Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Berding targeted in groundswell against trolley

Groundswell against trolley grows as coalition expands
First thrust: Asking Berding to keep his 2009 campaign promise
 
COAST today joined an expanding coalition designed to stop further streetcar spending in Cincinnati in a postcard campaign aimed at the fifth Council vote for the boondoggle, Council member Jeff Berding.  Berding in 2009 promised repeatedly to oppose spending on the wasteful project. 
The expanded coalition members now include the NAACP, COAST, Westwood Concern, the Greater Cincinnati Coalition for the Homeless, the Baptist Ministers Conference, and three municipal labor unions: the FOP, the Fire Fighters Union and CODE.  The umbrella group against the Trolley spending is C.A.S.S. - the Coalition Against the Streetcar Swindle, Chaired by County Auditor Dusty Rhodes.
"We will not sit by idly while the City spends on misplaced priorities and increases the burdens on Cincinnati taxpayers," said COAST Chairman Jason Gloyd.  "Yes, the big-spenders currently have five votes on the Council, but we have truth and a vast majority of Cincinnati voters in our corner.  We intend to press that advantage."
The coalition today released a tabloid-sized flyer with the headline: "Not One More Cent of Tax Money for the Streetcar, Please encourage Council Member Jeff Berding to Keep his Promise to stop this foolish waste of money" with return postcards aimed towards Berding.
In that flyer, FOP President Kathy Harrell states: "Berding broke his 2009 promise to oppose streetcar spending.  This flip-flop will cost Cincinnati public safety jobs."
"Not only was Berding the fifth vote for this spending monstrosity," said Gloyd, "but he made express promises against this foolishness in 2009.  We aim to either keep him to his word, or let every voter in Cincinnati know of his fundamental dishonesty.  It is entirely his choice."
COAST and the NAACP pursued a ballot initiative in 2009 that would have stopped the trolley dead in its tracks by requiring a public vote on it.  Voters rejected that initiative, but the fight against wasteful spending continues.

Copies of the "Not ONE MORE CENT" brochure are available here (front) and here (back).

See also a letter written by a broad spectrum of community leaders imploring City Hall to stop their wastfull streetcar spending here.

12 comments:

  1. Gloyd, you said:

    "Yes, the big-spenders currently have five votes on the Council, but we have truth and a vast majority of Cincinnati voters in our corner."

    However, it was clear last year that the vast majority of voters are not in your corner. You even said it in the same blog post:

    "COAST and the NAACP pursued a ballot initiative in 2009 that would have stopped the trolley dead in its tracks by requiring a public vote on it. Voters rejected that initiative"

    Clearly if the voters rejected your initiative, and they did so decisively, they're not in your corner.

    It's been fun watching you guys try to spin this as an issue of public safety, shows how desperate you're getting to try and stop it. It's quite pathetic actually Mr. Gloyd. Even if the streetcar project had not been envisioned, not ever been planned, not ever received one time of federal or state grant dollars, Cincinnati would still be facing its current budget crisis. Police officers would still be laid off from a bloated and massive police force and streetcar money still can't be used to pay for them.

    Nice try though.

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  2. Operating the streetcar will cost millions each year. That money will come from the operating budget, which is used to pay the police and fire.

    Furthermore, capital costs for police and fire come from the capital budget. But instead of staying up to date on their equipment, city leaders like Jeff Berding have decided it's more important to build the streetcar. Streetcars before police cars.

    BTW, as you streetcar advocates pointed out every 5 minutes during the Issue 9 debate, that issue was not about the streetcar. You guys so cleverly pointed out that it would have restricted more than just the streetcar. As a stand-alone the project, the streetcar has never been popular outside of a couple neighborhoods.

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  3. "Operating the streetcar will cost millions each year. That money will come from the operating budget, which is used to pay the police and fire."

    That would be true if there was a streetcar operating. At present, there is not and won't be for several years until construction is completed. Again, it's a moot point considering if you kill the project now, we're still going to lay off police and fire staff.

    "Furthermore, capital costs for police and fire come from the capital budget"

    That's true, but the problem here is that the budgeting calls for cutting staff, not for cutting equipment or shortening the police and fire capital budget. Again, federal and state grants for the streetcar can't be used to purchase capital equipment for police and fire, something we are in no shortage of.

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  4. I think you guys are being too harsh on Bengals Executive Jeff Berding. Bengal Berding says that the streetcar will do great things for the city, just like he said the stadiums would do great things for the city when he ran the campaign to pass the Stadium Sales Tax.

    We need streetcars. Not police cars. And we need more stadium taxes. The streetcars combined with the stadiums will make our city world class. I endorsed Jeff Berding in 2009 and I'd proudly do it again.

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  5. Berding is just Bob Bedinghaus with a better barber. And, Roxanne is just hoping to get a job working for Chris Bortz when she burns this bridge.

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  6. No choo choo for urban hipstersDecember 9, 2010 at 11:05 AM

    Wait Gordo -

    You folks told us that Issue 9 was about 3-C, and Union Terminal, and freight rail, and even the mini-train at the Zoo. Hell, even your signs made no mention of the streetcar. Ironically, they said "For Cincy Jobs". Hahaha. I'm sure all of the police and firefighters that will be laid off in the future because of the streetcar's massive projected operating losses appreciate the irony and the fact that a bunch of urban hipsters lied to them so they could get a special choo choo downtown.

