Believe it or not with respect to the NH Rail Transit Authority, I’ve actually moved full circle, I was an initial supporter but today I still think House Bill 218 should be passed into state law.
So on the rail here it is:
Sometime ago perhaps circa 2005 I was in White River Junction, Vermont at the Vermont Rail Day where the guest speaker was Amtrak President David Gunn. Mr. Gunn is a leadership individual—his knowledge in passenger rail matters is clearly unmatched and unprecedented in this country. And some things were said that day that looked promising for the development of railroad infrastructure projects across New England and New Hampshire. The future looked good indeed!
Unfortunately, this was wrong.
So when I heard of the New Hampshire Railroad Transit Authority being formed I believed this was inline and could be well integrated with what was supposed to happen across New England. I envisioned a multi-state effort that could be coordinated if not operated by Amtrak and its leadership. And being interested in New Hampshire politics and a NHInsider I decided to see if it was possible to get someone or even myself appointed to this NH Rail Transit Authority that was from the northern part of New Hampshire.
“These days the person in charge of appointments in Governor Lynch’s office is Cathy Goode.” said Executive Councilor Ray Burton in response to my inquiry. So I contacted Ms. Goode to express an interest and/or the qualifications for the NH Railroad Transit Authority. Well it didn’t take very long for Ms. Goode to demonstrate an articulate set of rules for how things work, which was ultimately bureaucracy and obstacles. I’ll stop short of calling it patronizing, but it was close, she started explaining to me the legislation to create the authority I’m comparing it to the way a mother reads a book to a young child. I’d already read the bill and understood it, so this was not only a waste of time but she took at least three sentences to explain there weren’t any appointments from northern New Hampshire. Later I would find this to be an interesting statement as Senator Burling would not run for re-election so his Senate appointment was no longer valid but somehow he was able to remain on the authority as chairman! Let me guess there weren’t any appointments from the Connecticut River Valley either. This is in Executive Council District #1 as well. And would you believe.
So I’d have to say this be skeptical of anyone or anything who explains the rules and why things can’t be done, especially when politics is involved. I should probably be grateful that I got an answer or response from Ms.Goode at all.
But I’m not. And it isn't sour grapes eithier.
I was reading one of the quality responses below relative to HB 218 and it was a "Transportation Planner" at UNH. Imagine that UNH is in the transportation planning business.
Not that we already have NHDOT and the statewide Regional Planning Commissions that continually run and administer transportation related grant programs.
Speaking of UNH they also fund NHPTV and some nice Executive level salaries there.
Looks like UNH is a really good gravy train.