1. Officer Candidate Forum - Monday, September 11 (12 noon, 7th floor conference room, King Street Center) and Elections Schedule
    Come meet and ask questions of the candidates running for TEA officer positions.

  2. Elections Schedule

TEA Candidates Forum & Election Schedule

The Nominating Committee is hosting a "Meet the Candidates" forum this coming Monday, September 11 (12 noon) in Conference Rooms 7044 and 7045 (7th floor, King Street Center).  This is a chance to be introduced to the candidates running for TEA officer positions and to ask them questions prior to voting.  The following is a list of the candidates:

President:  Roger Browne, Eric Mandel
Vice President:  Adé Franklin
Secretary:  Diane Fjarlie, Ken Madden, Marilyn Toth

Ballots will be distributed to the Council of Representatives at their noon meeting on Tuesday, September 12 to distribute to work unit employees.  You may turn in your ballots to Patty Overby, TEA Secretary; to your Council of Rep., to another Board officer; or bring with you to the Annual TEA meeting on Wed., 9/20 at noon.

TEA Officer Candidate Statements
(listed in alphabetical order by last name for each position)


Roger Browne

"Having narrowly escaped being elected to this office once before, you may wonder why I am running for President again.  We were invented as a member driven organization, but we have been drifting away from that.  Member participation has fallen way off and the Board has adopted a top-down management style that doesn’t fit who we are.  

In a couple of recent board decisions, we have voted, inexplicably, to act against the best interests of TEA by throwing away some of the complaints in a ULP filing.  Our lawyer advised us this would severely weaken our case, but we did that anyway.  In my view, this is a result of some members bickering with the lawyer, and not based on a well reasoned, member oriented logic.  Under my leadership, I will publicize the voting record on every issue, so that you, the members, can understand who represents your interests and who does not.  Let’s have an end to secrecy and restore democracy to TEA.  Regardless of who our lawyer is in the future, we must understand that while we know internal issues, none of us know labor law well enough to ignore legal advice.

In bargaining, the President is supposed to monitor the progress and ensure that there is a consistency of approach between Transit and Wastewater.  In recent times, the President has exercised a deciding vote in steering the committees.  If I am President, I will shamelessly try to influence the bargaining committee decisions.  But, I will not vote.

I want to make the monthly meetings worth attending.  To that end, I will publish more of the routine updates in the TEA times and devote a greater portion of the meeting to “good of the order” topics.

Lastly, I intend to restore the guest column to the TEA times.  We need to hear more from members.  I promise not to censor them, just send em in.  I’ll start.  Thanks, and I hope to have your vote!"

Eric Mandel

"Hi – I am honored to be running for re-election as your TEA President, and happy that you can choose between two good candidates.  I have worked very hard on your behalf, and hope to continue to do so with your support.  During my time as TEA President I have been responsible for the following major accomplishments: 

My goal in running continues to be to move TEA forward as a more professional organization as we evolve and mature, creating a more positive orientation to have more productive engagement with the County, and to move away from the purely confrontational mode that seems to keep us in high conflict, contributing to years of delay before our labor contracts are resolved.  I think we can protect members’ rights and advance their cause better this way, and everything I’ve experienced so far and heard in labor conferences I’ve attended further convinces me of this.  

[I]f re-elected I would like to continue to improve relationships with County management and other unions to strengthen the cause of organized labor and continue advocating for your professional well-being.  As I have done in the past, I will look for ways to share work opportunities across bargaining units so TEA employees can continue to provide excellent and professional services to King County customers.  I will also continue to promote the benefits of TEA to other non-represented employees in Wastewater & Transit.  I will continue to expand the successful use of in-house mediation to resolve problems when appropriate, using the skills of our Grievance Committee and others.  I will continue to listen to and respond to your concerns, and keep up the two-way communication with you, the TEA membership that we all value.  Thank you for your support and I hope to keep working hard on your behalf!"

Vice President:

Ade´ Franklin
(Mr. Franklin is the only candidate running for this office. There is no statement submitted.)


Diane Fjarlie

"Hello.  I am running for TEA Secretary. I am currently working in the Major Capital Improvements Program in the Wastewater Treatment Division as an administrator.  I’ve become more involved with TEA since it has taken a positive turn in working with the Wastewater management team.  My experience has been that adversarial relationships make working together unproductive and unpleasant.  I am on the current Wastewater negotiating team and am very pleased by the comfortable atmosphere of our negotiations.  I was appointed to the TEA Grievance Committee earlier this year, which will provide an additional opportunity to become more involved with TEA.

