WE did a little dredging, and learned that Mr. Tepper has made quite a trail of his own in the last few months, hitting up an impressive string of committee meetings to promote the immense 45-mile Nooksack Loop Trail on behalf of the Foundation.
There was a presentation made to the Whatcom Parks and Recreation Commitee in February that finished-up with a second visit in March. (At the end of the second meeting, the Parks Director was tasked with writing a letter of support by the end of June.) WOW. Then, in May, there was a visit to the Whatcom Transportation Policy Board too (Whatcom Council of Governments, is WCOG). Checking in or checking back, we're not sure, but we doubt it was their first look at this project.
Forty-five miles of fun, transporation, and public health - probably claiming to grow jobs and the "economy" too. What a perfect package. Trails have been running at least $200,000 to $1 million or more per mile, and the Parks department has over 6,500 acres of land already in the inventory. The public has deep pockets? How deep? A bunch of grants, some real estate excise tax (REET), a little serious pressure on private landowners - it's amazing what gets done around here when you work the circuit. WE discovered that this non-profit is tied-in with Whatcom Counts too (the "communityship quiz" people). That could be a cinch for a yet another letter of support.
Starting to get the picture how this works, folks? And now, a seat on the Bicycle/Pedestrian Advisory that pitches projects to council. What more could a promoter ask for? Should the public expect even a whit of objectivity in any of this? Time will tell. And so will WE.