On December 19, 2017, The Suburban Times published an article titled, Lakewood responds to media inquiries following Amtrak train 501 derailment in DuPont.
After hearing the recorded conversation above, I am confident most listeners will agree that Mayor Anderson’s questions were both intelligent and penetrating as he addressed the WADOT high-speed train staff. Additionally, Mayor Anderson’s statements were well thought out and on target regarding the dangers posed by WADOT running high-speed trains through the City of Lakewood.
Mayor Anderson’s recorded words established that he was serving as an active advocate for the citizens of Lakewood. I compliment Mayor Anderson for the way in which he addressed the WADOT officials. Mayor Anderson sounded much like a powerful United States Senator conducting business at a critical Senate hearing in Washington DC.
There was also an abundant amount of common sense in Mayor Anderson’s well-crafted communication with the WADOT officials. It is evident to me that Mayor Anderson was doing his very best to protect thousands of children and adults who will now be unnecessarily exposed to injury and death because WADOT is rerouting high-speed trains through Lakewood for the sake of a 6 — 10-minute savings in train travel time.
The WADOT officials were left stammering and gasping for air when they attempted to respond to Mayor Anderson. WADOT’s response to Mayor Anderson’s concerns was in a single word pathetic.
While listening to Mayor Anderson discussing the life and death risks associated with high-speed trains I could not help but notice something else.
If you look closely at Mayor Anderson’s words and logic, he presents a perfect argument for unwinding another government plan that has the potential for producing unnecessary life and death risks for people living and working in Lakewood. I am referring to Lakewood’s new Rental Housing Safety Program known as the RIP.
It is uncanny. If you take either Mayor Anderson’s exact words or paraphrase his words and concepts, his well-articulated thoughts provide an excellent argument for dissolving the RIP.
Follow along, and you will see what I mean.
MAYOR ANDERSON – TRAINS: …14 trains a day will now pass through Lakewood causing delay for 200 school buses loaded with children and thousands of cars as the vehicles and pedestrians wait at more than a dozen rail crossings. What that means is the train saves 6 – 10 minutes, but thousands of citizens lose way more time than that waiting at rail crossings. In other words, WADOT focussed a large and expensive solution on solving a tiny problem. The solution for a tiny problem creates a larger problem which violates common sense.
JOE BOYLE – RIP: Lakewood City government focussed a large and expensive solution on solving a tiny problem. Only a minority of properties are slum properties, which is the problem our city council told us was their concern. Lakewood City Council operated just like WADOT. Lakewood generated a big expensive and unnecessary solution for a tiny problem. Lakewood focussed on helping a minority number of renters living in slum conditions. In doing so, Lakewood is causing landlords, property managers and renters who do not need Lakewood’s help to lose time, money and privacy. WADOT focussed on saving train passengers 6 – 10 minutes, but will cause thousands of others significantly more time loss as they repeatedly wait at rail crossings. Both Lakewood and WADOT focussed on providing a large solution for a tiny problem. The solution in each generates a new problem that is larger than the first tiny problem.
MAYOR ANDERSON – TRAINS: It is inevitable that someone will get killed because of the WADOT high-speed trains.
JOE BOYLE – RIP: It is entirely possible the RIP will generate an unnecessary risk of injury and / or death of a citizen, child, pet, city staff, safety inspector, police officer, or member of City Council.
MAYOR ANDERSON – TRAINS: I can already hear WADOT dismissing a train death because the decedent was a trespasser or suffered from behavioral health issues.
JOE BOYLE – RIP: I can already hear Lakewood City Council dismissing injury and death because a citizen was wrong about the Fourth Amendment violation or that the citizen suffered from behavioral health issues. Of course, the obvious difference is that the City of Lakewood is the trespasser, not the renter.
MAYOR ANDERSON – TRAINS: When someone is killed I want somebody from WADOT to come back here and explain to me why certain safety enhancements were not installed.
JOE BOYLE – RIP: When someone is injured or killed because of RIP activity by the city, I want six of the seven members of Lakewood City Council to come back and explain to me why they voted for an unnecessary government program that obviously had the potential to result in the injury or death of people who would not have been injured or killed had the RIP not been implemented.
MAYOR ANDERSON – TRAINS: This project was never needed. It endangers our citizens with very, very, very, little highly subsidized transportation enhancement.
JOE BOYLE – RIP: The RIP project was never needed. The RIP project endangers our citizens with very, very, very, little highly subsidized (Property owners and renters are forced to subsidize RIP) housing enhancement.
Let’s get Amtrak back on track by sending the trains back along the scenic route and thereby save thousands of citizens from being exposed to time loss, injury, and death.
Let’s get the City of Lakewood back on track by sending the renters living in slum conditions a better plan for education and resource assistance rather than expose innocent citizens to time loss, injury, death, and loss of privacy.
Thank you for your intelligent words Mayor Anderson and thank you for honoring my freedom of speech in creating the opportunity for me to use your words out of context to make my point.
In order for Lakewood City Council to replace the RIP with a sensible, safer, and more cost effective solution, one of two things will need to occur.
(1) A majority of current or future Lakewood City Council members will have to possess a huge amount of courage to reevaluate the RIP and then replace the RIP with a fair and equitable alternative solution.
(2) One day news sources will report the death of a police officer, citizen, city staff member, or city council member because a citizen took great umbrage at having their Constitutional Fourth Amendment Rights violated because of Lakewood’s RIP.
Our City Council can use Mayor Anderson’s words to dismiss any future RIP caused deaths by suggesting the renter / killer suffered from behavioral health issues or the renter was a trespasser. Oh, wait, the renter can’t be a trespasser. He or she lives in the home. The City of Lakewood is the trespasser.