It's a familiar pattern. The problem gambler talks big about all the wonderful things his next win will bring. Don't mention his long string of losses, he lives in total denial of them. In his mind past performance and statistics are for mathematicians. The gambler's got a good feeling about this one, and just needs to scare up the money. He's already blown his cash and cut expenses, even some necessities. Then it hits him...he can sell the inheritence. The family won't like it, but think how rich they'll be after his next big win. But it never comes, wealth is squandered, and the family disintegrates in the self-destructive cycle.
City leaders talk a big line about all the extra people and money a streetcar will bring. Forget about the hundreds of millions of lost tax dollars that were wasted on the:
- Infamous Cincinnati Subway
- Riverfront Transit Center
- Union Terminal (until the County took it over)
- National Underground Railroad Freedom Center
- Expansion of the Convention Center
- Demolition of 5th & Race tower for a Nordstrom that never materialized
- Elimination of the 2nd Street entertainment district for a
- Pair of stadiums facing insolvency.
The City's rainy day fund has been depleted. Social services were whacked. And we've gone into hock to maintain vital public safety services while cutting important maintenance and operations staff. But we're still not meeting our bills. We're a few billion dollars away from having a legal sewer system, and the City retirement fund is on the brink of insolvency too. We're indulging in luxuries while short-changing necessities.
True to form, Mallory, Dohoney & council sold off city assets, including part of one of our airports, and all our street lights to continue their binge. We just recently bought the street lights back on the Smale Commission's recommendation, and have had 2 municipal airports since soon after the Wright Brothers' 1st flight. Voter approval is the only thing standing in the way of them selling off the Water Works and Cincinnati Southern Railroad.
City administrators say the $3.5 million would pay for preliminary design and environmental work to position the city for federal funds. But it's essentially just a bet on the hope of a later payoff.
So what happens if we spend the $3.5 million and get nothing from the Feds? That would be a good question for you to ask a council member. The same officials say the streetcar is dead unless we win at least $60 million from the Feds. Like all unsuccessful bets, this wager would be completely wasted.
Tell Council and the Mayor they shouldn't be gambling with our butter and egg money. If they ever get the city on a solid fiscal footing, then we can talk trolleys.