City Council Member Jean Godden has a blog post over on Crosscut today that equates everyone raising questions about the deep-bore tunnel financing to the birthers who says Obama isn't really American.
"Like the 'birthers' who refuse to give up on their campaign to make the president seem an alien," your representative on the city council writes, "the 'cost overrunners' are hell bent on spreading their propaganda, even after it has been repeatedly revealed as an empty threat."
For the record, nearly two-thirds of the people in Seattle think we should figure out who will pay for cost overrun on this mega project before it goes forward. They specifically say they agree with the mayor on this.
The crux of her evidence that cost overruns aren't an issue? The council intends to pass a nonbinding city resolution that says the state can't collect money for cost overruns from the city. "The resolution protects the city of Seattle and reaffirms the city’s policy that the state is solely responsible for all costs associated with the deep-bore tunnel, including any cost overruns related to the implementation of the state transportation department's program," she writes.
She must be joking.
Resolutions may as well be printed on single-ply toilet paper with disappearing ink because they're—again—nonbinding. They're worth as much as an op-ed blog post in a hidden corner of the internet. Even if this was a binding ordinance—a law as opposed to a gesture—the notion that the city could can control how the state spends its transportation budget in future years is ridiculous. If the construction team building the project encounters unforeseen conditions and cost overruns occur, it is allowed to collect money from the state, which I mentioned yesterday.
Only the state legislature—not the city council, not the attorney general, and not the governor—can decide where that money comes from, because the legislature capped its spending at $2.8 billion. It can either raise that cap or it can do what it said it would do: collect that money from Seattle.
Last, Godden is engaging in hilariously transparent double speak. She accuses the mayor a propaganda campaign of simplicity and repetition, presenting only one side of the picture, taking one position and the changing it, and finding a scapegoat.
You mean like council's simplistic repetition that cost overruns aren't a realistic risk when the risks are well documented? Like the council only representing one side of the debate? Like the council insisting we can't afford a delay and then delaying action by seven months? Like the council playing soap-opera politics and scapegoating the mayor?
But what would anyone in Seattle know? Godden says that 63 percent of the city are the same as birthers.