Anyone who’s read my stuff over the years knows I’m no great fan of State Senator Brandon Shaffer. I’ve disagreed with him on his voting record, specifically the games he tried to play with the Electoral College, and how he basically became Ken Gordon‘s extra vote. We need someone to represent Longmont and District 17, not a puppet who pretty much tows the party line, right down the line.
The following press release was sent directly to me from candidate Katie Witt who is challenging Brandon Shaffer for this seat. – Chris
Lipstick on a Pig: Fastracks in Boulder County in Peril
August 18, 2008: Longmont, CO – Katie Witt, Republican candidate for State Senate District 17, today announced her position regarding the growing controversy surrounding the RTD FasTracks project.
“The prospect of FasTracks getting to Longmont and eastern Boulder County, on budget and on schedule, now appears to be absolutely zero,” Witt stated. “What makes the situation outrageous is that Longmont citizens have been paying for this project—one that my opponent Brandon Shaffer campaigned for in 2004— with little to show for it to date. Where has Brandon been the last four years while RTD heads straight toward fiscal implosion: the answer I fear is, “he’s been asleep at the wheel.”
“While my support of the FasTracks concept remains strong, it’s clear that this is one public works project that has spun out of control. Elected leaders and administrators need to revisit and seriously re-think the viability of the original plan.
“I fear that the worst news is yet to come. When FasTracks reaches full build-out, the operational losses from this poorly conceived project will implode the fiscal foundations of RTD, with taxpayers left holding the bag. It is time to stop the denial about the extra-ordinary fiscal risks involved with “staying the course” through keeping with the current plan. It’s time to stop trying to put lipstick on a pig.
“Fastracks to Longmont, an extension of the North Metro line tied into the Highway 287 corridor, is essential. Because of the growth along the I-25 corridor and number of people working in Denver Metro area, a line to eastern Boulder County would have the greatest impact on our transportation problems.
“If we subtract the politicians from the equation, this is the plan that makes sense for Boulder County. It will do what it was designed to do: reduce cars on the road.
“Obviously, the FasTracks proposal was driven by political considerations, not good mass transit policy. That’s why the FasTracks project is in such deep trouble financially.
“I praise RTD board member Lee Kemp and Longmont’s mayor Roger Lange, who’ve been on top of this worsening situation. What we need now is a task force led by RTD to re-examine alternatives, and legislative hearings at the Capitol to ensure far greater accountability going forward. Our current state senator is asleep at the switch on this crucial project.
“We need strong leadership and clear thinking on this crucial economic development project. Eastern Boulder County needs a FasTracks designed to support job growth and a vibrant east-county economic development effort. We need to see if we can get FasTracks to Longmont and eastern Boulder County.”