Mayoral Candidates Talk Housing

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Those looking for a major policy difference between Jan Drago and Greg Nickels can turn to yesterday's housing levy vote--at least for a hint of one. The council approved the levy, 8-0, but Drago failed in her bid to get its amount reduced. Nickels proposed the levy, which, if approved, will raise $145 million over 7 years, and develop or preserve 1,670 housing units and create homes for 9,300 people. Drago wanted the levy lowered to $120 million, saying she is worried that Seattleites are being overtaxed and that, as a result, they are eventually going to say no to levies. (Interestingly, this was similar Nickels' explanation for opposing the parks levy last year--when he worried voters would feel overwhelmed by the requests (all of which passed).)

This isn't the first time Drago and Nickels disagreed on housing-related issues. She voted against the industrial lands downzone in December 2007, and in December of last year, she joined Nick Licata and Bruce Harrell in voting against his incentive zoning program, which allows developers to build more units in exchange for contributing money to an affordable housing fund. Drago argued that the plan would add costs that would discourage builders from adding housing.

Meanwhile, a little Nickelsville in Twitterville: Tweeting from the 43 bus, Norman Sigler calls for permanent tent cities, then clarifies that he'd have permanent tent cities be a short-term option, which sounds like an oxymoron, but seems to mean the tent cities will always be there but the residents will use them short-term. Meanwhile, the impermanent tent city of Nickelsville likely faces another move. Which brings to mind this song.

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