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Monday, January 29, 2007

Welcome Back, Peter

posted by on January 29 at 19:46 PM

Peter Sherwin takes on city hall—suing over the viaduct vote. Somewhere David Sucher is smiling.

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1

May God Bless Peter Sherwin.

Regardless his position, the fact that his and other ideas and proposals for the viaduct have been given short shrift is utterly outrageous. The two options we are being asked to vote on or nothing more than abject tyranny on the part of the Seattle city council.

---Jensen

Posted by Jensen Interceptor | January 29, 2007 8:04 PM
2

It was too good to be true that his ego could allow him to go very long without some desperate act to get his name in the paper.

Posted by Monorail Backer | January 29, 2007 8:21 PM
3

It is not a coincidence that the same names (sherwin, niles, aaronson, knedlik) file these suits relating to taxing measures. They scratch each others' backers backs. It's a rigged game - the challenges always are peripheral, and they're designed to further the ultimate aims of the measures' proponenets.

Posted by It's a Set Up | January 29, 2007 8:40 PM
4

MONORAIL BACKER Wrote:
"allow him to go very long without some desperate act to get his name in the paper."

And you didn't see fit to get YOUR name in the paper? You don't want to take
that risk, but you see fit criticising Sherwin for doing it? Perhaps you work
in the Mayor's office or for the City Council.

---Jensen
Not a Monorail Supporter


Posted by Jensen Interceptor | January 29, 2007 8:44 PM
5

Speaking as another monorail backer here…

Mark my words, whenever Sound Transit 2 goes to the ballot, Peter Sherwin will find some bizarre, obscure reason to oppose it and latch on to the opposition campaign. Now, you might ask, "Isn't that inconsistent for someone who's a transit supporter?"

Heck, you'd think that someone who's a supporter of transit and urban density would be more worried about the viaduct rebuild than the tunnel. (Acknowledged, serious urbanists can disagree about the tunnel.)

So why, you might ask, is Peter Sherwin taking these positions? You have to understand, transit is not what Peter Sherwin ultimately is about. Really, Sherwin is the granola-urban equivalent of suburban Tim Eyman: a populist demagogue whose true mission is to make a buck and grab the spotlight.

Posted by cressona | January 29, 2007 8:50 PM
6

Ref: monorail collapse --- is he the one --- so big time booster -- lots of spokes media exposure --- who NEVER said,

God, we have terrible fiscal problems here. Need to get this all out and solved, or it will never be built.

Is he the one?

Many like him went yak, yak, yak for years.

And when some of us asked taxing question in the early years we got snide and smug replies. Experts had all that solved - hah.

Tell this hack/crank to exit stage left or right.

Posted by sammy | January 29, 2007 11:06 PM
7

Cressona @ 6:

What, pray tell, is a "serious urbanist," and who is to decide?

Can I pay dues? Is there a secret handshake? Thanks in advance for any light you might shed.

Posted by ivan | January 29, 2007 11:12 PM
8

Sammy, had a little trouble with the syntax there, but I think you are saying that Peter Sherwin was never enough of a hardcase with the monorail agency, and I will tell you - as someone who wasn't, and frankly think the 'financial debacle' was largely a creation of the media, developers and the mayor's office - Peter was an attack dog at the pantcuffs of the monorail board, continually challenging assumptions at the risk of turning public opinion against the project. He is a hard person to get along with, and not a devoted car culture-hater like myself, Cressona, but the ongoing theme of Peter's activism is calling bullshit. He is driven on these issues by notions of fairness and democracy. Yes he is kind of a dick - and the kind that wouldn't care if I said that, which is the best kind - but it is his noble irritability at all the little lies of Seattle I believe, not ego, that will push him into the spotlight again and again for many years. I have surrendered, I think the fight for democracy and sustainability are hopeless (that is no reason to not continue to strive toward those things) but Peter is less of a cynic than I.

