In his challenge Sherwin argues that the ballot title does not make clear that:
•The state has not agreed to a four-lane tunnel.
•No significant funding has been secured for the tunnel option. (The city says the funding is secure.)
•Seattle residents may have to pay certain taxes and tolls.
•All cost overruns would be the sole responsibility of the city of Seattle.
The whole process for deciding how to handle damage to the Viaduct — from the start six years ago to to this pointless election — has been phonied-up to reach a preordained result: the Tunnel. Kudos to Sherwin for trying to make the vote a fairer and more truthful one, (even if pointless as it is "advisory.") Well done, Peter.
Btw, whether they like it or not, people who favor the Surface option and people who favor the Retrofit (and hey! people who favor the Bay Bridge, too) have at least one big thing in common: they've been cheated by WSDOT, whose process has not been a fair-handed one. None of these three options have been given a fair shake. Which political leaders have actively cooperated in this charade — this analysis of options based on "winks" — I have no idea. But the City Council must share a major part of the responsibility. By accepting an artificial limit on the discussion, they have been forced into a situation in which the only two options they can offer the voters are the Unaffordable (a Tunnel which even the State doubts) and the Ridiculous (Rebuild creating a viaduct far more intrusive than the one we have now.) They have been hoist by their own petard because they rigged (or allowed the process to be rigged) so that their Tunnel would look good. Unfortunately, we the voters are also hoist.
The Council, if it had any brains and integrity, would (with the Governor and the Speaker's acquiescence, of course) withdraw the vote in favor of a rapid study of the Steinbrueck compromise. If it doesn't do so, I think it will lose to a "No and No" sentiment so vast as to reflect a vote of "no confidence" in their stewardship.