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June 30, 2007


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Rick Wamre

If you look at the main Morning News story this morning concerning the TrinityVote signatures (Jeff's link is to the sidebar, which takes a look at whether the proposed toll road in the levee would have flooded during the latest deluges), you'll see that our new mayor is already definitively taking a stance against the referendum, saying that by approving the referendum and demanding either revisions to the road plans or relocation of the road out of the levee, the voters will be significantly increasing the time necessary to complete the project. Leppert seemed like a thoughtful guy during the election; hopefully, he'll take a step back now just to make sure that his initial impressions about the Trinity project are correct. Angela Hunt has repeatedly cited state transportation authorities saying unequivocally that what the mayor and past council are saying about the delay is wrong. Either the mayor or Hunt is mistaken, and to me, that is what this whole referendum process will be about. Up until now, it hasn't even been possible for a citizen to really figure out what's going on with the Trinity; not that the Trinity supporters wouldn't answer questions or make information available, but that the information just didn't make sense. Also, the time period that has lapsed since initial approval in 1998 has never been fully explained away as to why things are taking so long and why the plans have unilaterally been changed over the years. This referendum, win or lose, is going to allow some light to be shed on the whole project, giving taxpayers/voters a chance to decide if the current course is still one that we like. I don't see any harm in any of this. If once every 10 years the politicians have to check in with the voters and justify what happened to our original $240 million investment and what is going to happen with the remaining $1 billion, what can be so wrong with that?

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