Remember R-51, the mega billion highway funding program that washed up on shore like a dead fish back in 2002? The main reason people voted against it was revealed in a survey taken by Elway research. As Elway himself said:
Nearly half the R-51 opponents in our last poll said volunteered "government’s inability to spend the money efficiently or effectively" as their main reason to vote no.
In a related piece, King 5 News asks "why is the state's transportation committee fighting a financial audit?" in an article written on Oct 10.
"Transportation projects cost Washington taxpayers about $2-billion dollars a year. State auditor Brian Sonntag is the man in charge of keeping track of how it's all spent. He's currently conducting a system-wide audit of transportation in Washington. But at a special meeting last month with the Legislature's transportation committee, he couldn't believe what he heard.
'We were met with questions and accusations accusing our office of being on a witch hunt, of having some hidden political agenda of our own,' he said.
... Sources said that the audit examines some very politically sensitive areas including congestion on our roadways, management of the state ferry system and some areas that have never been subject to audit before."
Apparently the auditors are not just looking at how dollars are being spent, but also at if our money is actually doing us any good. Congestion, not just spending is being studied.
Adding fuel to the political fire is the fact that the auditor's final report will be released late next summer -- right before voters will be asked to spend huge sums of money on various transportation projects in King, Pierce and Snohomish counties.
The report indicates poor money management could stall those critical projects indefinitely.
In 2007 we all vote on a new incarnation of R-51, the RTID highway funding package...