In expelling Alex Stillman from the North Coast Railroad Authority (NCRA) Board of Directors last week, local mayors of the City Selection Committee chose ideological purity over the interests of the railroad and North Coast residents.
Welding the NCRA to the rigid rail-only doctrine only ensures more years of paralysis and irrelevance. Experience has taught them nothing but how to waste more time and money.
Trails are expanding all over the country. Holding Humboldt hostage to a monolithic, rail-only 1950s transportation model hasn’t worked, and never will. The world has moved on.
Were the doctrine-driven NCRA to allow any fresh air to its rusting nostalgia-dome, it would find strength in diversity, and lots of energetic people ready to work cooperatively on shared goals.
One of those is Councilmember Alex Stillman, who, while serving on City Councils in the 1970s and 2000s, has helped shape Arcata into Humboldt County’s leading industrial and environmental power. It can be done, and has.
But tolerating new ideas would require acknowledging the logic and utility of Rails with Trails, which is anathema to the obstinate failure junkies at NCRA.
Embracing the sensible shared approach would make transportation life easier for the public, a negligible consideration for the rail-or-nothing die-hards, who are systematically making the railroad die, hard.
It isn’t over, though. In their haste to eject a new boardmember who showed dangerous indications of potentially accomplishing something, the inbred railroad debating society apparently broke the law with a Brown Act violation. So the Choo-Choo Boys' tawdry maneuver might be invalid.
Rather than working on the railroad, this is how the NCRA chooses to spend its time, and our tax dollars.