Here’s Jim Vesely again on governance. He’s sure that an elected board is better:
Opponents, some of them already on the current board, warn that directly elected transportation commissioners would only bring out the aficionados and the nuts. Rice and Stanton make a good case why that wouldn’t happen and why a new system would bring about the most valued coin of all: a return of voter trust.
Where’s the case that nuts wouldn’t get on the elected board? Of course Vesely doesn’t say the case is, just that it probably exists.
A Regional Transportation Authority would behave quite differently if created by the state. (STB weren’t RTID and RTA created by the state already?)
Seven people would report directly to voters, six elected within King, Pierce and Snohomish counties and one elected at large from the three counties; three would be appointed by the three county executives; the state transportation secretary and the director of the Puget Sound Regional Council are automatic members. Members directly elected by voters would be seven, combined with five appointed/designated members for a 12-member board. They would be part-time government, without full-time salaries.
Rice-Stanton may have said it would be part-time government, but the Haugen bill, which is based off of Rice-Stanton called for full-time salaries. But part timers sounds more scary. As I’ve said repeated, which agency in this region has part-time, directly elected board members? The Port, the biggest disaster of them all. Why would we want to model our transporation agency on that?