Friday, May 04, 2012

Transit Center to Open in August, or Not

Remember back when the public was only on the hook for $35 million for the construction of our magnificent transit center and the work was only supposed to last a couple years? That sure seems like a long time ago. After years of delays, the price tag of this charlie foxtrot has ballooned to over $100 million, and now they're tacking on another $11M to the total cost as a result of delays caused by the concrete-pouring boondoggle and "unexpected changes to construction and utility work". Provided the worst-case scenario of a complete tear-down doesn't occur, it could even be open as early as this August, but I'll believe that when I see it.

A vision of the very distant future

Why the hell does everything have to take forever around here? When they construct a big new apartment building, you could blink and miss the entire process, but when it comes to a public building like our new library, we have to wait an eon. (At least they are making some progress on that one.) It's amazing the amount of uproar we see over something like a little county support of a private venture like the Fillmore, but at least the Fillmore actually opened in a reasonable amount of time and is now providing residents with entertainment and the county with tax revenue. Granted, the transit center project is a little more ambitious, but still.

You'd think after this debacle Foulger-Pratt wouldn't be able to get another construction contract from the county, but no doubt a few well-placed political donations will clear everything up. (I don't actually know if they donate to any county councilmembers or state reps, but good ol' Al Wynn was on the payroll back in the day. They sure do love Mitt Romney and hate gay marriage - though those facts are neither here nor there.)
 
On the other extreme, I guess we could be like Virginia and abandon worthwhile transit projects before they begin because we don't feel like paying any taxes or supporting union workers.



32 comments:

Anonymous said...

"Those facts are neither here nor there"

Then why bring them up? Yeeeeah Sligo, a little encouragement to get your comments section boiling over.....in my circles, this is called instigating. And you, the one who claims to want eliminate the trolling comments, are now encouraging them.

Dare I say hypocrite?

Sligo said...

Maybe I was being a bit provocative however I am only pointing out verifiable facts rather than making subjective statements like "everyone who works at Foulger-Pratt is ugly". I can only assume you are the "everyone in Silver Spring is ugly" commenter.

Anonymous said...

Is "everyone who works at Foulger-Pratt is incompetent" verifiable enough? Yeah...I think it is.

Anonymous said...

An incorrect assumption, but obviously I have no way to prove it. With that being said, I agree with your statement that trolling comments should be deleted. But, by instigating, you are playing their game. Be above it and then you have the moral high ground....then, when the attacks invariably become about whether or not you are ugly or liberal or censoring comments to further your biased agenda, you've probably won the argument. Ad hominem attacks are usually the last refuge of a failed argument.

For the record, I'm very conservative and thus didn't much appreciate how you phrased the post about gay marriage and supporting Romney (implying foulger pratt is a bad company because they have, on the whole, been against and for those two respective observations)

Shall logic and rational discussion prevail? You lead the charge. I'll follow right behind....

Anonymous said...

I've heard that $35 mil figure a few times recently. It can't possibly be for this same version of the transit center, can it? I feel like it's far too big to ever be bid anywhere near that cost. Maybe that was one of the cheaper, simpler, smaller options the council considered early on?

Anonymous said...

In Sligo's defense, he actually suggested that F-P was a bad company because of their poor performance on this specific job, not due to whom they were donating. While he implied that he wasn't found of their political leanings, he wasn't terribly specific and simply mentioned that they might buy their way back into good graces with local politicos.

I believe that both Sid Foulger and John Pratt are members of the Church of LDS, thus their support for Romney, Prop 8 (largely pushed by the LDS), and generally conservative political positions are understandable. Also, in fairness, several prominent employees gave very generously to Obama and the DNC in 2008 and 2010.

Sligo said...

Yes, something along those lines, but my intent was not to turn the comments section into an overly political discussion.

I'm just surprised someone would commit $50K of their own money just to prevent people from getting married on the other side of the country.

Anonymous said...

A rightwing developer? Who woulda thunk it?

Anonymous said...

yeah, people are definitely surprised at the vigor with respect to gay marriage. And, and now that you have asked (more like wondered aloud), I'm tempted to provide an explanation. However, I'll keep it short.

To put it simply, your question and the following ones are all good: Why do people care what other people do at the other end of the country with respect to their preferences? How would it have any impact on them whatsoever? Heck, 50% of straight couples can't even stay married. All honest questions and observations that probably never get decent answers from those opposed to it when asked.

