Diana Toledo In Race For County Council Seat Despite Rejection of Signatures
by Mark Neuman
Diana Toledo is a self described â€œproactiveâ€ person. That particular proactive quality may have preserved her young candidacy for a seat on the Metropolitan King County Council.
Toledo, a former King County employee, told The B-Town Blog that â€œmy blowing the whistle on gross mismanagement and waste of taxpayer moneyâ€ in King County government resulted in her being laid off May 1 after 15 years of county employment.
â€œI was no longer included in policy-making meetings and I realized I was being pushed out,â€ she said. â€œMy position in management was cut in fake budgetary reorganization. I was told about the position cut while I was on fully protected family medical leave after the birth of my baby.â€
Shortly thereafter, Toledo decided to run for Dow Constantineâ€™s former seat, now held by the appointed Jan Drago, who has opted not to run for election.
Toledo, her husband Jerry and brother David, and â€œlots of grass roots supportersâ€ spent the recent three weeks collecting signatures of about 1,500 voters to get her name on the August 17 primary ballot.
â€œI lost my voice collecting signatures,â€ she said.
A minimum of 1,277 valid signatures had to be turned in by 5pm this past Friday, June 11, to qualify for the ballot. The signatures would waive the necessity of paying a filing fee, which, Diana Toledo said, is $1,277.47.
Before filing â€œwe crossed off about 30 signatures due to coming from voters outside the 8th District,â€ she said. â€œWe turned in about 1,467 signatures on Friday (June 11) at about 10am.â€
Four hours later, three hours before the filing deadline â€œthe lady from the county elections office called to say we didnâ€™t make the cut due to signatures not matchingâ€ original voter signature cards.
â€œThey only went through 900 signatures. The look of someoneâ€™s signature can easily change over, say, 20 years,â€ Toledo said.
â€œI am a proactive person. Weâ€™d been told anywhere from ten to twenty percent of signatures get tossed out for various reasons. So I left a check with the elections office to cover the filing fee in the event we didnâ€™t make the signature cut.â€
Leaving that check kept her name on the ballot.
Diana Toledo began working for King County selling pet licenses door-to-door while a student at the University of Washington.
â€œI worked my way up the system,â€ said Toledo, whose work involved business license inspections.
â€œIn 2006, I was brought in to fix the the animal cruelty investigations program and to repair the county relationship with the animal welfare community,â€ Toledo said.
â€œI would like to see what can be done to save the South Park bridge,â€ which will be closed June 30. â€œWe need to be fiscally responsible. Twenty thousand cars will be diverted daily and many small businesses will be impacted,â€ she said.
â€œWhen I was a baby we were just a stoneâ€™s throw from the South Park bridge. My brothers used to fish from under the bridge.â€
King County Council District 8 includes Normandy Park, Burien, parts of SeaTac and Tukwila, North Highline, West Seattle, and Vashon and Maury Islands.
Also running for the non-partisan council seat are State Senator Joe McDermott, Normandy Park City Council member Shawn McEvoy and South Park resident and professional carpenter Tim Fahey.
The all mail-in primary election ballots will be sent to voters by July 28. The two candidates receiving the most votes will advance to the November 2 general election.