A number of years ago, while I served on the Edmonds City Council and as a member of the Sound Transit Board of Directors, I was asked to participate in a district Republican debate about ST2.
Frankly I was stunned by the people in the room who opposed spending that would benefit a future generation more than their own. I could not believe my ears.
There are many things where private business can be much more efficient than government. But, there are some that cannot. Take streets, roads, water, sewer and public transportation, for example. These fall in a different category all together. And the investment in this important infrastructure almost always benefits future generations more than the one footing the bill.
I did not contribute a single penny to the construction of Interstate 5, or Highway 99 or the very street that runs in front of my home here in Edmonds. I paid nothing to have the municipal water system and sewer system installed in my street and delivered to my home. Yet I benefit each and every day from the spending of previous generations!
So what gives me the right to withhold spending to improve the transportation infrastructure in the region? In truth, the road structure we have today was designed for a fraction of the traffic we have in the region today. And it will get much worse if we don’t act now.
As a member of the Sound Transit Board, I spoke frequently that we need to keep in mind that eventually we need to push light rail all the way to Everett. If not, we shortchange everyone.
I cast my ballot in favor of ST3 and hope that you can find it in your heart to invest in the future too.
— By Richard L. Marin
Capt. Richard L. Marin, US Navy (Ret) served on the Edmonds City Council from 2001 to 2008. He also was a member of the Community Transit and Sound Transit Boards of Directors. He and his wife, Ann, have been a one-car family for over 10 years and ride public transit extensively.