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Daily News Editorial

By Staff | Mar 13, 2008

It should come as no surprise that it’s politics versus principles in the Iowa General Assembly again this year.

It seems that no one, especially Governor Culver, wants to put his or her head on the political chopping block by proposing an additional fuel tax. There has been a lot of effort locally to get a 9-cent tax added to help fix county roads, but to no avail. It seems that the powers that be in Des Moines don’t want to risk the political fallout of endorsing such a measure.

Locally, Rep. Marcie Frevert and Sen. Jack Kibbie agree that a tax increase for county roads would be a good idea. However, they also acknowledge the likelihood of a gas tax increase is about as great as increasing pickup registration fees. It seems that the lawyers who live in Des Moines don’t want to pay more than $65 a year on those, either.

Those of us living outside the I-235 beltway have been neglected for far too long. Lawmakers have been hearing pleas to four-lane Highway 20 for so long that when they hear a request to fix Highway 9 they take it as just more complaining.

If state capitol insiders would bother to take the time to drive Highway 9 across the state of Iowa, though, they would get a different idea.

Highway 9 is an absolute mess. Not only is it unhandy, it’s downright dangerous. As spring thaws come and water pools overnight on the cracked and uneven roadway, motorists find it a skating rink in the early morning. It’s a death trap.

We wish Governor Culver, and everyone else who ignores the need for road improvements on Highway 9, would bother to take a trip across this decrepit and deadly highway (and we use the term highway loosely). If they could manage to drive all the way across Iowa without being involved in an accident or knocking their front end out of alignment, maybe they would see the light and understand that we in northwest Iowa need basic services too.

And if that doesn’t work, then maybe we need to look at electing a different governor who can see past I-235.