Pierce County Council at war with own charter
Ms. Elliott's recent letter (Gateway, April 8) states the courts should decide the validly of the referendum against the $230 million new administration building. The bigger question is can the issue get a fair trial in Pierce County Courts. Pierce County has already sued the citizen that filed the referendum. Pierce County wants this $230,000,000 palace for their bureaucrats and Pierce County Courts want the extra space that will become available when and if the county moves. The Charter is very clear that a referendum can be filed against any ordinance except those pertaining to emergencies and public safety. A new $230,000,000 palace is neither. Pierce County is at war with their own Charter passed by the people that was intended to give the people the right to vote.
Of course, the County would like this case to be heard by judges that will benefit from the new building. The larger question is why are Democrat Council members, including Derek Young, in favor of suing their own citizen, who is following the rules of the Charter and afraid of allowing a vote of the people?
Peninsula voters will remember who is suppressing our right to vote.
Andrew G. Coster
Small increase in bridge toll puts huge burden on retirees
A 50 cent increase in the Tacoma Narrows Bridge Toll in 2015 and 2016 places a huge burden on folks that need to use the Narrows Bridge to get to and from work. Also, it hurts the business community on the East side of the Narrows Bridge (e.g. folks will not travel into Tacoma, et. al. in order to shop or take care of business) and will seek goods and services on the West side of the bridge. While this may help business on the Key Peninsula, it will greatly reduce spending for all. Additionally, retirees living on the Peninsula on a fixed-income will avoid driving over the Tacoma Narrows Bridge at all costs.
Why are there increasing debt payments on the Tacoma Narrows Bridge by this arbitrary (or any) amount? A Washington state contract was signed with the builder. X amount to build it, Y amount to pay the builder, and Z amount to maintain it. Any increase, without adequate explanation, complete/open public/ media justification, and actual publicly disclosed figures is shady! Not everyone can attend a public meeting.
I believe that peninsula residents are being forced to pay more than their fair share — for transportation problems facing the rest of Washington state!
A better solution to some of Puget Sound’s crumbling transportation infrastructure is to put a toll on the I-90 floating bridge (rather than a forever increase to the Narrows Bridge/167/520 tolls). With tolls on 167 and 520, why aren’t there tolls on the I-90 floating bridge? Mercer Island residents and the others that use I-90 should not be considered more entitled/privileged than anyone else. They are no better than peninsula residents. Those folks should be equally sharing in the burden and paying their fair share.