Transportation planners not representing the people

2010-12-23T00:15:00Z Transportation planners not representing the peopleONLINE ONLY letter to the editor
December 23, 2010 12:15 am  • 

To: Brian Ness and other planners for the Idaho Transportation Department (

I would like to know the reason you did not keep your word here and bring the megaload question to all the people, towns and communities that would be impacted by these huge loads going along the roads of any part of Idaho. You are not supposed to represent Conoco, Imperial, Exxon or any other company – you are supposed to be taking care of our roads as needed and nothing more, not making agreements with any mega-businesses in our name.

You did not include us, discuss it with us or present it to us as soon as you were aware of the possibility of this massive project. A bit more than potholes, yes? Do you really think that you can think of everything by yourselves? Are you really visionaries for our state all by yourselves? You are not God. Our thoughts and ideas are just as good as yours and some may be even be able to see the bigger picture better than you. Your focus is transport and transportation and roads. You did not consider emergency management (Did you talk to local first nations or emergency management leaders before you stepped very far out in this decision?), not the major environmental concerns of our rivers, or tribal boundaries, or private property rights, or of the whole destructive tragedy of tar sand mining.

Have you not read or heard about the other environmental disasters that have occurred when people like you and the oil companies do not think things all the way through to the end of a proposal? Maybe just playing with Tonka trucks and a Monopoly game on a more “grown up” level?

As you know, our country was set up as government of the people, by the people and for the people. Why did you decide that this is not an important rule of thumb for you? Even Sen. Joe Stegner brought up in one of your meetings in Lewiston that he was concerned that the public was not informed about this.

This is unethical on so very many levels that I don’t know where to start! Running through our land, spending our money, taking a chance on spending our money big time for any road problems or accidents, taking a chance on a local environmental disaster that could destroy our rivers, and not even talking to us about it beforehand. You were not trustworthy with our land or our money.

You have time for a re-do to do it right (and right may be not at all for this project); or are you ready, willing and able to be held accountable later? Have you counted that potential cost when working on the balance sheets? That potential cost is our money again! You would have to spend our money to defend yourselves in event things go wrong – and that is another chance you are willing to take with our money? Are you willing to admit that you may have been very hasty?

We, and you, must start putting all this money and talent into making life safe and sustainable and cost effective for all. You missed all three of these points here. You are supposed to be public servants and you missed that point also. Do you/did you get permission from somewhere to do this with our lives? On any level?

I would like a thoughtful answer to this without political twist speak. Like people who live on the same planet. And publicly, in person would be even better – with all involved from Canada to Idaho. You involved many others outside of Idaho by agreeing to this without their (the people of the other states and lands) permission either. Or taking them into consideration either.

Global technology have all of us working together more for safety, sustainability and land rights of all. These things are no longer issues that only occur in your offices. Nor should they have ever been.

Virginia Lucid,

Kamiah, Idaho

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