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October 20, 2003

Letters to the Editor: Lost a high-paying job? Sell the boat and move on

(Regarding "These days, many jobs are gone for good," DJC, Oct. 14)
I have sympathy for the person who can't find a $9.50 per hour replacement job.  Their struggles are real. But I am tired of reading about the past, especially the "good-paying jobs." 

Here's a "reality check" you can cash: those jobs are not coming back.  The "dot-com" jobs, and others like it, were built on the same fairy dust that saw the rise, collapse and stabilization of the industry.

I know people who are still unemployed, and are unwilling to take another job, because they are waiting for those "good-paying" jobs to materialize.  It isn't going to happen.  These are the same people who chased an ever-growing, fantasy-world paycheck by jumping from Web company to Web company. I hope you had fun, at the expense of building a career.  Now wake up and join the real world. 

Locally (i.e. the aerospace industry), it's clear we will never reach the employment level of "the good 'ol days." Instead of bashing those companies who won't hire you back, thank them for giving you the opportunity to make a better-than-average wage with a less-than-average education.  Sell your boat, quickly realize you can't afford a $45,000 automobile, and take charge of your life. 

Quit dwelling on the past and move on. You will be happier in the long run.

David Wilson

Seattle


Is monorail ripe for recall?

Given the massive overestimation of monorail tax revenue, dissolution of the monorail will become a strong possibility in the coming year.

According to state law in the authority statute (RCW 35.95A.120) "The city transportation (monorail) authority may be dissolved by a vote of the people residing within the boundaries of the authority if the authority is faced with significant financial problems." This error in estimated revenue certainly appears to constitute a "significant financial problem."

Jeff Doyle, staff coordinator/senior legal counsel for the House Transportation Committee, Washington State Legislature, offered the following: "One can argue that the drop in forecasted revenues for the monorail represents a "significant financial problem." The issue is whether such a petition is found to be valid by the city prosecutor, Tom Carr.

Affecting this finding is whether revenue projections for the monorail are sufficient to complete the plan approved by voters. The monorail argues that attractive interest rates, built-in contingencies in the budget, value engineering and future revenue growth will allow the planned system to go forward.

These arguments can be countered in that such a revenue shortfall will mean a truncated system or one not built to the standards set forth or implied in the voter-approved plan. The city prosecutor may choose to decide that question or defer an answer until the environmental impact statement is completed and bids are received for the design, build, operate and maintain (DBOM) contract. If projected revenues are not sufficient to meet the DBOM bid price, that will provide strong, if not conclusive evidence of serious financial problems. Another tactic by the monorail "authority" may be to stretch the tax duration from 25 years to 40 years. This should also sink the agency under an interpretation of "significant financial problems."

Derailing the monorail will be a proper end to the manipulative strategies of the agency. Withholding this error of tax revenue is only one of many issues now being exposed. Even in the voting booth, the monorail agency strategically did not include on the ballot the anticipated number of years we will pay the tax. Don't kid yourself. Exercising only half the tax this first critical year was not because they are such nice people. It was a clever ploy to lessen the impact of this tax during this critical time when we can still say no.

Seattle never really had a chance to vote on alternative routes. The current route was set in place by special interest groups. Yes, there were opportunities for public opinion, but that is a long shot from a vote on alternatives. Building an elevated train in front of personal and commercial property is bound to have an endless string of lawsuits. Parking has also been ignored. Businesses close to terminals will find regular customers may go elsewhere due to a lack of parking.

Seattle deserves better. We need to pursue this dissolution. We are in the process of gathering e-mail addresses of those interested in signing a recall petition. We may even do the entire process online. Please send your e-mail address to: tkbawulf@aol.com.

Tim Wulf

Seattle



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