The anti-monorail closet, that is. "I'm voting against it," Pelz says, citing what he calls the monorail agency's "dishonesty" on its ridership numbers, cost and revenue estimates, and the likelihood that the neighborhoods it passes through will demand mitigation. "The problem with the monorail is, I think they're deceiving the public as much [as] or more than Sound Transit did." So far, no elected official has publicly opposed the little elevated train that could— perhaps because many figure if not light rail, then what?
Pelz cautions against that reasoning. Monorail fans, he says, "have been criticizing light rail for a long time and saying they aren't going to do what Sound Transit did, and in my mind they're doing exactly what Sound Transit did: They're downplaying the costs." Pelz says that although he might not join the official Citizens Against Monorail campaign, "I may start speaking against the monorail." . . .
Speaking of CAM (and wouldn't Seattle Citizens Against the Monorail have been a much better name?), the Seattle Ethics and Elections Commission has dismissed an ethics complaint filed with the commission two weeks ago. The complaint that led to the investigation involved a meeting between monorail opponents, Pelz, an aide to Seattle City Council member Richard Conlin, and others at the offices of P.R. firm Gogerty Stark Marriott. At issue was whether CAM officially formed at the meeting, which would have required the group to file paperwork with the commission within two weeks; that the use of Gogerty Stark Marriott's offices was an unreported campaign contribution; and that Sara Nelson, an aide to Conlin, participated in a campaign meeting on city time. Ethics commission director Steve Gross dismissed all the charges, finding that "there is no reasonable ground to believe a violation has occurred." . . .
What the hell is going on at JAMPAC? The phone line's been disconnected. The Web site is "temporarily unavailable." At least one board member has resigned. And the group's only paid staffer, executive director Angel Combs, is "taking a break" —indefinitely—from running the music-industry lobbying group. Is this a meltdown? Board member Allen Draher, an attorney at Preston Gates & Ellis, says JAMPAC decided to close its doors after the group "took on some things that were more expensive than we anticipated. We're struggling a little financially."
Combs, the group's chief fund-raiser, acknowledges that money has been tight. But Combs says JAMPAC attorney Dave Osgood is being paid for his work on the group's unsuccessful lawsuit against the (now-dead) Teen Dance Ordinance.
However, JAMPAC's larger problem may be focus, not funds. Now that the Teen Dance Ordinance and the poster ban are relics of the city's paternalistic past, JAMPAC's next battle is far from clear. "The Teen Dance Ordinance has dominated our work and been our focus for the last four years," Combs says. "This is a time for trying to decide what issues we want to get involved in." Erica C. Barnett