Posts Tagged ‘Dan Pike’

Hasta la Bye Bye former Mayor Pike

Tuesday, June 21st, 2011

When I heard the news that the Transportation Safety Coalition had turned in around 7,000 signatures for an initiative to let voters decide if they want traffic cameras in Bellingham, I knew we could start waving hasta la bye bye to Mayor Dan Pike.   Even with high kickout rates as signatures are verified, 7,000 is hopefully a lot more than the 3,880 needed and 7,000 is a referendum on Dan Pike and the current City Council of Bellingham.

When Dan Pike was Mayor of Bellingham he had a chance to hold an open forum and listen to peoples concerns about the cameras.  He didn’t.  As signatures mounted during the petition drive, he could have postponed signing the contract with ATS.  He didn’t.   Through the whole process he could have represented the interests of the people of Bellingham.  He didn’t.   Dan Pike may legally be the Mayor, but in reality, he isn’t.

From where I stand in Ferndale I see the people of Bellingham, left, right and in the middle looking for leadership in the next election, not in the current mayors office.  Hasta la bye bye.

Proper Cliche

Monday, March 7th, 2011

I just heard that Kelli Linville is running against Dan Pike for the Bellingham Mayor position.

So, which is the proper cliche, the lesser of two evils or two wrongs don’t make a right?
Evil might be a little harsh, so I’m going to go with two wrongs don’t make a right .

What is the Scariest thing about the Northwest Avenue Bike Lane Project?

Tuesday, December 14th, 2010

carlaneWe all know that the City of Bellingham is considering doing away with parking in favor of bike lanes along portions of Northwest Avenue.  Whenever I hear about projects I think dollar signs and that is pretty scary since much of the money for these Bellingham projects comes from sources other than the Bellingham.  Sources like taxes you pay to the County, State and Federal government whether you live in Bellingham or not.

Yes, the same Federal Government that is running a deficit, is digging an even deeper hole funding do good projects in Bellingham and to be fair also in every other city, county, and state in our nation.    Anyone driven through the new roundabout in Blaine?  Well give it a whirl and as you’re going round and round about think about the $13.2 million that was added to the Federal Deficit.  Oh, and if you go round more than once think about the other 119 roundabouts round our state that the WSDOT is so full of pride about.  I’ve not investigated the cost and funding of every roundabout.  However to better orient yourself to the magnitude of the issue, consider that $13.2 million x 120 = $1.6 billion which is a lot of added deficit so that we can drive round in circles.

Nickel & Diming is a simple and time proven concept and it is hard at work growing our national debt.    Our nation’s debt isn’t from one big ticket item, it’s from millions of little projects.   In Bellingham they have adopted a Six Year Transportation Improvement Project which from the looks of it is just a list of many of those millions of little Nickel & Dime projects.

Here’s the funding resources for Bellingham’s Transportation Improvement Project:

    1. City Street: Public Works Street Fund comprised of motor vehicle gas tax and 42.5% of
      the total sales tax collected by the City of Bellingham.
    2. Real Estate Excise Tax (REET): Comprised of 1/2 of 1% of the total real estate revenue
      for a given year. REET funding is divided into first ¼ and second ¼ and can be used for limited types of transportation projects.
    3. Federal: Federal Highway Administration, Federal Transit Authority, or U.S.
      Department of Transportation administered grant funding programs.
    4. Federal American Reinvestment and Recovery Act (ARRA): One-time federal
      economic stimulus funding provided for transportation projects.
    5. Federal Highway Bridge Program (HBP): Provides federal funds for structural repair
      or replacement. Project oversight at the State level by the Bridge Replacement Advisory Committee (BRAC).
    6. Federal Surface Transportation Program (STP): Provides federal funds to maintain
      and expand eligible arterial street systems.
    7. Federal Surface Transportation Program Enhancements (STP-E): Provides federal
      funds to enhance facilities for alternative transportation modes on eligible street systems.
    8. State: State administered grant funding programs or State educational institutions such as Western Washington University (WWU), Whatcom Community College (WCC), and Bellingham Technical College (BTC).
    9. WSDOT: Washington State Department of Transportation biennium budget – State
      Funding administered through WSDOT.
    10. Washington Transportation Improvement Board (TIB): State grant funding for
      arterials, sidewalks, and safety measures.
    11. Private & Other (Partnerships): Transportation Impact Fees, Whatcom County,
      Whatcom Transportation Authority, private business investment, private mitigation, etc.

