'911' calls about Proposition 1 rile Seattle voters

SEATTLE -- A controversial phone call has hit landlines in Seattle. The topic is less controversial than the telephone number.

Beth Purcell is one of the many Seattle residents who said they got a call from "Our Parks Forever," a group that is opposed to Proposition 1.

If approved, it would increase property taxes to more than $130 a year for the average home in Seattle, but the spending would create a stable funding mechanism and Metropolitan Parks District to oversee changes.

"All parts of our basic infrastructure of our parks that need to be restored and need to be taken care of," she said.

The robocall urged a vote against Prop 1, saying in part "The MPD can sell our parks, build stadiums, fund development, all without our vote."

The problem for Purcell is not so much the claims she disagreed with, but the phone number on caller ID: 206-911-9111.

"I always associate it with an emergency, so I've never had a call from that number," Purcell said.

Seattle Police also heard about the problems. The department said it received a number of calls from residents who were worried and concerned about the 911-like number dialing their house. SPD said such tactics aren't allowed under federal law and an investigation is already underway.

Political organizer Michael Maddux volunteers for the Prop 1 campaign and was bothered by the use of 911 references, intentional or otherwise.

"In Seattle, our version of civil discourse means not engaging in these types of tactics," he said.

"Our Parks Forever" did not return email and phone calls asking for comment and clarification.