Capdiamont\’s Weblog

Charles McGlashan: SMART Board will fulfill plan
Wednesday 3 Jun 2009, 06:28
Filed under: Marin, Northwestern Pacific Railroad, Railroad, SMART, Sonoma, transit


The Sonoma-Marin Area Rail Transit district remains committed to its original plan described in Measure Q: delivering the passenger train and pathway to our citizens by 2014. We stand by that commitment.

In his Sunday IJ column, Dick Spotswood implied otherwise based on options presented by staff during the adoption of our updated Strategic Plan. Mr. Spotswood, having served in office, should know better than to criticize an agency for considering staff options in a transparent manner. Doing so is prudent and reasonable. Those options remain options until the board makes policy. Staff does its job by giving us conservative projections and a selection of options; the board decides what to do.

The SMART board’s policy is to deliver the project as described, despite the terrible economy and the gloomy spin delivered by the press. Our board is confident that staff has updated projections in the most conservative way, and we are equally confident of our ability to meet the objectives of this project.

Despite the seeming simplicity he suggests, locomotives are not an option; if they were, staff would have offered them for board consideration. They are not an option because they are much less fuel efficient and are environmentally inferior, emitting more particulates and greenhouse gas. That’s why they were set aside before the 2006 EIR.

People often imagine that somehow some obvious and elegant idea is missed by dumb politicians and their
staff. SMART staff knows what it is doing and the board is composed of thoughtful policymakers. With hard work, concerted efforts to save money and a determination to raise additional federal funds, we will deliver the project we described to the voters.

Nothing good is ever easy. We know that and will keep working hard to do it anyway.

Charles McGlashan, chairman, Sonoma-Marin Area Rail Transit

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