The first sentence of the interview this week (Reporter issue of March 27) with Rep. Judy Clibborn says she wants us Islanders to know that she is on our side. Yet the last sentence says, “We can prolong or delay it,” she said of tolling, “but we cannot stop it.”
Nowhere between those sentences are any assurances from Rep. Clibborn that she intends to do anything to keep Mercer Islanders from ending up paying an inherently unfair toll. What is clearly happening here is that Rep. Clibborn, being the astute politician that she is, all of a sudden realized that she was squarely on the wrong side of the issue from 95 percent of the voters, not an ideal situation for a politician who wants to be reelected. But then her political ambitions probably go way beyond the few voters on Mercer Island. So we get an interview to make us all feel better about what she is going to do to get on our side. It certainly didn’t work for me. Tolling I-90 was always in the plan, and Rep. Clibborn knew it and was part of it. It was just a matter of timing.
I hope everyone noticed what she said and what the WSDOT map showed. Rep. Clibborn and the rest of the tax-and-spend crowd in Olympia have found a pot of gold. Knowing that they can’t get a personal income tax or raise the sales tax much, they turned to tolls and they intend to ultimately toll every roadway they can get away with. However, what they want are not tolls in the historical sense. They are NEW TAXES. Never-ending, ever-growing taxes that don’t require voter approval and will cost us thousands of dollars every year. Yes, they say they are going to repair roads, but clearly they will now take the money we are already paying for roads and use it for some much desired entitlement programs, all the while making us feel guilty for not paying our share for our always deteriorating roads.
This whole process, now ongoing, is a façade to make us feel that we Mercer Islanders have a chance to stop tolling. Rep. Clibborn says it is going to happen. So I continue to wonder how she is on our side.