Friday, July 31, 2009

Portland Voted on Passenger Rail Transportation

Why aren't we?

In a recent post to their blog, COAST tries to make it seem like they're all the sudden "pro streetcar" and really just about "demanding a vote." However, just read a few posts below on their site and and you can see their true feelings and their immature anti-streetcar propaganda campaign (complete with pictures of a scantily clad Xenia Warrior Princess using a sword to kill a streetcar). 

It's true, the citizens and taxpayers of Portland, Oregon voted on the construction and subsequent expansion of their rail transit systems. Why? Because those projects required the raising of additional taxes. Will the construction of a Cincinnati Streetcar system require the raising of your taxes or will you even be taxed for it's construction? NO! If it was going to require a raise in taxes, the motion to construct such a system would be put forth the voters. The streetcar system will be paid for by capital funds (these funds can not be reallocated into the general budget to make up for the city's current deficit), private donations and federal stimulus dollars (if passed up, these dollars will go to other city's, not back to the citizens of Cincinnati). That's why this issue is not being placed on the ballot, because your tax dollars are not being touched to fund it.

COAST wants to claim that their charter amendment wouldn't "block" transit, it would "enable" it. Nothing could be further from the truth! The generally worded anti-passenger rail amendment would require any rail project in the city limits to be voted on in a taxpayer funded city election. That means, any project that would come forward would be delayed for months while a vote at taxpayer's expense was organized.

COAST had a vote, it was called "election day." Since they didn't like the outcome, they feel they can nitpick and chose what issues that want to vote on and amend. They don't care what the citizens want, they don't care about how democracy works, they only want to pass measures that benefit their special interest group! Say no to special interest, say no to the anti-passenger rail amendment!

Thank you to everyone who has written in with emails of support! We, the citizens of Cincinnati stand firmly against COAST's antiquated, stupid thinking!


  1. Both sides in this debate need to be totally honest. Will it raise taxes? Maybe not, but what about the recent memo by Dohoney, which states that operating costs may be covered, in part, by creating a special zone near the streetcar line where residents are charged an undisclosed fee? How many people will be affected, and what is the fee? Sounds like a special tax against some people. I'm not saying I'm for or against it - but I'm saying it should be addressed, straightforwardly and honestly.

  2. Dean, I think that special zone was going to be levied on business owners who when polled whole heartedly agreed with it.

    What I want to know, how are these guys in Hyde Park benefiting by killing the streetcar, or how are they going to lose out if its built.
    It just seems to me they are too emotional about it to be a straight up quest for giving people a chance to vote.

    I'm worried about this vote because the coast people have the facts so twisted up its mind boggling.