Engineering arguments on need for RTA don't make sense

Filed under: Opinion |

It must be getting close to November. The orchestrated whining by the tax-and-spend brigade has begun.

Michael King’s letter, “Maintaining roads makes better sense than building them” published 10/01/2004 states that he is a professional engineer and has “investigated” the PPRTA (tax hike) ballot issue. According to the State Board of Professional Engineers and Land Surveyors, Mr. King works for Wilson & Co., a company that provides transportation planning and engineering services for most major road projects in Colorado Springs. Mr. King therefore seems to have a vested interest in seeing the billion dollar RTA tax hike succeed.

I also am a professional engineer and have also investigated the ramifications of issue 1A.

Complaining that transportation suffers a “lack of funds,” Michael King wants to hand $70 million a year more to those very politicians who created the backlog. He thinks that we should reward those who have cynically refused for years to care for the basics first, so they could create a “crisis” to justify this latest tax increase.

The annual county budget is $100 million. For the city, it’s over $200 million. We also pay state and federal taxes for roads. Where is all that money going? In the city and county, over 80 percent goes for salaries. Is it any wonder they say nothing is left for roads? Roads will never be a priority if they merely spend the crumbs on what citizens really want.

King says “it is always cheaper to adequately maintain our roads and bridges rather than rebuild them.” So why didn’t the government do that? Why must we pay this huge tax increase for such mistakes and misconduct? Why give more money to those he admits have mismanaged the vast resources they already have?

I-25 will finally be widened in 2005, so we don’t need to pass issue 1A to do that.

He unintentionally defeats his argument when he writes, “We, as citizens, need to protect our tax dollars, not throw them away.” Amen to that. I am going to protect my tax dollars, not throw them away, by voting “no” on issue 1A.

Frederic Herman P.E. Ph.D.

Colorado Springs