Up to union to keep it running
Hold on tight, fellow straphangers, because 2021 is going to be rocking! Looks like Amalgamated Transit Union Local 883 (ATU 883) representing Everett Transit operators has had enough with timid politicians and is leading its own Everett Transit rescue mission.
Clearly this is a courageous indictment of both the Everett City Council and Community Transit’s dithering and timidness. As someone who prefers my leaders lean forward and act with thoughtful tenacity, I am disappointed the timid Everett City Council dithered for years knowing Everett Transit needed more financial aid. This ReThink Transit study costing thousands of taxpayer dollars, like previous Everett Transit studies, has ducked critical questions like supporting a merger with Community Transit or a hike in sales tax to 0.9 percent to keep Everett Transit independent.
Notice I said merging with Community Transit. I sincerely wish outbound CT CEO Emmett Heath well. Whomever replaces Heath will have to quickly build the political capital and lead staff in crafting a Plan B rescue mission to take to voters in 2022 if the ATU 883 rescue mission fails.
Finally, I commend ATU 883 for acting when timid politicians and senior transit leaders proclaiming neutrality would not. As the great British Columbian transit leader Bowinn Ma said: “A government serves people, and when a government delivers services, they deliver them to real people; people who live, who laugh, who cry, who suffer, who yell out in pain, who love and are loved.” Something we all should please reflect on.
Joe A. Kunzler