Camp Street Bridge, Some Final Thoughts

Guy W. Midkiff

Last night the Washington City Council overruled the Mayor’s veto of the Camp Street Bridge ordinance. This marks the end of a very polarizing chapter in Washington politics.

I stated as early as January of 2008 – long before my election to council, my objections to this project. It should have been no surprise to anyone in Ward 3 of my position on the bridge. In fact, you can still find the article I wrote, back in January on the subject, located on this very website.

Slowly, I came to the realization that this bridge was a waste of the taxpayer’s money. We were told:

“The bridge is a must because of safety.” Really. How is it possible for this bridge to be un-repaired for some 40 years and then we suddenly have this epiphany for the urgency of the bridge….. coinciding with the construction of a new super center Walmart. (For what it is worth, I shop at Walmart.)

Let me back up for a moment. I am pro-growth and pro-business. I believe one of the most basic tenants of government is to provide for the safety, welfare, and infrastructure of its citizens. I am sensitive to this underpinning, but I also do not believe this responsibility is neither bottomless nor boundless. At some unmarked point, I am ultimately responsible for my family and for myself – not the government.

When I moved into my home, it was my choice to live where I do with respect to my proximity to emergency services. I did not then, nor do I now, expect the city to add access points into my subdivision. I moved to my home because I liked it being at the perimeter of fire and ambulance stations. I moved to my home because it has only one access point. All of which was my choice, my decision.

What’s more, there are homes in Stone Crest that are substantially further away from the fire department, than are homes on Karen Ln. I am not aware of people in Stone Crest objecting to the quality of emergency services.

Ultimately, it is our responsibility, not governments, to choose a domicile in the proximity to emergency services that makes us comfortable. It is government’s responsibility to make the rules on where emergency services are located and that they are operated in a manner that serves the public good. I feel the city of Washington gets extremely high marks for their emergency services quality.

Published in: on June 3, 2008 at 7:55 pm  Comments (1)  

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  1. Dear Mr. Midkiff,

    I purchased a home on E.8th last fall. As I mentioned at the meeting, my new neighbors were so happy to learn that the house was not to become rental property. Of course people should have the right to buy a house and rent it if they wish. My fear for the neighborhood was that the traffic increase in the neighborhood would cause a very stable, older neighborhood of modest, post WW II homes to quite possibly become a “rental ghetto”.I feel this would have been a negative result of the Bridge being constructed and the Gate being opened. I actually might have been in favor of the bridge if the current Wal-Mart location had been developed as residential or even as a smaller scale retail development.

    Anyway, thank you for casting your vote to preserve the safety and quality of life in our neighborhood.It was an unpleasant struggle that had to be fought, but in the end, I feel that the system of representative government was the ultimate winner.

    Most sincerely,

    Don Huber
    1411 E. Eighth Street.

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