Posted by Grant Cogswell | January 29, 2007 11:21 PM
9

Step 1. Sue the City.
Step 2. Run for City Council.
Step 3. Mix vigorously.
Step 4. Wait.
Step 5. Enjoy.
Step 6. Blame the media.
Step 7. Grumble.

Posted by Zander | January 29, 2007 11:26 PM
10

Wow so much personal hostility, and not a single post on the content of Sherwin's complaints about the ballot measure language. Very petty. That said, in response to all the negativity, I think Grant is right to defend Peter, and Peter is right to so passionately hate what he calls "civic scofflaws"-- the people in this city who think that because they make the rules, they don't have to abide by them.

Posted by Trevor Griffey | January 29, 2007 11:45 PM
11

Grant Cogswell on Peter Sherwin: Cressona, but the ongoing theme of Peter's activism is calling bullshit.

Grant, this is my point exactly. Does Peter Sherwin have some sort of core philosophy surrounding environmentalism and transit? No, because he doesn't have a core philosophy, other than to call bullshit on the elitist establishment. Because that's what populist demagogues do.

This isn't the first time Sherwin has grabbed headlines post-monorail demise. He was also in the papers last year calling for replacing the existing monorail with a streetcar. Now, never mind that this might be seen as a betrayal by populist monorail supporters, but if your agenda really is mass transit, it's just, well, kinda dumb to be all about grade separation and dedicated rights of way and then suddenly go pro-streetcar vs. monorail.

Now I'm sure Sherwin will explain that he was merely playing devil's advocate or that he was not calling for replacing the monorail, rather merely for "exploring" a replacement. Y'know, like "I didn't vote for war, I voted for the threat of war." But you see, Peter Sherwin as prone to spewing bullshit as the elitists he tries to call BS on.

Posted by cressona | January 30, 2007 7:31 AM
12

Trevor Griffey: Wow so much personal hostility, and not a single post on the content of Sherwin's complaints about the ballot measure language. Very petty.

You can call it personal hostility, but I feel an obligation to shower as much contempt on Peter Sherwin as I would on Tim Eyman or any other contemptible public figure. I care too much about the future of Seattle to remain silent while someone tries to fuck it up for the sake of their own personal agenda.

Let's see if Peter Sherwin lands on the pro-transit side of any major transportation debate in this area, post-monorail demise. I seriously doubt it because that would involve siding with the establishment. Let's see if Peter Sherwin gets involved in any no-rebuild campaign; that is, let's see if he's as outraged by a rebuild as he is by a tunnel. I seriously doubt it because there's nothing in it for Sherwin to do that.

Now, do I have a specific issue with the actual content of Sherwin's complaints about the measure language? No, not really. Let's shove as much "substance" as we can into every ballot measure until it becomes the functional equivalent of a cigarette warning label. If you're against a ballot measure and you're someone who likes to game the system, you try to make the language as unappealing as possible. That’s just what you do. It's what Henry Aronson did on the monorail, and it's what Peter Sherwin is doing now.

Posted by cressona | January 30, 2007 7:38 AM
13

Grant, Peter's not a hardcase - he's a headcase, silly!

Posted by Trey | January 30, 2007 7:48 AM
14

First thanks to Trevor and Grant (would have preferred annoyingly opinionated) for setting part of the record straight. This isn't about the past but rather the future so I'll leave the monorail for now.

If I was allowed to file an anonymous ballot challenge, I would have. The real world doesn't operate like the internet - I tried to get others with real lawyers to do it. I put it together over the weekend when no one else wanted to to do it. I will try to get the text available maybe The Stranger will post.

I challenged both titles adding tolling to the viaduct language. I worked with the no tunnel people until they became a pro-rebuild group.

I am supporting a NO - NO vote. I would like to see our current viaduct fixed and upgraded with a plan to be ready to take it down in the future when we have transit, new surface streets, and other improvements in place. All should be made aware that that day is coming. Businesses would have time to adjust so that when the viaduct comes down the impact will be minimized. Having put this plan into effect will reduce their credibility fighting it when the time arrives. Much of the waterfront improvements can be started now. BTW many of the surface improvements are part of all the options - and they would be part of the repair/upgrade/transit hybrid plan. Or the SaferSooner approach.

