2015-12-02 / Editorials

Mike Reese

“I was just thinking”

Last week I wrote about our sorry state of affairs with our congress people in

Washington. They plan to work for 111 days next year. You’ll probably work more, I’ll guess.

This week I’m continuing in that same vein. I know there are some who do not care for politics, so I promise that this will be my last about politics for a while.

I’m offering our representatives at least “a first step” only in helping them to repair their reputations across the country. And, they can do this easily within that 111 day work schedule. There is an issue out there that I’ll bet everyone agrees should be tackled and solved. I don’t think a soul would disagree as to the urgency of this problem.

That issue is our crumbling infrastructure, our bridges and roads. We all travel, vacations, business, and just everyday normal commutes to work, school, or appointments. We all blindly assume that the bridge we are about to cross is safe. But, is it? We are finding out that’s not always true. Bridge and highway maintenance has been neglected for years while billions have been funneled to nice places like Iraq and Afghanistan.

Several years ago my wife rode a couple of times across a bridge in Minneapolis that completely collapsed two weeks later. Thirteen people were killed, 145 injured. I don’t like to think about the “what-ifs.”

According to the Department of Transportation, there are 147,870 bridges that have been deemed “structurally deficient or obsolete”, as well as 570,673 miles of roads that are now are in “poor condition.”

No one likes taxes, but in these times of cheap oil prices, couldn’t we afford a few pennies added to a gallon of gas, if your family would be a lot safer on our bridges and roads. The Department of Transportation says “it will take an additional $24 billion a year to meet bare minimum needs of maintaining and improving our roads and bridges.”

Wouldn’t it be comforting to know that we are travelling on safe bridges and roads not only during the upcoming Christmas season, but all year long, every year? And, Mr. and Mrs. Representative if you lead this fight, you’ll get plenty of good media coverage, and most important, you’ll probably have a guaranteed re-election! It will show that you are actually working on an important issue, you know, what we pay you to do. I think you’d be more satisfied getting hundreds of calls praising you for accomplishing something important, than getting a call from that lobbyist or big campaign contributor, asking for that next “favor.” But, then, I don’t really know you. Maybe you’d rather talk to a lobbyist.

Call, E-mail, or write Senator Johnny Isakson and/or Senator David Perdue. Same with Representative Rick Allen. Rick Allen’s Washington phone number is 202 225-2823. Senator Isakson’s number is 202-224-3643. Sen. Perdue’s number is 202 224-3521. Tell ‘em you want to make a campaign donation. You’ll get faster service and they listen more closely.

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