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Candidates for Seattle Mayor in the September primary

Derek Wang
08/23/2005

Seven candidates are running for Seattle mayor in the September primary. KUOW's Derek Wang reports on their positions.

INCUMBENT GREG NICKELS DEFENDS HIS RECORD ON AFFORDABLE HOUSING. HE WANTS VOTERS TO CONSIDER HIS INCENTIVE PROGRAM FOR DEVELOPERS.

Nickels: "I proposed a multi family tax exemption program to people who are building buildings and willing to set aside a certain proportion of the units for moderate income folks. For workforce housing. And we've produced some 500 units as a result of that tool."

NICKELS HAS GIVEN THE SEATTLE MONORAIL A SEPTEMBER 15 ULTIMATIM TO ANNOUNCE HOW IT PLANS TO SAVE THE PROJECT. THE MAYOR ALSO SUPPORTS REPLACING THE ALASKAN WAY VIADUCT WITH A TUNNEL. ALL OF HIS OPPONENTS DISAGREE, SAYING THAT OPTION IS TOO EXPENSIVE.

CHALLENGER LUKE WILLIAMS IS SWIM INSTRUCTOR AND ARMY VETERAN. HE WOULD CREATE AFFORDABLE HOUSING BY CALLING FOR A 1.5% TAX ON PROPERTY SALES, WHEN THE PROFITS ARE MORE THAN 50%.

Williams: "I would want some amount of that to go to a public housing fund to maintain and hopefully build low-income housing, and offer housing to people who are low-income and in the middle class, a group that frequently gets squeezed out."

WILLIAMS SUPPORTS REBIDDING THE MONORAIL PROJECT.

RICHARD LEE PRODUCES A TV PROGRAM ON COMMUNITY ACCESS. HIS PLAN TO CREATE AFFORDABLE HOUSING WOULD FAVOR LOCAL BUSINESSES OVER BIG REAL ESTATE CORPORATIONS.

Lee: "You know we don't like to be the playing cards in some multi-billion dollar transnational game of real estate poker. We don't want that. We want local investors building small scale buildings..."

LEE SAYS THE MONORAIL PROJECT HAS BEEN TROUBLESOME, BUT WOULDN'T SPECIFY A SOLUTION.

CANDIDATE CRYSTAL WOOD IS AN ADMINISTRATOR AT LUTHERAN COMMUNITY SERVICES. SHE WOULD ENCOURAGE MORE AFFORDABLE HOUSING BY TAXING PROPERTY SALES OR RENTALS THAT ARE ABOVE THE MEDIAN PRICE. SHE ALSO WOULD PRESSURE PUBLIC HOUSING AGENCIES TO LIVE UP TO THEIR LEGAL AGREEMENTS.

Wood: "They have contractual requirements to replace a certain amount of units when they reconstruct and the council thus far, really has not taken full advantage of those."

WOOD SAYS SHE OPPOSES THE MONORAIL.

AL RUNTE IS A FORMER HISTORY PROFESSOR AT THE UNIVERSITY OF WASHINGTON. HE WOULD MAKE IT HARDER FOR DEVELOPERS TO GET TAX BREAKS, BUT WOULD OFFER EXEMPTIONS TO THOSE WHO PROMISE TO BUILD AFFORDABLE UNITS. RUNTE ALSO SUPPORTS PUTTING FUTURE HOUSING LEVIES BEFORE VOTERS.

Al Runte: "But at the same time that we're being levied to pay for these things, developers should not be escaping tax free or getting lower property rates on the argument that they're bringing development into the city."

AS FOR THE MONORAIL, RUNTE SAYS HE WOULD CONVENE A BLUE RIBBON COMMISSION OF PROFESSIONAL ENGINEERS WHO WOULD STUDY THE FEASIBILITY OF THE PROJECT.

CANDIDATES JEANNE DIXON AND CHRIS HOEPPNER DIDN'T RETURN REQUESTS FOR AN INTERVIEW. I'M DEREK WANG, KUOW NEWS.

Copyright 2005, KUOW

09.25.18

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