If the city would offer this to the state, I believe they could sell it. Capacity would be maintained for now and the money saved could be used on other projects. Since the $2.8B is mostly dedicated highway money, most of it can't be used for transit but the RTID money could be. I oppose the 6 lane 520 as much as the AWV mega projects. A new viaduct across Union Bay? I would prefer to see the money going into rail around the lake to bring a more natural development pattern than the one created by the direct line to Redmond.

As for cars, yes Grant, I do still drive a car. I would like to see the city reward smaller and/or less polluting vehicles by giving them parking advantages. No sight blocking vehicles (SUVs and trucks) allowed 45 or 60 feet from intersections and some restrictions around driveways that present danger. Some free two hour spots in downtown and other business centers for them. No my ten year old car wouldn't qualify, but maybe my next car will a GM Volt.

No Tunnel, No Rebuild

Sherwin


Posted by Peter S | January 30, 2007 8:12 AM
15

...who cares what she thinks, she's a blonde and a phoney blonde at that, and everyone knows blondes are useless when it comes to words and ideas and stuff...

Christ girls, get over yourselves.

What did the guy actually SAY?

Posted by old timer | January 30, 2007 8:16 AM
16

And I have posted my pro-repair position on the Slog in past under the name Peter S

This is the shortest title suggestion I gave in the petition.

Seattle Advisory Ballot Measure Number 1 concerns replacing the Alaskan Way Viaduct with a Tunnel. If you vote yes, you are stating that you prefer that the Alaskan Way Viaduct be replaced with a four-lane tunnel bypassing central downtown with shoulders that will be used for peak-period travel, the estimated cost is $3,410,000,000. If the state approves this design, up to $2,800,000,000 in funding could come from state and federal funds, ultimately all funding will be Seattle's responsibility .

Posted by Peter S | January 30, 2007 8:24 AM
17


My view is that voters should not be presented with ballot measures – advisory or otherwise – relating to transportation megaprojects. Those things are drafted in slanted ways by self-interested proponents.

Sherwin’s claims in this new suit may indeed be meritorious.

I am curious if he is willing now to give us his thoughts about whether HB 1396 and SB 5282 are good or bad for the public. Those are the Sound Transit bills that would set out the kind of ballot measure voters here will face in November. And that will NOT be an advisory vote – passage of that would mean taxes for generations to come (for some shifting set of “projects”).

I’d like to revisit the SMP for a minute. Grant Cogswell posted above about the Seattle Monorail Project. He “frankly think[s] the 'financial debacle' was largely a creation of the media, developers and the mayor's office - Peter was an attack dog at the pantcuffs of the monorail board” Lap dog was more like it.

The SMP was an enormous fiasco, and it was foisted on our community by a bunch of liars. Among that group were some folks still with us, including Tom Carr (ETC board member), Greg Nickels (authored the Statement For the SMP in the Voters Guide), and Peter Sherwin (defacto SMP spokesman).

The ETC cost projections released to the public right before the vote were in the "ETC Seattle Popular Monorail Plan." That August 5, 2002 document was adopted by the board of SMP immediately after the voters approved the SMP ballot measure three months later.

On page 2 that Plan, it says: ". . . the ETC estimates that project costs to build the Green Line would be $1.29 billion (in year 2002 dollars) and that all project capital costs - including project costs plus financing costs, agency costs, project reserves, a construction escalator to account for construction over time, and a planning allowance - would total $1.749 billion (in year of expenditure dollars)."

Then the taxes started up. Two and a half years AFTER the vote, the real numbers were released: up to $11,000,000,000 in taxes. That is a $9 billion increase over what voters were told. Seattle taxpayers were ripped off to the tune of $225,000,000 by monorail proponents.

