Voting light for Plateau primary election

Primary election ballots were dropped in the mail last week by officials in both King and Pierce counties, giving Plateau voters the opportunity to decide relatively few races.

There was so little to decide, in fact, that many voters on the south side of the White River received no ballot at all. There was simply nothing for them to vote on, so ballots were not distributed.

Most of the races regionally have only two candidates, meaning both automatically advance to the November general election. The fall ballot will be much more crowded, featuring city council races in most local communities.

In Enumclaw, voters have only two issues to decide this time around. First is the proposed renewal of the countywide veterans and human services levy, listed on the ballot as Proposition 1.

The financial impact is 5 cents for every $1,000 of assessed property value, or $10 annually for the owner of a $200,000 home. That sum is currently being collected, due to passage in 2005, and would be eliminated should the measure fail this time. If passed, tax collections would be for another five years with a possible increase in the collection rate tied to the cost of living, to a yearly maximum of 3 percent.

The money would be used for both capital facilities and to reduce costs for social issues like homelessness and criminal justice. According to the ballot wording, half the collected funds must benefit U.S. military veterans and their families.

The second item on the primary ballot for Enumclaw residents is a one-man race for a Court of Appeals seat. Only Michael Spearman is running.

In Pierce County, residents of Buckley, Wilkeson and Carbonado will receive no ballot.

Those served by East Pierce Fire and Rescue will help decide the fate of a property tax measure designed to continue funding for emergency medical services.

It is a replacement levy that would allow East Pierce to collect up to 50 cents per $1,000 of assessed property value. The duration of the measure is 10 years.

A second ballot item, also related to East Pierce Fire and Rescue, asks voters to narrow a four-person field to the final two that will advance to November.

Running for the Position 4 seat on the district’s board of commissioners are Rick Kilbourn, Victor Proulx, Patrick McElligott and Edward Egan. Candidate statements are included in the voters pamphlet that all registered voters should have received prior to mailing of the ballots.

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