The following is from Lakewood bond analyst and political activist Steve Willson and appeared first as a comment under the article “NWH Herald Editor Has Doubts about Spending $100 Million to Widen Randall Road.”
To the County Board:
There is an objective and simple method for determining if a road should be built.
- Determine how many vehicles per day the road can handle, usually measured per lane.
- Count the number of vehicle using the road per day.
- Divide #2 by #1. If the number is generally below capacity, STOP!
- Examine the construction cost of the road versus the cost of similar roads. If the cost is dramatically higher than the average, then the road is too expensive. STOP!
- Determine the annualized cost and divide by the number of benefited drivers. (Only drivers during periods when the road is beyond capacity will benefit, not all drivers.) If the cost is a multiple of the cost of using the tollway, then the road is too expensive. STOP!
- Determine the time savings to each benefited driver. If it is only a minute or two, STOP!
If the presenters to the board did not explain this methodology and provide the factual answers to these questions, then they were attempting to mislead the board.
Ask these questions and demand the answers.
your job is not to ratify staff recommendations, it is to verify staff recommendations.
Staff will ALWAYS push for more spending.
It’s YOUR job, board members, to push back, to be the taxpayers’ advocate, to be watchdogs — not cheerleaders.