Wow, The Columbian editorial board thinks Gov. Jay Inslee’s leadership has been lacking regarding the transportation needs of Southwest Washington. Sure doesn’t seem that way to me.
Since elected, the governor has been visible in the trenches fighting for transportation needs here and statewide, including his current review of a way to reclaim an Interstate 5 bridge replacement plan and its critical federal funding.
The Sept. 5 editorial, “Ignoring it won’t help,” renewed that much beloved ploy of claiming that Southwest Washington’s needs are forever neglected by Olympia in lieu of those of the Puget Sound region. But we know who killed the state’s transportation plan/budget, including the Columbia River Crossing, in this year’s legislative session. It was the state Senate with local Sens. Don Benton, R-Vancouver, and Ann Rivers, R-La Center, cheerleading at the front of the line of “no” votes.
The governor’s efforts, past and present, to find and fund an I-5 corridor fix merits credit working toward a solution. Benton, Rivers and their Republican colleagues’ perpetual complaints and challenges, but without a fix, earns demerits only as being part of the problem.
For those who want a plan and funding for an I-5 bridge replacement, the governor is as close to a “champion” as exists.