Monday, April 23, 2007

Huff-Menees Named To Replace Dean Logan

Bremerton resident and former Kitsap County Auditor Sherril Huff-Menees has been named as the new King County elections director. She will report directly to King County Executive Ron Sims, who made the announcement on April 19.

Huff-Menees also previously worked as assistant director of the state lottery and as deputy mayor of Bremerton during Mayor Cary Bozeman’s first term, during the critical period that launched the revitalization of downtown. She had been serving most recently as an assistant administrator in the King County elections department before being tapped for the director’s job. Huff-Menees takes over as the successor to former Kitsap resident Dean Logan, who, demonstrating that the Peter Principle is still alive and well, quit last summer to accept a similar position in the megalopolis of Los Angeles.

It's no big secret that Huff-Menees mentored Logan and gave him his first taste of politics. I hope people won't hold that against her.

The buck stopped with Logan when it came to handing out blame for the screw-ups resulting in the legally contested 2004 governor’s election. That race saw Governor Christine Gregoire win a hand recount by 129 votes, after two previous machine recounts showed Republican Dino Rossi to be the clear winner. The controversy was centered in highly Democratic King County — the only county in the state where the elections director is a political appointee, and not chosen by popular vote. The problems included allegations of voter fraud, including supposedly previously uncounted ballots, problematic provisional ballots, as well as ballots found to be cast by convicted felons, dead voters, and homeless people registered by the Democratic Party, illegally using the King County Courthouse as their “home” address.

Because of all these "irregularities"
(isn't that a polite way to put it?) a lot of people — myself included — believe that King County Elections blatantly stole the election away from Rossi. Considering the spending binge the legislature's been on since Queen Christine has been governor — including hiring an additional 8,000 employees by the time the new budget is implemented — you have to wonder how much better off we'd be had Rossi actually been allowed to take office.

How long Huff-Menees will actually hold the position before King County voters get to decide who gets to keep the job, is a question mark. The King County Council has stated it intends to put a measure on the 2009 ballot that would allow voters to choose the elections director beginning in 2010. Meanwhile, a petition drive is currently under way to give that option to voters in November, setting up a possible February election. Huff-Menees declined to say whether she would campaign for the position if and when it becomes elective.

Sims, who vehemently opposes election of the director — has asked the council to delay a decision on how to fill the position in order to make it "more attractive now to potential job-seekers." Sounds like he doesn't think the voters are fed up enough yet with the situation there.

I worked with Sherril when she was Deputy Mayor and had some interaction with her as Auditor. My opinion of her is that while she understands and participates willingly in partisan politics, she's also a straight shooter who wouldn't allow herself to become part of, or participate in anything on the order of what Logan did in 2004. I hope she doesn't disappoint me.

No comments:

Post a Comment