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Friday, July 1, 2005

Last Night’s Monorail Finance Committee Meeting

Posted by on July 1 at 11:32 AM

Last night’s monorail finance committee meeting, at which the board voted to kill the finance plan and create an ad-hoc committee where “everything’s on the table,” was heavy with mea culpas from board members. The commentary was occasionally eloquent (Tom Weeks) and occasionally overwrought (Cindi Laws), but for the most part, the board seemed serious and earnest and definitely humbled. However, it was only Steve Williamson who seemed to truly “get it.” While most board members said the public’s comments had gotten through loud and clear, and then personally apologized for the crazy finance plan, Williamson made an important distinction. Williamson undercut some of his colleagues’ condescending explanations that the “finance plan had not been spoken about in a way people could understand,” by stating:“I don’t believe that it’s a question of perception of the plan. I think it boils down to this question of the revenue shortfall that we didn’t address. I think if we begin to talk about people’s perception of the plan we miss the larger point.” Williamson chastised the board for never having the discussion about issuing long-term bonds to cover the shortfall, which he clearly saw as the central issue.