McKenna on KIRO: Wealthy neighborhood’s private street sold by city

KIRO 97.3 host Dave Ross asked Rob about the controversial sale of a private street in San Francisco. Investors bought the street at auction from the city after the homeowners association for the wealthy neighborhood neglected to pay its $14 annual property tax for three decades. Dave Ross: “Now what about the right to at […]

Seattle needs to get real on housing costs – the whole region does

Raise your hand if you think the best way to make housing more affordable is to impose new costs on developments. Anyone? Anyone? Bueller? Of course, there are some who think that makes perfect sense. Some on the Seattle City Council are forever cooking up new ways to “raise costs for affordability.” On KIRO Radio […]

McKenna on KIRO: Oregon engineer fined for saying he’s an engineer

KIRO 97.3 host Dave Ross asked Rob about the case of Mats Järlström of Beaverton, Oregon, who appealed a red light camera ticket, noting problems with the yellow light timing. He brought the issue to the attention of the Oregon State Board of Examiners for Engineering and Land Surveying. The board was not only uninterested, […]

Inslee politicizes process for export project – to Longview’s detriment

Any large project in Washington must go through an Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) process. In the main, that’s a good thing. An EIS is how we spot environmental problems that could arise and identify how to mitigate those problems. That’s the theory, and for a long time, that’s been the practice in our state. But […]

We’ll have to force government to be more transparent

Open data – perhaps one of the nerdier and more obscure topics we discuss with some regularity on SGW – is clearly the future of government information. The clumsy, time-consuming ask-and-approve public records request system is the past. It’s a creaky old way of doing things that is due for an update. Proacatively publishing government […]

This era might change how the left feels about federalism

Federalism – the idea that states retain powers not granted to the federal government and they should exercise them – has long been more popular on the right. With President Trump in the White House and Republican majorities in Congress, the left is discovering, hey, maybe federalism isn’t so bad after all. If federalism gains […]

The seemingly impossible task of reducing government red tape

Like kudzu – or, around here, Himalayan blackberry – it is the nature of the Regulatory State to expand, rapidly. It justifies itself by proliferating new regulations, and by expanding into new areas. One of the top concerns cited by businesses seeking to grow is the ever-rising number of rules and regulations to follow, and […]

People, small businesses under gov’t glare deserve to know their rights

Most of our interactions with government are like stopping by the local DOL office to renew your license: pretty mundane, and it’ll probably take longer than you’d like. If you or a business of yours has ever been the subject of an investigation or enforcement action, however, you know how stressful it can be to […]

“After-the-fact” fix emblematic of collective bargaining problems

Lobbyists for state employee unions testified in Olympia recently in favor of HB 1521 and HB 1434, two innocuous-sounding bills regarding employee benefits. But with some ambiguous hem-and-haw language in their testimony, the labor lobbyists glossed over a key fact: the benefits the two bills would grant were already bargained into being by their unions […]

State, SEIU dragged kicking and screaming toward change

One way to gauge how seriously a gubernatorial administration takes an issue is to observe how many meetings it devotes to the topic. By that measure, the Inslee administration took the Service Employees International Union’s worries about 2014’s famous Harris case very seriously. The U.S. Supreme Court’s ruling in Harris – that state-reimbursed homecare workers […]