Wallace: Standing up to high-speed railBy Andrew Wallace
I find it hard to understand why various city councils (such as Burlingame) along the Peninsula are so reluctant to send a no-confidence vote in the High-Speed Rail Authority board to the governor.
The facts are simple: From the beginning, Peninsula citizens who have expressed objections to the HSR have been openly reviled in oral and written statements as "bad apples" and as uncooperative by members of the board such as Ron Diridon and Quentin Kopp.
Secondly, the board has been trumpeting their advocacy for good-faith negotiations with impacted communities via "context sensitive solutions," yet in the August presentation made by the board pursuant to the environmental impact report, they kept on the table the aerial viaduct as a viable alternative when this is exactly what every city council has objected to in the first place.
Finally, why is it so controversial to ask that a board which has the power to drastically reconfigure cities and adversely impact the economic development of communities have representation precisely from the communities involved? The governor has the power to appoint members of the board. As it is presently constituted we have no vote and apparently no voice.
It is time to get a board that will take our concerns into account. Sending a vote of no confidence does not preclude further actions down the road. But it does keep up the strong objections expressed by the citizens whom these councils represent.
Copyright ©2010 San Mateo Daily Journal. Published 09/28/2010.