Dennis P. Morrissey
In a recent editorial, you asked for comments on the initiative petition process (IPP) and the recently failed fuel tax increase.
Perhaps, we elect the wrong people or our elected officials do not listen. Maybe we have too many elected officials. Maybe our elected state senators and representatives should pass a budget each year but only be allowed to consider legislation every other year. Shorter sessions could also reduce political grid lock. At any rate, the IPP allows voters to do what our elected officials will not do for us. The IPP is an integral part of our system of government and should remain in place.
As for the gas tax issue, MODOT is just like our legislators. They do not listen and cannot be trusted to do the people’s work. Too many times they have wasted gas tax money on raises, new equipment, etc., while our roads go unrepaired. MODOT keeps using road taxes to fund bicycle paths, pedestrian bridges, sidewalk grant programs and other non-road related items. While these are good, they are “nice to have items” when we need road and bridge repair.
As a predominantly engineer-staffed organization, they are more enthralled with designing and building new things instead of repairing and maintaining our roads and bridges. People have told them for years they want a four-lane Highway 50 but, MODOT keeps trying to force feed a 6-lane I-70. Why should taxpayers pay for a special truck lane when truckers will still use all lanes?
A modest 5-cent per gallon increase, to be used only to repair roads and bridges, might be palatable to voters. Maybe concerned citizens should use the IPP to propose a modest fuel tax increase.