Friday, December 08, 2006

A big Christmas gift for VTA consultants?

For VTA, the quickest way to waste public funds is to spend more money on consultants. On December 14 (9:00am), the VTA board will decide whether to approve a series of contract amendments on the engineering and design work for the BART extension worth over $100 million in total.

Earlier last month, the Transit Planning and Operations committee submitted these items to the board without issuing a recommendation.

VTA's problem is that it cannot afford to build the BART extension with the funds it has. VTA's plan requires a new sales tax, which voters clearly rejected last June. If these contracts were approved without additional taxes to fund construction, the end-product would be just engineering and design materials, unable to carry any passengers anywhere.

Instead, VTA should start a fresh review on all VTA projects, without the negative and idiotic influence from Ron Gonzales, and immediately begin real improvements like a direct express bus line between Fremont and downtown San Jose, which was approved six years ago for not building a commuter rail connection to BART.

If the VTA board doesn't want to place a new tax on the ballot and let the voters decide, the VTA board should not approve these contracts and extort money from taxpayers.

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