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Letter To Council About Failed Tunnel Project (No Response)

Seattle Council Email About Tunnel Project Failure

To:; council@seattle.gov
Subject: Tunnel

Hate to say,” I told you so”, but the Tunnel mess is really coming to light. How many more billions are you going to pour down the sink hole? We could have had a nice flat surface road or a new viaduct by now but you have an endless pit. I wrote before that I thought digging a tunnel thru fill dirt right along the sound was about as stupid as anything you could dream up. The DOT, The Tunnel Partners have lied to you repeatedly. Why will you believe tem this morning when they come to assure you everything is “hunky dory”. You should invite former Governor Gregoire to come. How many times did she stand with a straight face and say, the tunnel will be built under budget and NOT ONE COST OVERRUN WILL BE PAID BY TAXPAYERS?

You have heard from strategists, planners, managers, and experts, but mostly from LIARS. This was a boondoggle from day one. You had 1.4 billion to build the tunnel. 1 billion is gone and you are not only at square one but worse than when you started. What are the odds of it ever getting built? I would say zero. If you think spending 400 billion more to try to keep from losing the 1 billion you already lost, you should definitely listen to Kenny Rodgers sing, The Gambler. That’s all you are doing now.(gambling) No one knows how much water you need to pump, The space where you pump water has to be filled with something. Do you want to keep on til the historic buildings start to shift and crack? Do you want to wait til the viaduct falls over because of your digging? Do you want to keep on til the pressure sends dirt up thru the hole you are trying to dig to repair Bertha. You have squandered enough money to build a new house for every homeless person in Seattle. You have squandered enough to repair every street in Seattle. On and on and on.

Take a special vote of the people of Seattle and especially the businesses that have been ruined by all this digging. Is was in insult for the Mayor to take advantage of King Street falling apart for a photo op. He doesn’t have a clue(neither does anyone else) why it is happening. Maybe you need to bring “Patty and Maria” for a photo shoot and have them promise all sort of Federal Funds. Remember Federal funds, County funds, City funds all come from the working peoples pocket. The money to build the tunnel is gone. Time to admit defeat. Give Bertha a burial and let some other fools a hundred years from now run into her when they try to dig again. Stop this madness and stand up for the people who voted you in to speak for them.

– That was my letter to the Seattle Council. There has been no response thus far.

Regional Animal Services of King County

Yee haw, git along little doggie, we’re headin’ for a Guinea Pig roundup. This is not going to be cheap either. It seems cities have contracted Animal Services of King County to save money. Instead of each city doing their own its all done from one central service. Sounds like a good idea but evidently the fees were not negotiated when the contracts were signed or there were some really STUPID  people doing the negotiating. The bills are coming to the cities now and with the bills are some details of the dangerous animals they have had to contend with. (tongue in cheek) here. The city of Kirkland found out that it cost them $2,496 to have two guinea pigs captured and put in the Kent Shelter. They also, found that it cost them $1,248 to have a bunny captured and housed.  Not sure what the daily board bill will be if any. But the numbers stated above do not include the $379 fee each time an animal control officer had to respond to each of those calls. When you talk about tightening the belt and saving money then you read this kind of stuff.

I didn’t know Animal Control would even “capture” a guinea pig. My goodness they are the size of your hand. Even if one bit you it would not amount to much (I have had several for pets through the years). If I remember right they can’t even hop and their little legs are about an inch long. A gold fish net would do it. Even holding out a carrot would probably entice it to you. Now for the rouge bunny. He could be a little more elusive but with all the pit bulls loose, raccoons all over the place(animal control won’t touch) surely Peter Cottontail would not be that hard of a job to round up.

Anytime you have a service that has a monopoly you will not get a good deal. They make it sound good but with no competition they can charge anything they happen to feel like it. Cities say they are broke but I bet for $100 they could have a bunch of little boy scouts rounding up lost guinea pigs or bunnies. You call the animal control people officers and all sorts of titles that sound like they are experts in their field but if this doesn’t shoot that down nothing will. How they have the guts to even admit to charging such a thing is almost unbelievable. I think people with pet guinea pigs or bunnies should be sure to keep them in. Animal control officers could make a fortune plucking them out of your yard and charging this kings ransom to get them back. A real money maker.

Richard Conlin Seattle City Councilman Won’t Answer Taxpayer Questions

Richard Conlin Seattle City Councilman Won’t Answer Taxpayer Questions.

I recently wrote each member of the city council. Only two bothered responding. I want to just print what I wrote them, and what they answered back and think it pretty well shows they are not the slightest interested in what we have to say, or what we ask them.  You be the judge.  Try asking them something.  Anything.

 This is what I wrote to Councilman Richard Conlin after the Japan tsunami. They had their mind made up from day one they wanted a tunnel(must have got some big donations for their elections and have some big favors to pay).  Us guys paying the bills are just not important to them at all.  They have bought up land and have been wheeling and dealing in such a way they can get the tunnel whether it is on the fall ballot again or not.  Or if it proves the voters does not want it.  They can say the referendum does not apply to administrative actions, only to legislative actions.  See my letter to him and his answer below.

