[NWPT55]The process worked.
The Seattle P-I reports that the Seattle Monorail Project board has voted to reject the controversial financing plan, sending the project back to the drawing board, and likely requiring another public vote before any revised plan could be implemented.
An ad-hoc committee of the monorail board will try to determine how to salvage the project. Exactly what they would do is unclear, but officials said everything is on the table, including trying to come up with a new way to finance the monorail.
Mayor Greg Nickels said the board had “done the right thing.”
“Before the monorail can move forward, the board must ensure that the financial plan and technical design are sound and have the public’s full confidence. The committee’s decision to reject the most recent financing proposal takes us in that direction,” the mayor said in a statement.
You know what? The process worked.
The board should be commended for making a responsible, if painful decision, and the public should be encouraged that the SMP heard their concerns and reacted appropriately.
My guess is, however, that not all the commentary you read will be quite so magnanimous. There are essentially two kinds of Monorail critics: those of us who recognize the need for public transit systems like the Monorail, but demand that our tax dollars be spent more wisely… and those who are simply out for blood. As to the latter, on some other blog there is this guy who fancies himself a “shark”, and in his political feeding frenzy he’s calling for the state Legislature to take this as an opportunity to dissolve the Monorail agency.
If you’re a shark, then eat me.
There is a difference between liberals like me and the nattering naysayers on the other side. I believe that government by the people, for the people, of the people can make this world a better place. They don’t. Thus I see the the board’s decision as a bold example of good governance, while they see it merely as an opportunity for political gainsaying.
But there is no scandal, there is no outrage… there is merely a dedicated group of citizen activists who attempted to build a transit system from the ground up… and failed. To their credit, they recognized their failure, and have decided to step back and evaluate their options, despite the fact that common wisdom says such a move would be political suicide.
Four times the Monorail has been put before voters, and four times it has passed. Perhaps we will see a fifth vote, only this time with detailed plans in place and fixed-price contracts in hand. Or perhaps the board’s decision has killed the Monorail for good.
I voted against the Monorail because I simply did not think it was worth the money. But despite this latest setback, I’m kinda still hoping the SMP eventually proves me wrong.