That amount is about one third of the ENTIRE cost of the new Minneapolis light rail line. http://www.metrotransit.org/rail/facts.asp All that money was wasted. That is Exhibit A for why voters should not be given ballot measures on transportation megaprojects.

Monorail is a symptom of the disease still infecting transportation planning in this region. If Nickels and Carr drafted such a messed up advisory ballot this time, what makes anyone think Nickels’ ballot measure for ST in the fall will be any better?


Posted by Disinterested | January 30, 2007 8:51 AM
18

Cressona,

Go fuck yourself. Peter Sherwin, to my knowledge, has never made a dime from any of his volunteer efforts (and even if he had, if it had been disclosed under election laws, I really wouldn't have a problem with it).

Moreover, he has the balls to post under his own handle here, which is more than you (or I) can say (of course, most of the Stranger staff and more than a few posters here know who I am, but that's beside the point).

You really are quite the self-righteous little know-it-all punk.

Posted by Mr. X | January 30, 2007 9:06 AM
19

Oh, BTW, Sherwin WAS the first real dyed-in-the-wool monorail supporter to raise alarm bells about the project. Pity the Stranger and all of you New Urbanist groupthink types who post here didn't want to hear it until it was (FAR) too late.

Posted by Mr. X | January 30, 2007 9:08 AM
20

Mr X: Cressona,
Go fuck yourself. Peter Sherwin, to my knowledge, has never made a dime from any of his volunteer efforts (and even if he had, if it had been disclosed under election laws, I really wouldn't have a problem with it).

To my knowledge, Peter Sherwin has made quite a bit of coin off monorail campaigns. Not Tim Eyman money. And actually, I don't have a problem with his getting remunerated. Campaigns should have a small core of paid staff.

But whatever Peter Sherwin's present motives are, I just wish he would:

  1. Start picking sides according to urban-vs.-sprawl rather than populist-vs.-elitist.
  2. Get in the paper with statements like the following, which he makes above...

I worked with the no tunnel people until they became a pro-rebuild group.

I am supporting a NO - NO vote. I would like to see our current viaduct fixed and upgraded with a plan to be ready to take it down in the future when we have transit, new surface streets, and other improvements in place.

I happen to think this "transitional retrofit" message potentially makes just as much sense as either four-lane tunnel or "just close it and tear it down ASAP," and I just wish that, over the next several weeks, we could hear it from Peter Sherwin on a greater stage than some blog comments.

Posted by cressona | January 30, 2007 9:30 AM
21

Mr. X @ 18, 19:

Bravo!

Posted by ivan | January 30, 2007 9:50 AM
22

Disinterested stated:
"Then the taxes started up. Two and a half years AFTER the vote, the real numbers were released: up to $11,000,000,000 in taxes. That is a $9 billion increase over what voters were told. Seattle taxpayers were ripped off to the tune of $225,000,000 by monorail proponents."

Facts: The money spent by SMP was only on the order of $125 million, slightly more than half that cited. And, the 11 billion dollar cost was the cost of the project if it would have used existing car tab revenues over 50 years. The bulk of the 11 billion dollars was in "finance" costs.

No other project has had to declare the run-out costs of the money used for the project. In 50 years our recent support for Transit Now will produce a nearly equivalent 11 billion dollar product.

Or, more to the point, what is the total run-out cost of any of the Viaduct options? We're told that the replacement elevated structure will cost $2.8 billion, but that's only the construction costs. Where is the cost for the use of the money (the bonds)? Where is the run-out costs for the tunnel - of either flavor?

Peter is trying to get the city attorney to identify the impacts of these options in the ballot language. If we don't agree with either option - which many of us don't - then the correct solution is to vote - as Peter says - NO and NO. No we don't want a 4-lane phony tunnel; and NO we don't want a monstrous replacement viaduct. If that's how you feel, vote NO and NO. It's that simple.

Send a message to both the Governor and the Mayor and the City Council and tell them the present alternatives are the wrong solution - both of them.