The answer lies in what is believed to occur during sex and that anything outside of it being used for the creation of life is incorrect (which is no doubt becoming an outlier belief in this country). To get into it would be a pretty long write up, so instead I recommend you do some research and take a look at what the reasoning is. Maybe it'll help you understand why someone would donate money from the other side of the country to be against it. Despite what many people say, religious folks being against gay marriage is not rooted in hate or intolerance (although I cannot deny there are definitely plenty folks running around who are just that). One potential source for research is a series of speeches given by John Paul II, called "Theology of the Body."

And with that, this comments section is not focused on Silver Spring. Guilty as charged for continuing the discussion.

Anonymous said...

You get what you pay for when the bid is low. Hopefully, Foulger Pratt can be excuded from future contract proposals based upon their past performance.

Jason Neuringer said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Anonymous said...

"Why the hell does everything have to take forever around here? When they construct a big new apartment building, you could blink and miss the entire process, but when it comes to a public building like our new library, we have to wait an eon."

There is your answer..."public"...once the government (escpecilally the eco-liberal-tax-spend liberal montgomery county) gets invloved it is a recipe for trouble. Let business' be and keep the government out...its faster, cheaper and might even look good too

Anonymous said...

"There is your answer..."public"..."

Maybe you could let us know what private company out there was lining up to spend 10s of millions of dollars on a public transit center.

Anonymous said...

"There is your answer..."public"...once the government (escpecilally the eco-liberal-tax-spend liberal montgomery county) gets invloved it is a recipe for trouble."

You're 100% right. If we lived in some unregulated sh*thole like Mumbai, India this would have been built so much faster because the government would have never required proper site cleanup (hey, why not just dump all that contaminated dirt wherever?) nor inspected the structure (hey, who cares that the concrete wasn't poured properly?). You're right, it's totally the government's fault for uncovering the ineptness of the private contractor who completely botched the concrete pour. Effing Montgomery County, I totally wish we lived in India. Who cares if the thing would collapse in 15 years.

Oh, and yeah, obviously red states have delays too and obviously all places have public works projects - your comment is complete lunacy, Jason Neuringer, no wonder you backtracked and tried to post it anonymously (especially since you're a (former?) Hill staffer and all the typos and the hypocrisy of collecting a government check while railing against the government/thinking private companies are amazing (yeah, Foulger Pratt and the concrete subcontractor aren't to blame, it's totally the county) isn't too smart).

Anonymous said...

funny, how the Foulger-Pratt is still prominently displayed on tbe fiasco of a construction site!

Jenny said...

Hey Sligo -- your blog, your rules. You want to make instigating remarks (which that WASN'T, by the way) go ahead. You want to delete the comments of chronic complainers who constantly moan, slur commenters and pick fights in the comments, you can do that too. I wish you would.

To commenter No. 1 -- it's her blog. She's the one who devotes the time and effort to it. She can write what she wants to write and delete what she wants to delete. Blogs are not generally democracies. Give it a rest.

Good post, Sligo.

Frank said...

I come from a place that some Americans view as a dangerous socialist hotbed. Canada. And in Canada, government is often involved in construction of public buildings. And there's rarely, if ever, these types of problems.

The problem isn't government, per se, it's America's form of government, where too many corporate interests/lobby groups get involved so that the wrong companies are chosen due to whose campaigns they're donating to. Every problem in this country, when you peel back the layers, usually comes down to the fact that you have a corrupt democracy. Corporate communism, some call it.

In Canada, corporations and unions are banned from contributing to political campaigns and politicians. Something the U.S. has to do at some point, but never will. Which is why, just to name one hilarious example, the U.S. will never eliminate the penny, which costs 2.5 cents to produce. Why? Because the zinc lobby is so powerful on Capitol Hill. Kind of sums it all up, really.

Sligo said...

Jenny - thanks for the support, but I'm not a she!

Jenny said...

Oops, sorry, Sligo. I don't know why I was under the impression you were female. No offence!

Anonymous said...

Jenny, I don't disagree with you, he can post whatever he wants/delete whatever he wants. I'm not arguing that. I'm arguing his claim against trolling comments. To debate that what he posted is not instigating is absurd. You are twisting around the logic in your head to justify whatever position it is that you have. If you do that, then a rational discussion can't be had.

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