The day the city council passed an emergency $20.00 car tab fee and the county council voted to put the $60.00 car tab fee on this falls election I emailed every Seattle council member. I got one reply from Sally Bagshaws aide. It shows they just steam roll ahead, spend every dime they can get their hands on whether times are good or bad. I am copying the only reply I had explaining to me how all of this work they are doing had nothing to do with raising the car tab fee. I am not faulting the little aide who’s job is to keep us “complainers” at bay. My point is and was at this point in time McGinn is saying they have no funds for basic maintenance of roads and the schools are even more flat broke. I pointed out that they are spending millions right here in Georgetown (see the Georgetown construction here) that could or should have been put off a long way in the future if they really were strapped for money. They are seriously digging up Corson Ave. I mean digging a couple feet deep, hauling the concrete away and now bringing more concrete in. I mean really rebuilding this road that did not have a pot hole or anything else wrong with it. There is pictures on this website of some of the work.
Friday they brought in a huge excavator and are doing major digging directly across from my house at the South Seattle Community College. The email from the city council is copied below. The Bridging the Gap Levy was passed for the purpose of street maintenance and other emergency work, not to tear up a whole perfectly good streets and leave other things that really need done.
Now all of a sudden they raised the car tab fee to save transit. Buses are running half empty. Drivers are paid the 3rd highest in the nation. They are constantly building big transit stations and on and on. This mess here in Georgetown will not improve driver, pedestrian and bicycle safety one iota. I read in the paper that the average legislative aide has a salary of $53,400 for a full time worker. Never in your dreams will you find out how many aides we are paying salary’s to like that. These little aides would never in this lifetime understand the problem because they are part of the problem. They are overpaid compared to the private sector and get health insurance etc, all paid for by our car tab fees, and the Bridging The Gap Levy.
We can’t keep throwing money down the drain. Both of these projects were not required. We have roads that are in bigger trouble and that is what the Bridging The Gap Levy was for. It was voted on to be spent on projects without even a pot hole just to keep workers busy. If the roads don’t need repair and we have workers sitting around for months then it’s time to get rid of some workers so the balance of supply and demand equals. It’s the same with any business right? Times are tough for everyone but that doesn’t mean we just throw money away on “projects”.
Below is the first email I sent to all the Seattle Councilmembers:
Shame on you guys. You are not short of money at all. You take in billions for roads. You get revenue from buses, lite rail, sounder. $8.00 an hour for parking. Revenue from tabs and registration. 10% from everything we buy. Drivers license, traffic cams and speeding tickets and on and on and on. but its not enough. The transportation dept is totally out of control. Look what they pay their top dog. They are not doing basic maintenance like they should when things are tight like you say they are. They have re-did East Marginal way, and Ellis Ave and now have Corson Ave shut down, this is the second month. It did not even have a pot hole. Now they fenced in the school across the street from my house and are digging up the beautiful landscaping they just spent a fortune on. I know you will say, the city kicks in such and such, the state kicks in such and such, then thanks to Patty Murray and Maria Cantwell and Jim McDermott you can always go to the Feds. Shame, you know that it comes out of productive workers pockets. All the same pocket. You think we don’t know but we do. If you are so broke why are you(or some other big spender) doing all this work in Georgetown? The state(we the people) owns the property across the street but you will say it’s the schools money. Attaching a picture I took this morning showing a huge digger in there. The place was beautiful and if the city is broke why are you allowing this to happen. You can see the barrels on Corson. Our street has been shut down for a month and they just changed the signs to say it will be closed until 9/17/11. No parking. I cant even have a cab stop for me, or have anyone stop to deliver anything. You know you cant afford to build the tunnel now too, but you will start it no matter what. Where is Tim Eyman when we need him. He will surface soon I hope.
It appears Holly Krejci answers all the emails when you email all the Seattle Councilmembers in one email. Here is her response:
Thanks for the note. The City of Seattle is investing in Georgetown roads via Bridging the Gap Levy dollars. Corson, Ellis, East Marginal South and Airport Way South are being either repaired, restriped and/or repaved as a effort to improve arterial streets throughout the city. These investments will improve driver, pedestrian and bicycle safety in neighborhoods. For more information about the Georgetown projects, go to http://www.seattle.gov/transportation/pave_georgetown_streets.htm.
With regard to the photo you attached, South Seattle Community College has had plans for quite some time to build a new building on that parcel. It appears that they have started construction on it. You should also be aware that the greenspace directly in front of your home is slated to become a parking lot. If you have questions about either of these projects, you should contact Joe Hauth at the college – 206-764-5838 or firstname.lastname@example.org
Well that was no help except for explaining another wasted program and more wasted money. I figure I better email this Joe Hauth guy at the College and see what going on. Maybe he can help provide more information.
I was surprised to see a huge project being started the same day the city said they have no funds and slapped another car tab fee but of course they are tearing up Corson when it doesn’t even have a pot hole. Anyway, I would much appreciate it if you could tell me who is paying for the work. I understand the field that you spent a fortune landscaping will be a parking lot. Who pays the property taxes on that property? They have raised my property tax so much I may not be able to even stay in my home so I am beginning to question a few things. If the city, county and state are broke, how can you be doing such an expensive project? Please enlighten me. The city council said to ask you.
Thank you so much,
And here is the reply email below:
George Frost asked me to contact you in order to answer your questions about the funding source, scope and timing of the work on Corson Ave S. I am the communications contact for the project and work with the contractor on a daily basis. Your email asks a number of questions and I think it would be more fruitful if I could answer them for you in person or via a phone call. Please call me at your convenience to set up a meeting.
Bob Derry – CCO
Georgetown Streets Paving Program
My goodness how many people do I need to contact before getting an answer? Who makes the decisions around here and does anyone actually answer any questions about their own projects anymore? I am unfortunately not able to hear well enough to talk over the phone or in person so I left it alone at this point. I wanted it in writing anyway. But he seems to be caught up by my questions that have no logical answer. They are so used to telling us “we are helping you”, “it doesn’t cost you a thing” that when they get painted into a corner they do the wise thing, just wont answer.