Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Fort Worth & Seattle: A Tale Of Two City's City Councils

You are looking at the skyline of downtown Seattle. That body of water is not a town lake, it is Elliott Bay. Elliott Bay is part of Puget Sound. Puget Sound is part of the Pacific Ocean.

Those big white boats are called ferry boats. Because they ferry cars and people to various locations on Puget Sound.

Where the ferry boats dock is called the Seattle Waterfront. Hovering above the Seattle Waterfront is this thing called the Alaskan Way Viaduct, a double decker elevated highway, that is obsolete, dangerous, a noisy eyesore and about to be replaced by a deep bore tunnel.

For the deep bore tunnel to work a new Elliott Bay Seawall must be built. The sea wall holds back the sea, sort of like an underground dike.

Now, here in Fort Worth, we have a water control project known as the Trinity River Vision Boondoggle. Spending around a $1 billion to build a little lake, an unneeded flood control diversion channel, 3 bridges and, maybe, some canals.

The citizens of Fort Worth have not been allowed to vote on the Trinity River Vision Boondoggle.

Now, contrast that with the following taken from the Seattle P-I, regarding the replacement of the aforementioned Elliott Bay Seawall....

"The Seattle City Council could hold off until 2011 before asking voters to approve a bond measure or levy to finance construction of a new Elliott Bay Seawall, according to a briefing Monday.

Replacing the seawall is a large piece of the $841 million in projects the city has agreed to complete as part of the $4.2 billion plan to replace the Alaskan Way Viaduct with a deep-bore tunnel.

Mayor Mike McGinn has proposed a 30-year $235 million bond measure, which he wants to send to voters in November.

According to a City Council staff report, the council could hold off on a decision for the bulk of seawall financing until 2011. Seawall construction is expected to start in 2013 and finish in 2015. A preferred design isn't expected to be chosen until 2011.

The council's special committee on the Alaskan Way Viaduct replacement also was presented Monday with two more potential financing packages for the seawall and other work related to the viaduct replacement. Altogether, the city must come up with $302 million in "unsecured funding," meaning the council must create new taxes to pay for it."

What a contrast with the Fort Worth City Council, which spends its time debating things like giving handouts to corporate failures, like RadioShack. And other nonsense.


Steve A said...

Is not letting the people vote really better than having a vote on the Mariner's stadium and then building it anyway after it gets turned down?

Durango said...

Steve A, the reason Safeco Field got built is a bit more complicated than simply saying it got built after the voters turned funding it down.

King County held a special election in September 1995, asking the public for a sales tax increase to build a new ballpark. The measure was narrowly defeated.

On the baseball field that same month, the Mariners mounted a late-season comeback after being as many as 13 games out of first place and won their first American League West division title after winning a one-game tiebreaker against the California Angels. They went on to defeat the New York Yankees in the American League Division Series, a series that was clinched on a memorable 11th inning double by Edgar Martínez. Despite the Mariners' subsequent loss to the Cleveland Indians in the American League Championship Series, the late-season comeback and postseason run renewed the public's interest in keeping the team in Seattle. As a result, the Washington State Legislature approved an alternate means of funding for the stadium with public money.