Good Morning Mr. Conlin:

Please re think your position on building the deep bore tunnel to replace the viaduct since the Japan earthquake.I was always against the tunnel as were 70% of the voters. Where do you get the idea you can ignore our vote?
Forget how you hate the Mayor, and want to make a liar out of him but thankfully you are giving him a lot of publicity and maybe he can be our next governor. He got elected because he promised us to stop the tunnel. His loyalty is to the voters and citizens not to a handful of council members. Just think about this.
How can digging right thru an earthquake fault, below sea level to build a tunnel be a good idea?  It would be a death trap far greater than the viaduct the minute you built it.  You cannot outguess Mother Nature and she will win.  If/when we have the big one with a tsunami there would be no warning to even get what cars were in it out the other end. It would be a big culvert. Also, it is the most expensive plan, we have no money.  It will take the longest to build so the viaduct would be up longer.  It will not help the traffic problem and will handle less cars than the viaduct. It has no exits. It wont get you downtown. What on earth are you guys thinking?  You are listening to some builders and union promises somewhere and not thinking about the tunnel at all.  For shame.
Lilly

HERE IS HIS ANSWER   (jibber jabber from his website, cut and pasted)

Thanks for your message.  I do not agree with your assertions, and have commented on them below.

Then in the same message he copy and pasted the exact text on Seattle City Councilman website here (the whole thing!):

http://conlin.seattle.gov/2011/03/03/council-overrides-mayoral-veto-on-tunnel-agreements/

The email concluded with him providing information links in the email:

For more details on the project, please go to the following:

http://conlin.seattle.gov/2010/05/18/time-to-tell-the-truth-about-costs-about-costs-and-the-viaduct-tunnel-project/

http://conlin.seattle.gov/2010/08/20/tunnel-agreements-endorsed-by-council/

http://conlin.seattle.gov/2010/12/21/tunnel-bid-on-target-for-budget/

Council President Richard Conlin

Seattle City Hall

He never answered or commented on a thing I wrote but its very interesting for him to admit they had 700 meetings, 76 replacement options, 15,000 public comments, 20 public meetings. Maybe he should update it to 15,001, since he got MY comment.

I felt the need to reply. To let him know that I know I got a snow job. See my reply below.

Thank you for answering.  You missed the whole point.  Even if everyone was for the tunnel before the Japan quake and tsunami they sure SHOULD BE AGAINST IT NOW.  No I never liked the tunnel(70% of the voters said the same thing) and you’re right I don’t trust WSDOT(think $377 million gone to studies and plans) without a thing being done.  This is no worse than Potter screwing away those millions on studying how to run minority businesses.  Maybe some heads will roll over that mess.  But for now wanted to get you Council Members to think how dangerous a tunnel would be.  If the tooth fairy or Santa offered to build it free, I would still think it was a bad idea.  Thank you again for at least sending a form letter.
Lilly

Seattle Councilman Richard Conlin
Seattle Councilman Richard Conlin

Washington Public Schools Bad Revenue Management

There is one thing every adult and parent can agree on and that is a solid education.  We all want our kids to be well educated and eventually have a great life (and career).  Teachers should be paid well and be accountable for increasing student education with documented progress.  I truly believe Teachers want the best out of each and every student.  Teachers understand this type of career may not pay well initially and it’s really about the children.  By the way, the average Teacher salary in Washington State is $54,000 per year and Teachers work 10 months out the year.  This doesn’t included the over inflated wages to upper management like Seattle’s recent firing of Superintendent Maria Goodloe-Johnson and Don Kennedy.

As the television, public protesters, and newspapers continue to strike fear in the general public with the constant “loss of funds for student education services” and “it’s just hurting our kids” – do they truly understand the bad revenue management happening inside our Washington Public Schools?  Is the problem with the Teachers (salaries, student to teacher ratio) or bad revenue management (hiring, salaries paid, distribution of funding) ?

Here is some data I pulled recently from the official Washington State of Education website.  It will tell us the total revenue (per student) in King County.

King County Revenue Per Student
King County Revenue Per Student

Let me remind you these numbers are revenue per student in king county schools.  If you’re student goes to one of the Seattle Public Schools, they are making $11,839 per year for that one student (special education students get more).  Lets assume a basic class size of 25 students (more usually) that means that specific class room is generating $295,975 per year (less Teacher salary).

In 2008-2009 school year for just King County they generated $2,487,794,891 dollars in revenue (yes, that is billions).

In the 2010-2011 school year for just King County they are expecting a 24.6 million dollar loss.

There are of course expenses per student that need to be recognized.  We have building expenses, repairs, transportation costs, office supplies (limited), and upper management (who manage and are not teachers per si).  However, if each class room generates over  $200,000 per year in net revenue (already subtracted $95,957 figuring the teacher salary, supplies, and transportation for each classroom/students) where does the rest really get allocated?  You know we have A LOT of classrooms.  It certainly doesn’t cost $200,000 to keep the electricity and heating turned on for that classroom.  Bus transportation for classroom students (a typical bus load) isn’t that much plus many students provide their own transportation and some bus routes have been cut already.  Students bring their own food or buy their own food (which pays the food staff and food expenses).  We all know the Teachers don’t get much of anything regarding supplies for their rooms.  Many Teachers just buy their own classroom supplies.

The problem with Washington Public Schools is bad revenue management.  It’s not about cutting programs, students/classes (that generate revenue), or Teachers (who are paid enough based on classroom student/teacher revenue ratios).  We must correct how revenue is distributed and wasted in our Washington Public Schools.  The root of our school problems are with the methods we waste revenue and over inflated wages with upper management.  It has little to do with school programs, students, or Teachers.

You be the judge.

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