Letters to the Editor

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BUSES: Reluctant yes vote for tax increase

Letter by Bob Myrick, Tacoma on Jan. 31, 2011 at 11:18 am with 5 Comments »
January 31, 2011 1:21 pm

I plan to reluctantly vote for Proposition 1, the .3 percent sales tax increase for Pierce Transit. It is a 50 percent increase from the present .6 percent sales tax.

I completely agree with The News Tribune editorial (1-20) that government compensation needs to be reformed, sooner than later. I also agree that the shuttle service needs serious reform.

Pierce Transit’s compensation plan simply mimics compensation plans for the City of Tacoma and Pierce County. All three plans need to be revised to come closer to the real market compensation in Tacoma.

The shuttle system is broken and needs fixing. It costs almost $80 for a round trip. A disabled person working for minimum wage grosses about $80 per day in pay, but it costs Pierce Transit $80 to transport the person?

I know a disabled person who uses the shuttle for a lot of questionable trips. It should cost the person $5 or $10 so there is a personal financial reason to minimize trips.

I’m voting for Proposition 1 because I know that peak oil arrived about 2005, and Pierce Transit uses compressed natural gas to power its fleet.

We may have a 100-year supply of natural gas in the United States. I expect gasoline will soon cost $5 or more per gallon, so we all will be relying more on good transit in the near future.

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  1. Zillahboy says:

    Bob, How about the fact that Pierce Transit bus drivers make about 10% more than teachers who hade to earn a college degree to get their jobs?

  2. It’s nice to have at least one forward thinker in these blogs, thank you!

  3. alindasue says:

    Mr. Myrick,

    You say that the price of the shuttle ride should be increased because you know a disabled person who uses it for “a lot of questionable trips”. Given that a rider has to call more than 24 hours in advance to set up a ride on the shuttle, I doubt that person takes those trips lightly. The hassle to set up a ride is enough to discourage that.

    That leaves me wondering if your idea of “questionable” might not be someone else’s idea of necessary, eh? If you would normally get in your car to go to a place, necessary or not, then it’s probably the same type of place a disabled person might need the shuttle to get to. There’s no “questionable” about it.

  4. ItalianSpring says:

    Voted NO and will continue to vote NO on all tax increases for the next 50 years.

  5. MalcolmRussell says:

    Here are just the Pierce Transit positions that pay over $100k/yr, it includes PR directors and HR managers all making great CEO level salaries not to mention the very expensive Cadillac pensions & benefits plans.

    $205,853 CHIEF EXECUTIVE OFFICER $205,853
    $162,073 VP-FINANCE, AUDIT & ADMINISTRATION $162,073
    $153,933 VP-HUMAN RESOURCES & TECHNOLOGY $153.933
    $150,257 VP-TRANSPORTATION SERVICES $150,257
    $126,397 DIRECTOR OF PROCUREMENT $126,397
    $126,372 DIRECTOR OF MAINTENANCE $126,372
    $126,372 DIRECTOR OF LABOR & EMPLOYEE RELATIONS $126,372
    $126,372 DIRECTOR OF INFORMATION TECHNOLOGY $126,372
    $126,372 DIRECTOR OF PUBLIC AFFAIRS $126,372
    $126,372 DIRECTOR OF FINANCE $126,372
    $119,172 SENIOR PROJECT MANAGER $119,172
    $118,991 CHIEF OF PUBLIC SAFETY $118,991
    $117,183 DIRECTOR OF SCHEDULING & PLANNING $117,183
    $114,475 SAFETY & TRAINING MANAGER $114,475
    $111,795 BUDGET MANAGER $111,795
    $110,595 EMPLOYMENT MANAGER $110,595
    $110,410 ORGANIZATIONAL LEARNING MANAGER $110,410
    $110,322 BUSINESS PARTNERSHIPS MANAGER $110,322
    $110,108 PUBLIC RELATIONS OFFICER $110,108
    $107,616 FLEET MANAGER-BUS $107,616
    $104,405 BENEFITS & COMPENSATION MGR. $104,405
    $103,930 COMMUNICATION CENTER MANAGER $103,930
    $101,433 QUALITY ASSURANCE MANAGER $101,433
    $101,430 SPECIALIZED TRANSPORTATION $101,430
    $100,831 SERVICE SUPPORT MANAGER $100,831

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