By David Anderson, Tillicum, CommunityMattersWeb.com
On September 16, 2010, Dave Bugher wrote a 12-page single-spaced letter basically shredding Camp Murray’s last attempt to put a gate at Portland Ave. Eleven different indictments.
Before the Tillicum Action Committee (TAC) the afternoon of July 18, 2011, Bugher said “new evidence” indicates Portland Ave. could work after all.
When challenged on these previously-held positions and asked to substantiate the new deal being made, Bugher indicated only that it was based on privileged and confidential information.
But listen to some of the reasons why Camp Murray’s proposal was not acceptable just 10 months ago, and now it is, and ask yourself if your elected representatives should not be asking the hard questions – and providing the answers to the public.
1. Bugher had written, “Camp Murray had not established the need.” Camp Murray said the gate relocation was a safety issue. Bugher wrote ‘show us the accident rates.’ Senator Carrell likewise has written that Camp Murray had not proved the necessity of gate relocation.
2. Camp Murray said I-5 congestion would be alleviated by moving the gate. Bugher wrote, ‘Not true.’ So too did Deputy Mayor Don Anderson, going so far as to say that a solution for Camp Murray’s traffic, short of additional lanes on I-5, was no more than “lipstick on a pig.” Don Anderson concluded his letter saying these traffic problems will “never be solved by relocation of a gate.”
3. Bugher furthermore flatly stated that Camp Murray’s gate relocation proposal was “no more than simply a matter of convenience.”
4. Bugher said the alternatives had not been thoroughly vetted, most particularly what’s called the South Gate on North Fort. At the TAC meeting both Col. Jeff Plug and Dave Bugher stated, “JBLB and the National Guard aren’t talking to one another.” That is not, or at least shouldn’t be, our problem. Senator Mike Carrell wrote that the south gate should be the priority. And Camp Murray admits in its EA of last year that the rigorous review of all options for gate relocation did not include that south gate because it did not fit its criteria which, among other things – perhaps the most important thing – to them anyway, was a pedestrian friendly campus. But I frankly fail to see why our neighborhood, which has been here as long as Camp Murray’s, should be made to suffer the consequences of their campus-friendly vision by running their traffic through our town.
5. Bugher said, “Keeping the main gate in its present location would strengthen the WMD’s position with WSDOT in terms of making demands upon reconstruction of the interchange.”
In a report to the City Council on October 4, 2010 Mayor Doug Richardson enthused, “One of the best things that’s happened in the last couple weeks is the formation of a new committee out in Tillicum which was an outstanding example of representative government really. Certainly they have worked hand in hand with their city council and city staff to work through issues in Tillicum.
Yet we are now told that as many as 3,000 pages have exchanged hands between Camp Murray and Lakewood just this year alone. And for all that praise of the Tillicum Committee that worked “hand-in-hand with Council and staff”, not one of those pages has passed through the hands of those most impacted by this new deal.
Substantive answers should be demanded as to reasons why a document Deputy Mayor Don Anderson called “grossly deficient” now isn’t.
To do otherwise is unacceptable.
Note: All statements in this letter are supported by available Public Disclosure documents.