In New Mexico, the new governor set the maximum salary of her incoming cabinet officers at $125,000. Unfortunately, it doesn't apply to the state's education officers nor sports coaches.
There is a geographic disconnect above. The freight trains we may see in a few months will only be on the southern end of the NCRA line, south of Willits. There doesn't seem to be enough money, commerce nor political will to repair the line through the Eel River canyon.
Mr. Sims refers to the NCRA's ".. unbroken 20-year record of absolute failure." But within a few months we could see freight trains, due to years of struggle by dedicated staff and board members of the NCRA to plan repairs, obtain money and direct the repairs while under constant threat and reality of lawsuits to prevent the resumption of rail freight. This isn't a failure. It is best described as the results of perseverance and persistence for a good cause.
He refers to bureaucratic inertia. The NCRA staff has 3 people. That cannot be bureaucratic. That is not inertia. Their results are due to persistence!
Mr. Sims says the NCRA "..blindly pursues an impossible mandate ... to move lots ... of goods ... to have any chance ... of operating at ... a balanced budget." And yet, the NWP, a private company, has contributed money to support the NCRA while they have restored the track to useful purpose. Apparently the NWP thinks they can get a return on their investment, instead of the impossibility Mr. Sims suggests. The NCRA hasn't paid the NWP anything.
In 2006, what companies were willing to invest in this railroad restoration? With the political, legal and regulatory climate, the chances of a return on investment were poor. And yet, NWP did invest, and they continue to do so. Now, just a few months from when the NWP might see a return on investment, after 5 years, Mr. Myers and McDonald have proposed that this deal was better for the NWP than it was for California citizens.
I suggest that with the increase in jobs and economies that will result from the return of rail freight, the overall winners will be all the citizens served by this railroad, whether in business, employed by businesses or relieved of some truck traffic on the freeways.
In Print This Week:
Mar 13, 2014
vol XXV issue 11
The North Coast Journal Weekly
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