Who is running the show at TransLink?It's certainly not taxpayers or transit riders. Both have suffered as the smorgasbord of TransLink taxes and fares rise over and over again, only to watch helplessly as their hard-earned dollars are blown on Transit Police, $40,000 TVs, blundering sound wall installations, and other waste.
"Slower growth may change the assumptions that go into our projections for new transportation capacity. That possibility is something for planners to think about before they take long-term decisions to pump billions of dollars into infrastructure spending, at the expense of investments in health or education, which we will need to improve our quality of life."Olewiler's piece is stunning because it is the first time a TransLink official has admitted that taking taxes for TransLink means less for priorities such as health, education, emergency services, water, sewer, or others. Taxpayers cannot afford everything. With such little support from taxpayers, riders, mayors, the minister and the board chair, TransLink's push for a $23 billion tax-and-spend binge is coming from its senior executive team. They are making media appearances and desperately trying to push for higher taxes. It's becoming clear they believe the referendum campaign has already started, and the bureaucrats will spend as much of their time and your money as they can to get the result they want. This flies in the face of the usual role of government employees, which is to let the politicians -- the people accountable to the taxpayers -- make the policy decisions. Good staff members make recommendations to their boards or elected officials and then carry out their direction. But at TransLink, the inmates are now running the asylum. With the board and mayors tied up in knots, it will be up to the taxpayers to take the keys away from the transportation authority's senior executives.