is.
And now my neighbors will continue to throw their plastic bags all willy nilly in to the recycle bin.
It frustrates me to no end.
Oh well. Congrats to you all. You win.

chopper_74
Guest
chopper_74

aw come on, the recycle bin does not = land fill, right?

datajunkie
Guest
datajunkie

Yeah, its a downer. Maybe even better legislation will come thru in the end.

Uncle Snuffy
Member
Uncle Snuffy

The mayor and city council got a beat down from the voters over this bag thing. It shows you how out of touch they are.
The silent majority has spoken!

er
Guest
er

True, recycling is better than the landfill. But remember, reduce and reuse come before recycle. The energy to keep recycling a bag over and over is more than the energy to make a reusable bag once. When the plastics industry spokesman said they supported recycling, that's because they get to keep making the same bag over and over.

great idea
Member
great idea

why people assume it's their right to get a free bag when you buy groceries is beyond me.

as usual, deep pockets won. thanks for further polluting our world, you jerks.

Reba1
Guest
Reba1

But they arent “recycling” them. They just throw them all in there individually. Or fill them with other things (sometimes not recycling things either). The recycling habits of my neighbors continues to be a thorn in my side every time I bring my clean recycling out there.

Reba1
Guest
Reba1

Oh i wanted to add I live in an apartment building, not a single family thing.

chopper_74
Guest
chopper_74

Here's hoping the beat down isn't over yet. This King County Council had better pay close attention to this vote, clean up their thieving nanny state mind set, or pack their bags.
Yeah, and now there's 39 parks slated to be closed, parks fully funded by a vote of the people two years ago. They had better be held accountable this time.

donarb
Member
donarb

The stupidest thing in the whole anti-campaign were the commercials that said “We're being taxed for something we already do”. Well if you already do it, you won't be taxed. Kind of like the idiots who complain about getting tickets for running red lights.

As for the free bags, they're not actually “free”. I use a cloth bag and get 3-5 cents back every time I use it, so I like the fact that my grocery bills are not higher due to all the “free” bags the stores are giving out.

bscowler
Guest
bscowler

I've brought my own bags to the supermarket for the past six months, and I voted against the bag tax because it was ridiculous.
For centuries merchants have provided their customers with a tool to carry their purchases home. Whether satchels, boxes, or plastic bags, providing a method to carry purchases is a merchant-provided courtesy.
To date, every merchant continues this courtesy, and singling out grocery stores for a bag tax is hypocritical at best.
Additionally, people should be rewarded for good deeds – not punished. Safeway gives shoppers $.03 for every re-usable bag they use while shopping, and QFC donates $.03 for every re-usable bag to charity.
Taxes don't change people's behavior, and I encourage everyone to continue, or to start using re-usable bags while shopping just because it feels so darned good! ;-)

Ballard_Curmudgeon
Guest
Ballard_Curmudgeon

You realize that the entire motivation for the bag initiaitive by the council was to generate money. This was simply an incredibly non-progressive tax that would have made poor people's grocery bills go up by a substantial percentage.

Edog
Member
Edog

If voters were made aware of how much money it cost to pull the plastic out of a jammed the sorting machine, I suspect people would be p8ssed at those who gave away bagss for free.

Alas, ths city did not put out those figures.

raisedbed
Guest
raisedbed

I understand you frustration… but the reason my husband and I did not vote FOR it is because we really did not believe the city knows how to make it successful, or how to manage it! Seriously, who is going to “police” it to make sure the stores are really reporting how much they are taking in on the bag fee? For what will the money collected *really* end up being used? Plus, most people who don't already bring bags with them to the grocery store, probably wouldn't balk much at an extra dollar for 5 bags at the grocery store. Not to mention the exclusions (like hard goods vs. groceries) still meant lots of plastic bags being used! It just wasn't the right plan for now.

If you really want to help, start with your neighbors in your apartment building. Talk to the landlord about making more of an effort to get folks to sort and dispose of things the right way. Landlords can be FINED if tenants are not using the recycling units properly.

Whose to say if this had passed your neighbors would stop the “willy nilly”ness?!?

Zipper
Guest
Zipper

People won't vote for something that will cost them money on a shopping trip that is already costing them money. We need to have a vote to ban plastic bags and see where that takes us.

cinema_goddess
Guest
cinema_goddess

I think it was a combination of the bag tax and the (lack of) response during the snowstorm last year. That pretty much killed Nickels's career.

cinema_goddess
Guest
cinema_goddess

Or be more proactive about offering a discount if you bring your own bags, whether they're cloth or not. I'd be much more inclined to take reusable bags if there is an across-the-board discount for doing so.

I also don't think the city council really took into account the people who can't afford to pay 20 cents per bag and/or can't afford to pay $1/bag for a reusable one.

I also don't appreciate being guilted into recycling or being green in this situation. It should be my choice, not a government mandate.

ballardgiant
Guest
ballardgiant

What a load of crap! So poor people can't afford a reusable bag ($0.99)? So they would throw away 20 cents over and over again and never catch on to reusing bags? It seems to me a very weak argument.

watergirl
Guest
watergirl

And you're all talking about this like it was JUST the plastic bags … it's also the paper bags, leaving no more “store courtesy” alternative. It was just a bad, bad idea. I'm all for reducing and reusing (and I do), but I want my government to trust me as a responsible citizen to make that choice when and how it works for me. I'm responsible in my purchases, and I'm responsible with my recycling (and trash). I don't need Mayor Nickels-and-Dimes intruding into my kitchen to make sure I'm doing things the “right” way. Grrrrr.

Edog
Member
Edog

Bad idea, no it was great policy undone by bad politics. As a matter of policy it works great is areas that adopted the same law. It was bad politics to put such a complicated measure on a ballot. The education and deliberation required to make this happen.. well it never should have left the city council and been handed over to the public.

Edog
Member
Edog

You are mistaken. There were provisions in the masure to address the needs of low income people to get them bags.

Also, the fee was designed to discourage the use of bags – (when people have to pay, the generally use less). Lastly, the city was trying to create a way for to pay for the costs these bags pass on to the city in the form municipal waste issues.

stopthebuzz
Guest
stopthebuzz

“QFC donates $.03 for every re-usable bag to charity. “

QFC donates to charity already, they just do this to let you think you're doing something for charity and that they're doing something for you. I'm fairly sure their charitable contributions haven't increased because of this.

Gurple
Member

The pro-bag-fee argument was outspent, pure and simple. 15-to-1. The “American Chemistry Council”, a Virginia-based plastic industry group, threw in most of the $1.4 MILLION that was spent to kill the fee by blasting out their message.

As a Seattle voter, I'm indignant and disturbed that an out-of-state corporate entity can throw money around in our elections like that, and get what they want with it. It's quite a lot like what happened with Prop 8 in California, though of course the bag fee isn't nearly as big a deal. In both cases, though, democracy got trampled by outside money.

Whether or not you think the bag fee was a good idea, there's nothing good about having our elections manipulated.

Edog
Member
Edog

Oh thats funny, “For centuries” how do you know that?

Consumerism the way we know it today is barely 100 years old.

Zipper
Guest
Zipper

Okay, off of the bag thing and on to the mayoral race. I will be quite sad to see Nickels get edged off of the ballot. I am all for the tunnel and would hate to see McGinn win. The surface street would be O.K., but it would be a shame to squander our one chance to get this right and to put the by-pass underground.

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