‘Voters Feel…Under Represented’ – County Council Candidate Shawn McEvoy
Normandy Park City Councilman Shawn McEvoy says itâ€™s time the Highline area is represented by someone who lives here, and not in West Seattle.
So McEvoy, now serving his second term as an elected member of the city council (he was appointed to fill a vacancy in 2002), recently announced that he is a candidate for the county council from District 8.
The district includes Normandy Park, Burien, the western reaches of SeaTac and Tukwila, North Highline, West Seattle, Vashon and Maury Islands.
McEvoy makes an obvious point.
Former District 8 King County Councilman Dow Constantine, who was elected county executive last fall, lives in West Seattle. So does his replacement to the District 8 seat, former Seattle City Councilwoman Jan Drago.
District 34 State Sen. Joe McDermott, who is not seeking re-election so he can run for Dragoâ€™s seat, also lives in West Seattle â€“ as does District 34 State Rep. Eileen Cody.
â€œI think the voters [in these districts] outside of West Seattle feel under represented, even ignored,â€ McEvoy said. â€œThe political process is heavily skewed to West Seattle. We want representation â€¦
â€œI have the qualifications, I have the experience, and I can do a better job than the other guy,â€ he continued. â€œI understand the issues of King County, the problems and challenges facing King County, and the issues in District 8.â€
His time on the city council â€“ including serving four years as Normandy Park mayor â€“ also gives him the â€œdemonstrated experience to develop a responsible budget, the demonstrated experience to respond to public concerns, and demonstrated leadership skills.â€
McEvoy also points with pride to his â€œstrong environmental record,â€ including salmon habitat recovery efforts in Miller Creek and the Cove that received national recognition from Trout Unlimited.
He is on the steering committee for Water Resource Inventory Area 9, which is responsible for Chinook salmon protection in the Duwamish/Green River watershed.
A five-point â€œimmediate action planâ€ is the framework for McEvoyâ€™s campaign:
- Better communication by King County government with the public.
- Enhanced county partnerships with the cities.
- Ensure that â€œservice levels and funding match. â€œIf we havenâ€™t got the money, donâ€™t spend it.â€
- Stabilize funding of county services.
- â€œWork with county employees to solve problemsâ€ from budget-cutting job furloughs to streamlining the way services are provided â€œto make the county better to work for all of us.â€
These address what McEvoy called King Countyâ€™s â€œimage and relationship problems with mayors, city councils â€“ and citizens,â€ who see county government as â€œbloated, dictatorial, inefficient and Seattle-centric.â€
In the interview, which took place before this weekâ€™s county council vote on a proposed sales tax increase and then a proposed property tax â€œreallocationâ€ to help fund the sheriffâ€™s and prosecutorâ€™s offices and the courts, McEvoy said, â€œIâ€™m a strong believer in public safety.
â€œWhen [Sheriff] Sue Rahr and [Prosecutor] Dan Satterberg tell me itâ€™s important to have these funds [generated by a 2-cent increase in the sales tax], I believe them.â€
Asked about contracts negotiated by public employee unions, which include pay raises and benefit increases at a time the county is facing another multi-million-dollar revenue shortfall, McEvoy added he would â€œcertainly support a study to see if public contracts are in line with the private sector â€¦ or not.
â€œWhether we look to the unions as a first place to cut, [the cost of county government] is still an open question. But public safety and public health are, to me, number one.â€
Noting a recent Puget Sound Regional Council projection that the area will experience a lot of growth by 2040, McEvoy said more roads probably will be needed.
He added his interest in â€œquicker busesâ€ that provide service every 10 minutes to provide â€œa good, cost-effective people mover.â€
Although he was â€œinitially skeptical of light rail,â€ McEvoy said â€œit has started to make sense to me â€¦ we need to look at all [transportation] options and go with what makes sense.â€
But county residents â€œdonâ€™t see much in returnâ€ for the taxes they pay the county,â€ he continued. A â€œclassic exampleâ€ is the way Metro bus service was reallocated. Although more routes were supposed to go to the county rather than Seattle, â€œit hasnâ€™t worked out that way.â€
[PHOTO CREDIT: City of Normandy Park]