About this blog

My name is Bill Hirt and I'm a candidate to be a Representative from the 48th district in the Washington State legislature. My candidacy stems from concern the legislature is not properly overseeing the WSDOT and Sound Transit East Link light rail program. I believe East Link will be a disaster for the entire eastside. ST will spend 5-6 billion on a transportation project that will increase, not decrease cross-lake congestion, violates federal environmental laws, devastates a beautiful part of residential Bellevue, creates havoc in Bellevue's central business district, and does absolutely nothing to alleviate congestion on 1-90 and 405. The only winners with East Link are the Associated Builders and Contractors of Western Washington and their labor unions.

This blog is an attempt to get more public awareness of these concerns. Many of the articles are from 3 years of failed efforts to persuade the Bellevue City Council, King County Council, east side legislators, media, and other organizations to stop this debacle. I have no illusions about being elected. My hope is voters from throughout the east side will read of my candidacy and visit this Web site. If they don't find them persuasive I know at least I tried.

Monday, October 22, 2012

Another Undoubtedly Futile BCC Appearance

(I presented the following to the BCC at their 10/22 meeting)
My name is Bill Hirt and I live at 2615 170th SE.  I’m here tonight to speak out against a proposal before the council to raise property taxes to fund capital projects. This proposal to increase taxes by 4% will apparently raise $1.4 million annually.  While not exactly “chicken feed” it pales in comparison to the $200 million the council recently agreed to pay Sound Transit for a tunnel under the city center.

No one in Seattle had to pay any extra to Sound Transit for the recent decision to tunnel from the University District to Northgate.  Why did Bellevue get stuck for an additional $200 million?  Especially since Sound Transit already gets about 40% of their funds from east side taxes.  The council could have threatened to refuse approving the permits Sound Transit needs to begin construction. 

Instead you allowed ST to proceed with their current plan without ever considering a tunnel from South Bellevue P&R through the city.  You then agreed to a route that will devastate the lives of many in Enatai and Surry Downs.  On top of that you’re currently negotiating with ST to eliminate some of the features that mitigate this devastation.

Before you raise anyone’s taxes the council needs to explain in detail how they intend to pay for the rest of the $200 million.   Also why don’t you ask Sound Transit to consider a BRT system that would eliminate the need for the $200 million, avoid the devastation along 112th Ave. and prevent ST from grid locking I-90 with light rail. 

Evan more important, don’t negotiate away your right to use the permitting process to stop this debacle.  Doing so now would be unconscionable.

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