In an Aug. 4 memo to Metro officials, the mayor first related a 35-minute conversation with Culberson on Aug. 2.
"He was clear that he would try to fight about the portion west of (the University of) St. Thomas in any way. He was specific," the mayor indicated.
"He asked me to repeat my commitment that I would defer to his ultimate preference in routing.
"I told him that I was disappointed in his action on opposing a viable routing without advocating a viable alternative. I told him that it would be unfair to other members of Congress and the public with destinations to be served along the line if there was a 'hole' in the middle of the line because he did not support any routing and was given veto power."
Finally, White indicated, he got a commitment from Culberson: "He said he would support a routing within the IH59. He said Metro should study that."
Based on that conversation, White said Metro "should seriously consider both the cost and the viability on ridership of some structure, presumably elevate in some portion, from St. Thomas to a point where it can cross IH59," although the mayor indicated he did not think such a study "should significantly delay" its route selection.
Late that day, Metro announced that a plan "on behalf of" Culberson and a similar recommendation by Clutterbuck, a former Culberson aide, had forced its staff to delay a recommendation to the Metro board that was expected to come Aug. 7 or 8.
And you have to admire the footwork here:
"Neither Congressman Culberson nor anyone from his staff has submitted any kind of alternate route proposal to Metro," wrote Nick Swyka, the congressman's district director in an e-mail to the Examiner.
Swyka also figured in the Metro correspondence, asking Metro to credit Culberson for certain points in the new route study along U.S. 59 while simultaneously distancing the congressman from making a specific proposal.
"Please just make sure that it's understood we're not directing y'all where to build, but urging y'all to look at various alternatives," Swyka wrote to Thomas Jasien of Metro on Aug. 4.
Link via Banjo. I saw this story myself in a print version of the Examiner a week or so ago, but it wasn't online when I looked for it, and then I forgot about it. I'm glad to be reminded of it.Posted by Charles Kuffner on August 21, 2006 to Planes, Trains, and Automobiles | TrackBack