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John Batchelor


Rantz: Constantine appoints lackeys to Sound Transit board

(Sound Transit)

Sound Transit has major problems. The agency is routinely over budget and behind schedule. Even more maddening, they lie frequently, and spend our tax dollars on a party no one asked for.

Given the serious issues Sound Transit faces, you’d think King County Executive Dow Constantine would appoint visionaries to serve with him on the board; leaders who will change things. Instead, Constantine appoints lackeys who will never question him. And he has the audacity to celebrate it.

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Constantine recently announced the appointments of King County Councilmember Pete VonReichbauer, King County Councilmember Dave Upthegrove, and Auburn Mayor Nancy Backus. None of these appointees will question Constantine. How can I be so confident? It’s a system designed for it.

“I am pleased to appoint local leaders who share my commitment to creating a world-class regional transit system that knits together our rapidly growing region,” said Executive Constantine in the press release. “They will provide the combination of valuable experience and new ideas we need to meet the strong demand for high-capacity mass transit.”

Constantine touts “new ideas” in this quote, but provides none of them to us. And is Durkan appointed to the board? It’s automatic – the Mayor of Seattle always gets the appointment so she likely didn’t offer any new ideas, just a commitment to what Constantine already believes.

Let me fix his quote since it was already likely prepared by a staff member.

“I am pleased to appoint local leaders who share literally everything I already believe about Sound Transit projects so I can do my bidding without interference,” Constantine admitted in a rare instance of transparency. “You see, I get to pick the board members. The system has been created so that there is little to no dissension and if someone dissents, I could always appoint someone else when the time comes. As a result of being unelected, I have no incentive to do what’s best for the voters so I’ll pick people who will do my bidding, damn the consequences.”

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