By David Anderson
Of course we out here in Tillicum wish the City of Lakewood well – in the just announced lawsuit – in derailing High Speed Fail given it’s our community that is “isolated,” and it is our neighborhood that “has the most to lose from the project.”
However, given the track record of our community in conflict with the City, my guess is this lawsuit will end up in the same circular file ours did when fighting Lakewood to keep Camp Murray traffic from running through our town.
On a par with what the City now charges WSDOT’s rail project as “factually incorrect” and “makes clear that this (the environmental review) was merely a bureaucratic exercise,” similarly did Dave Bugher, Lakewood’s Assistant City Manager, charge the Washington Military Department (WMD) in what Tillicum thought was then on our behalf.
In a September 16, 2010 twelve-page letter to Thomas Skjervold, Division of Facilities and Grounds for the WMD, Bugher declared WMD’s environmental review “Document and Process Inadequate;” “Need not established;” “Alternatives not thoroughly vetted;” and further complained of unaddressed impacts upon “Land use;” “Air Quality;” “Environmental justice;” “Impacts upon Children;” “Impacts upon Transportation;” and more.
To what avail?
Our community lost a legal battle. We lost a measure of faith in representative government. We lost even more trust that city leaders were honest brokers of a legal system that would give us our day in court only to find out in the 11th hour – after hundreds of out-of-pocket dollars, and as many pages of documents – that, due to technical difficulties the show – and that’s all it was, or as Lakewood calls WSDOT’s environmental review “merely a bureaucratic exercise” – was over.
Anti-climatically, Tillicum would find itself undone by “a technicality.” The Tacoma News Tribune reported that “the city and military department had asked the court to dismiss the appeal because state law bars judicial review of right-of-way permits.” Which ROW going in all parties must have known was what the court case was all about.
Crying over spilt milk? Just hope Lakewood has a better battle with the WSDOT behemoth than our tiny community had with the City.
Otherwise, should High Speed Rail not fail to run our life-congested neighborhood through, it’s just a matter of time before it’s about spilt blood.
Much documentation is available at www.communitymattersweb.com as to the real reason WSDOT is pushing this project and what is in reality fueling the engine on this train and what the consequences, given the train’s current accident statistics, will be.