Hey Deputy Mayor Gridlock: Fawk You!
Last fall, in column after column, I kept filing the same sentence, slapping Mayor Gridlock Nickels for giving the monorail just 4 weeks to fix its finance plan (which was facing a 40 percent shortfall), while Nickels himself was trying to sell a pie-in-the-sky Viaduct “plan” that looked to be about 92 percent over budget—without any timeline for a solution.
I summed up Nickels’s hypocrisy in an article last November:
Even more infuriating, Nickels’s chief complaint about the monorail’s turnaround plan was that the agency only had $1 billion to spend (according to Nickels), but was coming in with a $1.4 billion construction plan—$400,000,000 or 40 percent, over budget, by the mayor’s calculations. But Mayor Gridlock only has $2.4 billion to spend on the viaduct tunnel, and his plan is coming in at $4.6 billion —$2.2 billion or 92 percent over budget! (Can Nickels promise that any bonds the public sells to finance his highway plan won’t have a payback schedule longer than 30 years, another demand he made of the monorail agency?) Hey, Greg, how about we give you four weeks to come up with that plan!?
So it is that I’m psyched to see the Seattle Times today, beating the same drum.
And I love the response they got from Dep. Mayor Tim Ceis: “Give us three to four months.”
Three to four months? God, I wish (former Acting Monorail Executive Director) John Haley—the loud guy from Boston—was still in town. He’d have two words for Ceis: “Fawk You.”
On a related note: In my column today, in which I predict a number of things that are going to flameout in 2006, I cited “the idea that the viaduct tunnel option will only cost $4.5 billion.” Mark my words on that.