Letter: Himes is hiding

This is an open letter to U.S. Rep. Jim Himes (D-Greenwich)

Mr. Himes,

Thank you for your newsletter I received on June 16th in which you summarize the deplorable condition of Metro-North transportation infrastructure.  I can’t determine if it is truly forward motion or political spin.  So I have some questions.

You became a member of Congress in January 2009.  Suddenly 2,000 days later, Metro-North, which you acknowledge on your website “allows hundreds of thousands of people to commute daily” is in crisis.  Where have you been the past 66 months?  You state that Metro-North just released its 100-Day Action Plan.  Did you ever complete a 100-day master plan outlining your priorities in the past 5-plus years while in office?  If so, when?  And where was your priority for the Norwalk bridge that was built 118 years ago – the same year the stove was invented?

According to a June 15th article in The Connecticut Mirror, a new Norwalk bridge will cost $465 million.  In February 2011, funding for the $569 million 9-mile dedicated bus way from New Britain to Hartford was less than 10 percent funded and still needed $266 million before contracts were signed.   Please provide documentation of your efforts going back two years into your term, to oppose the bus way and documented recommendations for more fiscally responsible projects.   Flashback to your 12 years at Goldman Sachs – would your promotions have continued if you supported such a lopsided investment such as the bus way that will require 16,000 riders per DAY….to break even?  Keeping in mind Metro-North carries as many as 225,000 per day?

Shockingly, The Mirror article exposes a sleazy end-around being undertaken as a last ditch effort to secure funding for the Norwalk bridge.  As described, the scam involves raiding what is known as “Sandy resiliency money.”  To remind you, to qualify for funding, a project must “protect critical transit infrastructure from being damaged or destroyed by future natural disasters.”  Flood of 1938? Bridge is still standing.  Flood of ’55 with back to back hurricanes in August?  Still standing.  Sandy? Katrina?  Still standing.    June 6, sunshine and 73 degrees and the bridge does not open – suddenly that is the catalyst for a shady attempt to qualify for funds buried in a Sandy Slush Fund?!  Why do you support raiding a fund in such a shady manner?  Was it the crazy, heavy burdensome sunshine and 3 mph wind that caused the bridge to collapse?   Oh, wait – I do recall reading about Hurricane Bullstink that ravaged Norwalk that sunny Friday in June.

You stated in your newsletter you are “frustrated and appalled.”  So am I.  The management by crisis process being followed by Obama, Himes, Murphy, Blumenthal, Malloy, & Duff LLC must end.  I look forward to your reply.

Kevin Kane


8 responses to “Letter: Himes is hiding”

  1. Norewalk Lifer

    The Flood of ’55 bridges are still standing?
    You are mistaken, and insofar as sleazy machinations are concerned, before you take aim at Himes, let’s hear your opinion on Christie’s maneuvers in Jersey over Sandy funds.
    Like Ben Franklin said, don’t point that finger at me, it has a dirty nail at the end of it.

    Norwalk Lifer

  2. Casey Smith

    @ Norewalk Lifer.
    “Christie’s maneuvers in Jersey over Sandy funds.”
    Hate to break it to you, Lifer, but we live in Connecticut, not New Jersey. We have no say in what Chris Christie did or didn’t do, but we do have a considerable stake in what Himes did or didn’t do.
    As for the Walk Bridge, I happen to agree with Mr. Kane, that the bridge withstood many storms since the tracks were elevated and it was built. I’m not surprised it needs repair after so many years of service, what surprises me is that ConnDOTRail apparently was caught off guard, particularly after all the incidents during the past few years.
    I’m personally not wild about the bus lanes between New Britain and Hartford, either. Every time I drive north on 91 around Hartford, I see the black diamond HOV lanes and I think the most I’ve ever seen in those lanes were five cars during a traffic jam because of an accident. It bothers me that those have been there for probably a decade or more, but the State is just now getting around to widening 95 in our area.
    Our county stands as the gateway between one of the largest cities in the world and the largest city in our state with 95 as the main corridor, along with the NYNH rail line and people are surprised that a railroad bridge over 100 years old is having operational problems? On the count of three, can we all say the word “Short-sighted”?
    Okay, everybody…..1, and, 2 and……

  3. One and Done.

    Himes represents Washington DC and Wall Street.
    Norwalk is a place for him to take pictures. That’s all.
    One and Done.

  4. John Levin

    Kevin, you left out so much! What about the terrible winter we all had? What did Jim Himes do to change that and make the temperature in Fairfield County less frigid? And high taxes everywhere? And people without jobs? And our nation’s longest war – you know, the one in Afghanistan? And cancer, still killing people? And the high cost of internet service? And it’s low speed? And heavy traffic on I-95? And air pollution? And old age? And teenagers using foul language? Jim Himes should have a 100-day plan to fix everything, right?

  5. One and Done.

    John Levin, stick to the topic. These are real issues Kevin raises and Himes is missing in action except when it comes to photo ops. Recall our share of the stimulus package in Fairfield county should have been around a billion dollars. That was when Democrats controlled the House. Instead we got $70 million for a guard rail on the Merritt Parkway. A project that saw six fatalities from drivers who couldn’t manage driving on the narrowed roadway. Himes has voted for party first over 95% and district interests take a back seat. In comparison Shays voted his party line around 70% as I recall. Himes is a failed leader for this district. It’s ok to admit that and join reality.

  6. sofaman

    Mr. Kane is correct that more should or could be done to improve infrastructure in Fairfield County. I would suggest that anyone concerned with transportation and infrastructure issues pay attention to the issue. It won’t take long to see who has championed for spending what is needed to upgrade our dilapidated road and rail systems, and who has made cut upon cut upon cut.

    I can only hope we find a way to work together more, and search for the cheap political gain less.

  7. Norwalk19

    John Levin: Your response is classic divert, deflect, deny tactic when ever Democrats are questioned. So I guess setting priorities; 1, 2 or more, is off the table? Get real. And what explains the Message Subject drop-down menu https://himes.house.gov/htbin/formproc_za/zip-auth.txt&form=/contact-me/email-me-zip-authenticated&nobase&fpGetVer=2
    from Himes’s website which shows 23 subjects for the writer to select from, plus “other”? If he can only deal with 1 priority, you should tell him he should shorten the drop-down list or eliminate it entirely if narrowing topics and priorities is off the table in your world?

  8. Norwalk19

    Norwalk Lifer – welcome to Connecticut, I did not realize there is a Norwalk, New Jersey that has similar problems as Norwalk, Connecticut.

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