Asked what kind of reaction he’s getting so far to his “road show” pushing a big investment into transportation improvements, Gov. Butch Otter told Eye on Boise today, “We’re getting a lot of ‘hmmm’s.’ We’re getting a lot of this,” stroking his chin.
Otter said, “Last year’s resistance to it – mea culpa, mea culpa, mea maxima culpa – I just assumed that everybody knew what I knew, that we were falling in disrepair and that every year we were falling further and further behind, and that we needed to have more revenues … It’s just gonna get worse, and then it’s gonna cost us a whole lot more.” The governor said he’s pleased with the DVD he made to make the case for addressing a $240 million-a-year road construction and maintenance shortfall; the video is being shown at meetings around the state, including a legislative briefing last week where it was unveiled, and an IACI conference yesterday at Tamarack Resort. “I think it presents a good case,” Otter said. In the video, Otter warns that Idaho’s deteriorating roads and bridges threaten both the state’s economy and public safety, and says, “I hope you come away as convinced as I am that the time is now for us to act to build roads, to build bridges, and most of all to build consensus.”