Posted by chas Redmond | January 30, 2007 10:32 AM
23

Cressona says—

“To my knowledge, Peter Sherwin has made quite a bit of coin off monorail campaigns.”

Evidence please. Put up or shut up. Hint: shutting up is the smart move at this point.

Posted by BB | January 30, 2007 10:50 AM
24

First, Peter Sherwin was still flogging for the SMP well after the $11,000,000,000 financing plan finally was revealed. Here he is on June 23, 2005 trying to put a positive spin on it:

http://tech.groups.yahoo.com/group/friendsofthemonorail/message/13789
-------------
Re: factoring out the revenue stream


P.S. I don't think the SMP's UW tuition analogy or the
> 5-cent candy bar analogy is entirely appropos.
> Consider that we're making payments not just in 2050
> but all the way from now to 2050, so it's not just
> 2050 dollars we're talking about. It's more like
> taking the average of what a candy bar cost each year
> from 40 years ago up to the present day.


$8.26B of the payments come between 2039 - 2050 - so the majority are
low value bucks - you know $12 single shorts.
----------------

Yes, inflation works basically that way. But the voters were told before the vote, in the ETC Plan, that the YOE costs, INCLUDING financing costs, would be $1.7 billion -- not over $11 billion.

If Peter truly was a Sound Transit opponent, as he purports, he should lay out some pithy comments on the subject of what we should watch out for in November, 2007. But he won't do that, because his agenda involves covering the flanks of ST.

Second, to Chas: You need to get your facts right. The ETC Plan said *YOE* costs would be $1.7 billion, on page two.

In addition, your $125 million figure is net of the profit the SMP made from the land it bought. The taxes it collected and wasted were $225,000,000. As an editorial column last month in the Seattle Times put it: “Voters paid $225 million for the monorail and what did they get? Nada. Zip.”

http://archives.seattletimes.nwsource.com/cgi-bin/texis.cgi/web/vortex/display?slug=joni21&date=20061221&query=%24225

Posted by Fatima | January 30, 2007 10:54 AM
25

BB on my claim about Peter Sherwin's past campaign compensation: Evidence please. Put up or shut up. Hint: shutting up is the smart move at this point.

I have this from a source I trust. But I don't consider this an accusation because I don't believe there's anything wrong with getting compensated.

In any event, I'm happy to let this rest. If Peter Sherwin is willing to speak up against a massive, new viaduct as much as he is against a tunnel, then I have less reason to impugn his motives because his position starts sounding a lot more consistent.

Posted by cressona | January 30, 2007 11:10 AM
26

Actually, a number of local environmental groups are discussing if they should also support the NO - NO position as well, so jumping on Peter S for taking a brave stand is obviously unfair.

Just like shoving more tax dollars into lower capacity underwater tunnels when they could be used for 520 bridges with transit lanes and bike-accessible upgrades instead.

Posted by Will in Seattle | January 30, 2007 11:12 AM
27

Cressona,

Just spent a couple of minutes looking through SEEC reports to see if your accusations against Peter Sherwin had any merit. The 2004 campaign spent hundreds of thousands of dollars to fight the Monorail recall - and I couldn't find ONE THIN DIME that went to Peter Sherwin.

Here's what I did find - about $100 in reiumbursements from 2002.

07/27/2002 John A. Sherwin
3211 Fuhrman Ave E
Seattle, WA 98102 3830
Miscellaneous Reimburse for Hostway.com web site $79.85
07/27/2002 John A. Sherwin
3211 Fuhrman Ave E
Seattle, WA 98102 3830
T Travel, Accommodations, Meals Reimburse for Ampco Parking $22.00


Are you going to shut the fuck up and apologize the Peter S, now?

People who see the world in a different way than the false (and incredibly naive) dichotomy you posit in #20 aren't liars, cynical, insincere, or Republicans. You do them (and yourself, though I care a whole lot less about that) a real disservice by continuing to assert that they are.

What you don't know about political reality outside of Capitol Hill would fill several books...

