The board governing Sound Transit is an unelected, unaccountable body of local officials who oversee a troubled transit agency. Over the years, Sound Transit has repeatedly demonstrated that it does little to deserve the voters’ trust in spending their money responsibly.
You see, being late and over-budget with virtually every project doesn’t exactly instill confidence.
Yet, this unelected board of officials keeps asking voters for more money. The latest example is Sound Transit’s so-called “ST3”, a $15 billion package that may become a $27 billion package.
Fortunately, Republican state Senator Steve O’Ban and Representative Mark Harmsworth are attempting to change the way Sound Transit is managed. The legislators have proposed a measure that seeks to “increase accountability for oversight of Sound Transit given its significant taxing authority and responsibility for large infrastructure projects in the Central Puget Sound area.” The bill would do this by changing the transit agency’s appointed board to one elected by districts.
Currently, Sound Transit’s board is comprised of 18 city and county elected officials who are appointed by each county’s (King, Pierce and Snohomish Counties) executive. Under the measure, the board would be composed of “nineteen nonpartisan members elected from separate electoral districts in the three-county area.”
The bill would go a long way to reconcile certain troublesome aspects of the Sound Transit board. Notably, the fact that a group of officials have taxing authority that voters did not give them.
Almost sounds like the CRC in the Vancouver and Portland area.
Dana Doran says
It’s a start…but, its not enough. Agencies, like WSDOT and DOR can write rules and regulations that effectively increase taxes without legislative oversight…..tolling is just one example.