Seattle Monorail Director Interview

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This is downright unreal. The Stranger's Erica C. Barnett interviewed Kristina Hill, the acting-chairwoman of the Monorail Board which is trying to keep the Monorail proposal alive after burning through The language Hill uses in print is political suicide and represents all that was wrong with the Monorail proposal. From The Stranger Transcript:
A Chilling Effect
A Q&A with Kristina Hill--Full Transcript

[The Stranger] What do you think the death of the monorail means for future infrastructure projects in Seattle?
[Hill] Seattle has just screwed itself in terms of getting big business to help with things.

[The Stranger] Last week, the city council sent the Seattle Monorail Project (SMP) a letter asking the agency not to sell off the property it bought for stations until the council can determine whether the city could use those properties for a future transit line. How did you feel when you got that letter?
[Hill] When you read the letter the tone�it is so fucked. Blow us off for three months and them write us that letter? They refused to meet with us!
The interview goes on and on like that. Here is one more excerpt:
[The Stranger] Do you think defending the $11 billion plan, rather than denouncing it, was a mistake?
[Hill] It was a total mistake because Seattle is basically an anti-intellectual town. I said to Joel, "What is the incremental cost of us borrowing in this way?" He hadn�t seen the $11 billion number. I think he said it was $1.7 billion in net present value and I said, "Oh, OK. Do you think it�s worth it?" And he said, "Yeah, I think it�s worth it." ...He genuinely believed that it was OK, and it�s not my field. So I believed it was OK. � But you can�t tell people about net present value on the radio in Seattle.
"Seattle is basically an anti-intellectual town" ?!?!?!?! 'Scuuuuuse me but this is just wrong. Seattle is a great bastion of academia and intellectualism. One only has to remember the ratio of Kerry signs to Bush signs (those not slashed or vandalized) a year ago to see this. Sure, Seattle doesn't have the culture of NYC but it only has one tenth the population. I found this link through the excellent Sound Politics Blog where Andy MacDonald had this to say:
Amateur on Parade
If there is anyone unconvinced the death of the monorail is a good thing, The Stranger's interview, A Chilling Effect, with acting-chairwoman Kristina Hill should change their minds. Hill's statements are the very opposite of professional. Her answer to the very first question is that "Seattle has just screwed itself." She then proceeds to give a profanity-laced interview, using the s-word three times and variations on the f-word no less than six. This is the behavior of the person the monorail board has chosen as their leader.

I can understand that Hill is angry after losing a battle she has fought for several years. But an employee of a public agency should not be cursing in interviews to the press, especially not the head of an agency. Civil servants -- in which I include elected and appointed officials -- should always strive to be exactly that: civil. A lowered standard of civility in public discourse has a corrosive effect on democracy. Eventually people feel they cannot talk to each other and only talk past each other. Then there is no way to reach the compromises that keep society whole.

But beyond the profanity, what really comes across is the monorail board's incredible naivete in the face of objections by elected officials. In answer to just about every question, Hill shows herself to be totally reliant on the goodwill of the mayor, and she still seems surprised that he acted in his own interests rather than in hers. People who make decisions based on wishful thinking you don't want in charge of multi-billion dollar public works projects.
I for one am glad to be out of there. Bellingham has a nice level of industry so with the exception of Pottery Supplies (forge materials for the metal work) and Plastics, I can find anything I need for any projects. Much lower taxes too...

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