June 30, 2005
Monorail dead for now
Friday's P-I -- "Monorail financing plan killed"
The Seattle Monorail Project board killed the system's controversial financing plan tonight, sending the project back to the drawing board to try to save the West Seattle-to-Crown Hill line.
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.
Screw that. Call your legislators
and ask them to take advantage of this opportunity to dissolve the agency
Posted by Stefan Sharkansky at June 30, 2005
10:22 PM | Email This
1. These people don't give up do they? They won't be happy until they've taxed every taxpayer out of Seattle and forced everybody out of their cars.
2. I sent emails to my representatives... I don't live in Seattle but I figure the SMP's next move is to introduce an idea that includes new taxes to fund the project... I'm guessing it would include the tax they have on the Seattle area now and a new tax the covers all of King County.
3. Now this really hacks me off.I'm done screwing around with the stupid Monorail-as a small businessman I'm paying through the nose this stupid MVET.I guess I'm just going to have to start showing up at the meetings and putting these stupid liberals in their place.What part of NO don't they understand?
4. How many times do we have to vote to approve this thing? In a democracy, the majority rules...so get over it.
The monorail was always a creature of WA's ill-conceived initiative process. Our representative government -- the primary system in most of the USA -- opposed the monorail for years and never would have started it. Having the public vote on indidividual issues leads to silly policy ... the best example of which is Tim Eyman.
6. today the monorail, tomorrow unsound transit.
Better buy a good pair of walking shoes! Maybe you can plan a trip to Vegas if you REALLY need to ride a monorail.
8. Nobody was ever offered the opportunity to vote on the current monorail project.
If you haven't seen the new Batman movie, the Monorail has an instrumental role. However, no spoiler here.
Quite a few audience members (at the wonderful Majestic Bay Theatre in Ballard) were chuckling at the appropriateness of the plot playing out in front of the Seattle audience.
10. Can someone answer this one question I have: why is it that the people (engineers and planners) who were hired to put together this proposal and signed off on what was obviously a fraudulent cost estimate sued for professional malpractice, and the profesions they belong to moving to pull their lisences to practice in this State? A couple years ago there was an article in one of the professional engineering journals that documented how 'large public works projects' that went to the voters have been underestimated by 25 to God knows what percent. They speculated on why this has been the case, I have my thoughts on this and they didn't jive with their 'analysis.' I say that damn near 100% otf the time it is nothing more than flat out lying, deceipt and fraud designed to get the public to vote to authorize anything and then they can say 'we can't stop now, look at what we have alreaddy invested.'
11. does anyone know where I can sign up I-912 in Redmond?
12. Who needs liberty when you're in the majority, eh Monorailer?
More proof, as if we needed it, that democrats could care less about the will of the people – the Monorail soap-opera.
Do you all Remember the last of Eyman’s successful $30 car tab initiatives? One of its purposes was to get rid of the extra taxes being heaped onto car tabs, even after the implementation of I-695 as amended by the Senate all those years back.
The bitching and moaning by democrats that it would kill those taxes, thus eliminating “local control” as a factor… ahhh…. The hypocrisy of it all.
Well, the fine folks in Seattle have FOUR TIMES voted for the monorail. You know, kinda like the people of this state voting down gas tax increases… or voting in I-601… you know… voice of the people?
Anyway, Sen. Ken Jacobsen (D-what else? Seattle) now wants to call a special session of the Legislature to kill the monorail altogether.
Who cares what the voters have said… over and over and over and over again? Let’s call a special session and do what democrats have increasingly whined about the most, when to take such an action will do what they quite allegedly enjoy the least… ignoring the voters of this state and getting rid of local control.
This is not a state issue; the legislature has no business getting involved. If those so opposed to the will of the people when that will doesn't happen to suit them don't like it, they can feel free to make their arguments to the people actually effected, who actually voted this thing into place, to get them to change their minds where it counts, at the ballot box. Take the high road, instead of this underhanded coat-holding whining of getting the state legislature to superimpose their will over that of the people who voted this in.
What monumental arrogance and hypocrisy.
The voters approved a specific project for a specific cost over a specific time period.
