by Jack Mayne
Even as King County Elections schedules the recount of Proposition 1’s razor thin win at the polls, “Working Washington” has slated a march down International Boulevard Thursday (Dec. 5) morning from 9:30 a.m. to 11 a.m.
Working Washington, an affiliate of the Service Employees International Union, plans the march to continue beyond SeaTac to Tukwila and on to Seattle.
The SeaTac Police and the city’s public works department will escort the “moving march,” says a SeaTac city press release, adding the union expects 100 people and to be supported by “a sound truck in the front and a bus in the back.” No stops, but the city says to “be aware of the potential impact on vehicular traffic as they proceed north.”
City Council member Pam Fernald objects to the street closure.
“I object to the city of SeaTac closing International Boulevard – for what I believe is the third time this year – for this labor activity,” Fernald wrote in an e-mail to city officials. “I see no reason they cannot walk on the sidewalk and shoulder. Let them walk – we have ‘safe streets’ in SeaTac, but do not close our main drag. It is time for some balance.
“I think closing International Boulevard is a mistake.”
Following Fernald’s e-mail to City Manager Todd Cutts, the city Website added a paragraph to the initial permit approval of the march on the city street.
“In order to ensure the safety of the participants, the city requires a permit when city right-of-way will be impacted,” the city said. “As part of this permit, the permit applicant is required to reimburse the city for the cost of any services that are provided.”
Meanwhile, the King County Elections Department says the hand recount of Proposition 1 ballots will be done by a canvassing board next Monday.
Sherril Huff, director of the elections department, told Scott Ostrander, general manager of Cedarbrook Lodge and head of the committee opposing the measure that the recount will begin at 9 a.m. on Monday (Dec. 9) at the King County Elections Building.
Huff said the county Canvassing Board will certify the results of the recount at 3 p.m. on Tuesday, Dec. 10, 2013.
People who want to view the recount proceedings can do so at the King County Elections Building in Renton, “subject to reasonable and equitable guidelines.”
Heather Weiner, of the “Yes” committee, says in an e-mail the unions supporting the measure “will have our trained observers and lawyers there, though we are confident the recount will not change the outcome of the vote.”
Cedarbrook plans expansion
Then Weiner says Cedarbrook Lodge plans an expansion, “despite passage of Proposition 1.”
Even though it was a prime opponent of Proposition 1, Weiner said Cedarbrook Lodge announced a groundbreaking on Dec. 12th for a “massive expansion, including a new guestroom building, featuring 67 guestrooms; two Presidential Suites; and a full service, and a ‘quintessentially Northwest resort spa.’”
Scott Ostrander in a telephone interview Wednesday morning confirmed the expansion but said he would not characterize the expansion as “massive,” but “we are adding 67 rooms” for a total of 171 rooms.
“By moving forward with the expansion, in spite of the passage or defeat of Proposition 1, we are going to be adding jobs to the SeaTac market and that is something we are proud of.”
Ostrander said passage of the measure would increase Cedarbrook’s labor costs “quite significantly.”
“Labor costs already account for 60 percent of our total expenses and we will be obviously increasing (wages for) at least 82 of our 117 employees if Proposition 1 passes,” Ostrander said. “There is certainly a significant financial impact, or burden, if Proposition 1 were to pass. By us moving forward with expansion, that simply allows us to drive more revenues, create greater efficiencies and attempt to over come the expense – the burden placed on us by the potential passage of Proposition 1.”
Cedarbrook is and will continue to be one of the smaller lodging properties in SeaTac, but is considered the city’s only luxury facility.