Posted by Mr. X | January 30, 2007 11:36 AM
28

Mr. X: Cressona,
Just spent a couple of minutes looking through SEEC reports to see if your accusations against Peter Sherwin had any merit. The 2004 campaign spent hundreds of thousands of dollars to fight the Monorail recall - and I couldn't find ONE THIN DIME that went to Peter Sherwin.

Actually, I was talking about 2005.

More Mr. X: What you don't know about political reality outside of Capitol Hill would fill several books...

Mr. X, call me naive, but I'm inclined to think the rebuild -- whose poll numbers you have spouted to no end -- is going down to a nasty defeat. But you know, when that happens, I hope you'll continue to trumpet how you're so much more politically astute than anyone else here.

Posted by cressona | January 30, 2007 12:05 PM
29

Go to the website - the campaigns for the Monorail election are in the 2004 section.

As to this year's election, the Council has certainly done its best to present the question in the most confusing (and with regard to the tunnel - dishonest) way possible, so I wouldn't be surprised if both measures failed. I would be somewhat surprised, however, if rebuild failed by a greater margin than the tunnel (notwithstanding the Council's disingenuous attempt to link the tunnel to the no-build option by calling it a hybrid, which it assuredly isn't).

We'll see soon enough.

Now that you're done changing the subject, where's that apology to Peter Sherwin?

Posted by Mr. X | January 30, 2007 12:33 PM
30

Oh, and will do us all a favor and leave town with your tail between your legs if all of those evil Republican Seattle voters reject your urbanist (and yes, elitist) vision of what's best for us all and rebuild wins?

Posted by Mr. X | January 30, 2007 12:38 PM
31

Thanks for your reply, Cressona. Look forward to seeing your list of 200 Communists, I’m sure it must be juicy.

Posted by BB | January 30, 2007 1:16 PM
32

Mr. X: Now that you're done changing the subject, where's that apology to Peter Sherwin?

Tell you what, Mr. X. Go ahead and sue me on Peter Sherwin's behalf for slander, and have me testify under oath.

I will say, though, I do owe Peter Sherwin an apology on one front. If there's one individual who deserves to be singled out as a "Seattle-ist" populist demagogue, it's not he.

Posted by cressona | January 30, 2007 1:18 PM
33

Really responding to anonymous posters is a little like trying to reason with road ragers but a couple of comments I will respond to

"First, Peter Sherwin was still flogging for the SMP well after the $11,000,000,000 financing plan finally was revealed. Here he is on June 23, 2005 trying to put a positive spin on it:"

Here's what I said - "$8.26B of the payments come between 2039 - 2050 - so the majority are
low value bucks - you know $12 single shorts."

Tuesday, June 21, 2005 - 12:00 AM

New monorail plan released; now you can have your say
By Mike Lindblom
Seattle Times staff reporter

My comment was TWO days later - well after? And do you keep a dossier on me - I mean how do find find a post on Friends of the Monorail Yahoo group that doesn't even contain my name, only an old Yahoo handle that's a year and half old?

Fatima- "Yes, inflation works basically that way. But the voters were told before the vote, in the ETC Plan, that the YOE costs, INCLUDING financing costs, would be $1.7 billion"

No project before or after gives the finance costs for bonding. There are no finance charges listed - only the standard YOE - in the plan

If anyone cares page 46
http://www.elevated.org/_downloads/project/story/seattle_popular_monorail.pdf

Please what are the total costs with bonding for any other project.

Look, I think these votes coming are a joke and a bigger joke with the ballot titles they now have. I will be joining with former allies and opponents to try to bring reason to this process - if you agree with me on this join in alone, with other groups, whatever -

Posted by Peter S | January 30, 2007 3:01 PM
34

Well, I imagine nobody's left reading this thread, but I'm going to do a 180 now and come to Peter Sherwin's defense here. On the historical matter of the monorail project, he was much more a watchdog than a lapdog, and I think he was only parroting the Joel Horn line about 2039-2050 dollars for a brief time in 2005 before he started demanding that the SMP take drastic measures to deal with its financial problems.