    That’s eleven sources of funding.   I got bored reading the word “Federal” over and over, but I think I found 1 or 2 that were Bellinghamish sources.  The rest of the list shows the way that Bellingham transportation projects add more burden to our already broken state budget and pile on more and more to our nation’s deficit problem.  It is scary how many of these projects are out there in cities around our nation just waiting for city officials to pull the trigger on some matching federal funds and push local overspending right up to our nations suffering bottom line.

    As if this situation isn’t scary enough as it is repeated around our nation, it’s even scarier here in Bellingham because amongst the whoopla over whether or not to trade parking for bicycle lanes on Northwest Avenue, the Bellingham City Council is considering allowing Dan Pike’s personally appointed Transportation Commission the power to implement these changes in an unprecedented fashion.

    The City Council on Monday, Dec. 13, will consider approving a resolution that:

    – Asks staff to conduct a community meeting as soon as possible to discuss how to install the bike lanes.

    – Asks staff to install them along the Northwest Avenue-Elm Street-Dupont Street corridor as soon as possible.

    – Authorizes the advisory Transportation Commission to make decisions of this sort in the future, with the council having 45 days after the commission decision to reject or change it.

    Read more: http://www.thenewstribune.com/2010/12/13/1460400/bellingham-council-to-consider.html#ixzz189PMPsQ8

    Really?  They are going to allow an appointed Transportation Commission to implement programs like this without prior Council approval?  Why exactly is there a Bellingham City Council again?

    And there it was, the scariest thing about the Northwest Avenue Bike Lane Project is not the loss of parking, nor just the piling on of debt.  The scariest thing is that we could be stuck with the bill when Mayor Dan Pike’s  commission pulls the trigger on any of these Bellingham Projects. 

    Bellinghamsters are big on Buy Local, when are they going to start the Pay Local campaign?

    Where there’s a Dan, there’s a way

    Saturday, June 5th, 2010

    Word around town is that Mayor Dan Pike of Bellingham is looking again/still to raise taxes.  I first read the announcement in the Herald blogs,

    Mayor Dan Pike wants the city to form a citywide Transportation Benefit District and increase the sales tax by two-tenths of 1 percent, which would generate about $3.8 million a year.

    He’s already talked with City Council members who like the idea, but the council is scheduled for formally discuss the proposal for the first time on Monday, June 7.

    …He’d like to see money go toward annual repaving, building bike lanes and sidewalks and, through a contract with WTA, providing bus service that would otherwise be cut.

    Read more: http://blogs.bellinghamherald.com/traffic/?p=3863#ixzz0pzBhzCx7

    and then saw on Facebook that he was going to be on KGMI’s PM Bellingham to peddle his new tax scheme. 

    KGMI News/Talk 790  Ready for higher sales taxes in Bellingham? Mayor Dan Pike is proposing an increase to pay for transportation projects. Would you vote for such an increase?

    Wasn’t it just a month or so ago that the people of Whatcom County told WTA Board member Dan Pike that they weren’t willing to spend this same amount?   Now we have Mayor Dan Pike asking the people of Bellingham for the same amount.  Is it a coincidence that it will take the exact same amount to improve transportation issues in Bellingham or is it that the WTA vote was used as a poll to see how much the people of Bellingham would cough up without choking?  

    If I lived in Bellingham that’d be the question on my mind.  Do we need this, or is it Mayor Dan Pike who wants it, and he’ll find a way?

    I won’t get to vote on this because I live outside of Bellingham.   However those of us who live outside of  Bellingham should have the same concerns, because we likely spend a good portion of our money in Bellingham where we will be paying this tax.  Consider trips to Costco, Walmart, Fairhaven, Bellis Fair, go see a movie, buy a car, do business in town?  The people of Bellingham will be voting on this tax, but given the commercial layout of the county we will all share in the paying.  

    So if this vote were to go through, Mayor Pike would essentially get a good portion of the taxes that he was just denied in the recent WTA vote.  He also gets to contract with WTA to provide additional bus service in Bellingham and gets extra for other transportation related spending within the city.   I wonder if as both a WTA board member and the Mayor of Bellingham, he will withdraw himself from contract dealings with himself? 

    Oh, and let’s not forget that whether we are in Bellingham or not, as State & Federal taxpayers we foot the bill for new WTA buses that get worn out in the City of Bellingham.  

    I haven’t decided whether this is shrewd, conniving of both?   Hopefully it won’t matter as much as people awake to the fact that so many of the politicians in office are looking for too many ways to spend and too few ways to save. 

    Isn’t it time to give tax increases a rest?