Would they approve of a shorter line at over 9 times the original cost and twice the time to pay it off?
We blew up the Kingdome before we had payed for it. Taxes are still being collected to pay for it.
At the rate the monorail project is going, the same thing could very well be happening, saddling our children and grandchildren with ever increasing governmental debt.
It doesn't seem to me that the voters are getting what they voted for.
15. For JDH call a firm call Davis Langdon Adamson in Downtown Seattle-ask them about their numbers. They along with the finance director for the monorail gave a presentation at the Seattle Building Owners group (I can’t remember the exact name; it was one of the rubber chicken circuit events) in January of 2003 at the SeaTac Red Lion where they told us all that all was well the financing plan, had all the risk taken out of it and the revenue was there and the costs were accurately estimated, opening part of the line in December 2007 the schedule was perfect-etc.etc.etc.. Someone needs to ask them. They are some kind of British firm as they were all talking in accents. What really goes on, it seems to me, is the biggest tax bite they can slide by the sheeple is put on the ballot and folks like this Davis firm are the rubber stamps. Then when the reality has to get out last 2 weeks is when Joel “The PR Machine” Horn was to shine but even the low-ball lies were still too high! I guess he figured if he went any lower he may get the Enron perp walk, which by the way, he and these consultants deserve. After all some of the corporate scandals have been in the order of magnitude of these dollar increases. Anyone get a 6.1% pay raise this year, other then the Queen’s cabinet? When I heard that on the growth of the car tabs I knew it was a pack of crap…can the Davis folks help us out with a new risk study and refund the fees??
You "say that damn near 100% of the time it is nothing more than flat out lying, deceipt and fraud designed to get the public to vote to authorize" whatever the new glitzy People's Palace of the year is going to be. And you'd like to pull the professional licenses of the engineers (the lofty unelected Planners aren't burdened with such things), or run some similar blame festival, as punishment for unrealistic initial cost estimates.
Nice eruption, but wrong targets. These municipal wet dreams are generally promoted by megalomanic politicians or private business with Influence (the Monorail is an exception, but there are plenty of megalomaniacs from the top of that organization on down). All three stadiums, Kingdome included, fit this pattern, as does Sound Transit in spades.
So an organization is formed, and sets up a budget for the preliminary design and cost estimates. Of course the initial cost estimate is unreal - all there is to work from are the grandiose concepts of my lords Planners, very few of which have any experience in real world construction. But there's also a schedule with a deadline for the designers to meet, and they meet it, having thrown together some preliminary 'plans' (Sound Transit's 'plans' didn't even know what the final routing was to be). In the trade they're called cartoons.
And the cost estimates produced from these 'plans' are mere ballpark figures, no matter how highflown the rhetoric of the project organizers. They should be presented to the public with 50% or even 100% contingency cushions to adjust to the real world of unions, and environmental 'mitigation', demands for baksheesh from countless competing government agencies, and unknown subsurface conditions - but said megalomaniacs might take it personally if the public voted 'no' right up front, so the contingencies get politically bullied to a minimum. The project is a go, and the real design process begins.
And after a couple of years, the contractors look at the real plans and specifications, and their bids finally reveal reality. Sound Transit used a concealed process without public bidding to attempt bullying its contractor into conforming with the lowball initial estimate, but even that scummy tactic failed - hence the reduced bait-and-switch light rail we're not allowed to vote on, for fear it too would be abolished.
If there's any lying or fraud actually occurring in these epic hope-trumps-experience projects, it's the concept that a single thin line of rail transit will serve the public better than a road system that allows drivers individual decisions on their hourly routing and scheduling.
17. Are you sure? Sounds like their trying to find a way to bring it back to life!
18. The proper way to celebrate the demise of the skytrain to nowhere is to toss back a cold one at Mike's Chili in Ballard - right in the path of the voodoo choo choo and slated for demolition, it now looks like I'll be able to hoist a few there with my grand kids when they're old enough.
We are (almost) completely over it thanks.
20. Yes Monorailer, that was a most astute comment....Should we ever choose to constitute a "democracy" with folks like you it should be a real whiz-bang!