I have great experience for this position.  This is dating me, but during 1985-1990 I worked on the management side of negotiations with Local 6, attending all of the negotiation meetings and taking notes.  It wasn’t unusual for us to meet anywhere from 8 to 24 hours at a stretch, and for the negotiations to go on for months.  It was a great learning experience.

From 1990-1993 I was a council assistant for Metro, supporting numerous committees and subcommittees, including the Transit Committee, Transit Operations Subcommittee, and the Joint Regional Policy Committee (precursor to the Regional Transit Authority, later renamed Sound Transit), and so I am familiar with transit as well as wastewater.  I wrote meeting notes for all of the committees I supported, paraphrasing lengthy Councilmember discussions.  The notes were sometimes 20-24 pages long.

I would like to see our legal firm replaced.  My observation is that our lawyers have been unprepared when they come to meetings – they have outdated handouts, rush to find the correct files and print them out, fumble around with papers, making copies, etc.  We have lost precious time during negotiations because of this, and it doesn’t make us look good.  It’s also costing us more money because of the lost time.

Patty Overby has done an outstanding job as TEA Secretary.  If elected, I will follow Patty’s role model and work to continue to improve TEA’s relationship with our management teams and provide you timely and accurate information.

In summary, I have a lot of experience working with labor organizations and writing meeting notes, and feel I would be an excellent addition to the Board.  I think it would also be good to have someone with administrative experience, and I would be the only woman on the Board, both of which would bring a perspective that would be otherwise missing.  Thank you for your support."

Ken Madden

Thank you for taking the time to read each candidate statement and for participating in the election process.  The success of TEA depends on an active membership, dedicated volunteers and sound business practices.   Our collective participation in the election and administrative process is an indicator of the strength of our labor organization.

I’ve been an active member of TEA since 1997 when the impact of the Metro-King County merger and Class/Comp project became clear.  I was elected TEA Treasure in 1999 and again in 2001 and then elected President in 2002.  I served as President until Sept 2004 when I stepped aside in order to serve as a Trustee on another non-profit corporate Board.  I have recently fulfilled that commitment.  I currently serve on the Grievance Committee and the Transit Negotiating Committee.

My goal as TEA Secretary is to continue the excellent work that our current Secretary, Patty Overby has accomplished during her tenure, particularly in the areas of improved communications (TEA Times, email notices and bulletins), official recordkeeping (the Secretary maintains TEA’s official files and records),  elections management (the Secretary designs the forms and manages the election process), creating accurate meeting summaries, and participating with the TEA Executive Board.  

I’m currently a project manager for Metro Transit.  I’m also a licensed Civil Engineer in the State of Washington.  I received my Engineering Degree from Georgia Tech in 1980 and worked for the Environmental Protection Division there until 1985.  I moved to Seattle in ‘85.  From ’85-’89, I worked for two consulting firms, KCM and Brown & Caldwell, and then joined Metro’s Water Pollution Control Division in 1989.  While working at Metro, I earned a Masters Degree in Public Administration from the UW in 1996.  In 2003, I accepted a position in the Transit Design and Construction Section.

I have a unique understanding of each of the TEA bargaining units since I’ve worked in both Transit and Wastewater.  I am very familiar with individual members and the various work groups in Transit and Wastewater, both “downtown” and at Satellite Offices.  I look forward to applying this knowledge to the duties of the TEA Secretary in order to improve TEA.  Thanks for your support."

Marilyn Toth

"In the relatively short time I have been with Transit, it has quickly become apparent to me the vital role that TEA plays in the welfare and professional growth of Transit employees.   I have decided to run for TEA Secretary because I want to be a contributing member of that process.  

Now that TEA has it's feet on the ground as an organization I think the next two years will be a time of defining and refining its professional direction as a union.  During such a process it's important to include the voices of all concerned, and I can be a part of that voice for Transit.  I also think it's important for an organization to hear and consider fresh 

ideas and new opinions as they go through any transition.  Being new to the organization, I feel I can bring that kind of input to the table.  I have built my career on strong administrative and organizational skills and I look forward to applying those skills to promote the needs and interests of the membership, as well as the growth and benefit of TEA as an organization."