But to the larger issue of fiscal accountability, he has been quite vigilant about speaking to the actual cost of projects, including financing -- about subjecting other projects to the same scrutiny the monorail project was held.

With the viaduct debate, it's very much the question chaz Redmond above has posed: "Or, more to the point, what is the total run-out cost of any of the Viaduct options? We're told that the replacement elevated structure will cost $2.8 billion, but that's only the construction costs. Where is the cost for the use of the money (the bonds)? Where is the run-out costs for the tunnel - of either flavor?"

Posted by cressona | January 30, 2007 4:55 PM
35

Glad that's settled. Peter is cool. You are lucky to have him.

Posted by Grant Cogswell | January 31, 2007 1:41 AM
36


Peter Sherwin – why are you lying?

Financing costs WERE INCLUDED in the ETC’s cost numbers released just before the 2002 vote.

The ETC Seattle Popular Monorail Plan, on page 2 says: ". . . the ETC estimates that project costs to build the Green Line would be $1.29 billion (in year 2002 dollars) and that all project capital costs - including project costs plus financing costs, agency costs, project reserves, a construction escalator to account for construction over time, and a planning allowance - would total $1.749 billion (in year of expenditure dollars)." Lying about that now shows what you are made of.

Your comment above to the effect that you supposedly learned details of the $11B financing plan from the newspaper in late June 2005 (and not from Horn weeks before) doesn’t come close to passing the laugh test.

The fact that you were pimping that debacle after a financing plan was released wherein five dollars would be paid to bondholders for every one dollar used to build the system shows you have no shame and no perspective on proper financing costs.

Are you shilling for Sound Transit now? What are your thoughts about the bills that would merge the two ballot measures for next November? How can the ST measure be drafted to protect taxpayers?

Posted by ~~pb&l~~ | January 31, 2007 8:14 AM
37

Go to page 46 of the 2002 plan - the financing costs referred to were those during planning and construction not the bonds - there were financing documents produced before the vote that showed various scenarios for the bond finance costs - and believe it or not the finance plan as released on June 21 was not disclosed to me or most board members until its actually release - I received a call the night before the PI broke the $11B number warning me that the story was coming. You really have no idea how the politics worked there - Horn hated my criticisms - watch the public comments on the videos of meetings.

Historically I have opposed ST - haven't been active on their plan for a number of years - I still think LR technology doesn't work well in this region but I think the region has pretty much committed to it.

Although I didn't like the SMPA plan it is not accurate to describe $5 for every $1 off cost because those dollars in the future just don't have today's value - if you want to make an argument you should use a fixed dollar value - say 2007 dollars and discount the future dollars collected to that date - it means that the $11B is really more like $4B - still too much - I asked both publically and privately that they seek other funds or cut the route which they finally did but too late.

Posted by Peter S | January 31, 2007 11:42 AM
38

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Posted by Alex | January 31, 2007 3:48 PM
39

Disinterested stated re: monorail (quotations are mine):
"... AFTER the vote, the "real" numbers were released: up to $11,000,000,000 in taxes."

Let's compare apples to apples. Before we "vote" for viaduct, we need to know: WHAT IS THE FULL COST OF EACH OPTION INCLUDING (worst case scenario)DEBT SERVICE? Say for 40 or 50 yrs?

I can only guess that using similar formulas as for monorails 1.6B suddenly becoming the fabricated "11B"; then 3.4B must actually be about... upwards of 25BillionDollars!!! for a 4 lane tunnel with limited DT access that reduces capacity in this vital corridor and puts more traffic on the surface streets??!!

4.6B, 3.4B+, (or 2.8B for that matter) could go a loong way toward getting from point A to point B in a time reliable manner thru our congested city with GRADE SEPARATED TRANSIT!!

Keep cars/trucks off our waterfront! Vote NO-NO.

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40

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