    The fact of the matter is that the Progressors' internal polling told them that they would go down in flames if the voters believed that Issue 9 was about the trolley, so they lied and hoped we'd forget their ruse. Now we're all paying for it.

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  7. COAST is moronic. Anyone who has traveled outside the US will tell you that public transit is a key part of what makes the quality of life workable for vast swaths of people.

    Just keep giving tax cuts to the top 1% and see what they are willing to contribute to your community. 9 times out of 10 it is outsourcing your job, and dumping toxic waste in your back yard.

    Brazil, China, Russia, and India are all investing in their infrastructure while we are spending 900 billion on tax cuts for millionaires.
    It's no longer "we the people", it's a plutocracy that owns the rest of your future.

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  8. Oh man, another ironic anonymous name, this time calling me an "urban hipster." Wow, that one stung a little. God forbid any "hip" young people bring some new ideas to this city. Cincinnati's only been letting the Mary Kuhl's of the city run it into the ground for the past fifty years.

    "You folks told us that Issue 9 was about 3-C, and Union Terminal, and freight rail, and even the mini-train at the Zoo."

    Actually, both sides of the argument said it was about more than just the streetcar. Even Mr. Gloyd's above post mentioned how it affected passenger rail. COAST posts during the election mentioned how it would affect the 3C, then said that it was "sand in the voters eyes" then again said it would affect it. In fact, due to its broadly written language, it could've affected the "choo choo" at the zoo (I don't know if we ever looked at if/how the train at Coney Island would be affected ;-) ). I don't recall anyone from CFP or the Issue 9 campaign saying how it would be about freight rail, at least not me, considering it was a "passenger rail" amendment.

    "they would go down in flames if the voters believed that Issue 9 was about the trolley"

    There was no lying that it wasn't just about the "trolley." Not sure if you followed the election at all, but the amendment written by COAST (which was defeated) was about "passenger rail." The ballot language said "passenger rail," not "streetcar" or "trolley." In fact, had it said trolley, there still wouldn't be a problem considering a streetcar does not use a troller, therefore not making it a trolley. You'll get it next time though, I'm sure.

    "Hahaha. I'm sure all of the police and firefighters that will be laid off in the future because of the streetcar's massive projected operating losses"

    If you don't mind, please point me in the direction of your crystal ball. While the streetcar does in fact have projected operating losses, as most public transit systems do (they're not about making a profit, but providing a higher standard of living) no one has said "we plan to cover these loses by laying off police and firefighters.

    In fact, what you and the FOP Union can't seem to figure out is that (ready for this?) streetcar or not, it does't matter, the police and fire forces in Cincinnati will be facing cuts regardless. Even if the word "streetcar" had never been uttered in the chambers of city hall, we'd still be looking at police cuts.

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  9. Bris Chortz and proud of itDecember 10, 2010 at 12:54 PM

    Let's see, where to start.

    First, don't criticize others for choosing to post anonymously or under a fake name when you yourself hide behind a fake screen name and a head shot of Emilio Estevez. If you don't like the anonymous nature of internet blog posters then leave. Nobody is begging you to post here. The blogosphere and this blog in particular will survive without your insightful comments. Stop whining.

    Second, the Issue 9 ballot language specifically used the words "trolley" AND "streetcar". Either you know that, and you're lying about it now or you were dumb enough to believe the lies of Bluegrass Bobby Maly back then when they tried to turn the issue away from the streetcar to save their asses. Either way, read the ballot and stop lying.

    As for the operating losses, I don't need a crystal ball. The proposal put before Council estimated a $3 million operating loss every year. Chris Bortz repeated that number to the Ohio Kentucky Indiana Regional Council of Governments. And these are pro-streetcar folks. If these estimates are anything like the City's other financial estimates it'll probably be more like $6 million in operating losses. If you're too lazy to do the research for yourself and choose instead to believe in the Easter Bunny and a profitable streetcar then I feel sorry for you.

    Finally, the police and fire employees in this City are smart enough to see the writing on the wall. If City leaders this year are willing to spend money on environmental initiatives and hi-tech recycling bins while laying off cops and firemen then they'll surely be willing to lay off more of them to cover the losses of the golden calf that is the streetcar.

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  10. Ah Bris, the original ironic name creator.

    Hey, good post, way to twist my words here:

    "Second, the Issue 9 ballot language specifically used the words "trolley" AND "streetcar""

    Yes, it mentioned at the end "e.g. 'trolley' or 'streetcar.'" However, my point was that the amendment clearly said "passenger rail." It was NOT directed solely at the streetcar as the poster I was quoting claimed. It would've affected all forms of passenger rail due to it's broadly written language and even COAST admitted it would affect the 3C.

    I don't deny that the streetcar would face operating loses, and talked about that in the comment section of the other post. The point is, there at present are no streetcar operating loses. Those officers and firemen are going to be laid off anyways and down the road, it's only a wide swath of pure speculation saying more layoffs will come or that they'll have to be in direct relation to the streetcar. So you're right Bris, you don't need a crystal ball, you've just got your speculation. Good thing Berding doesn't bay this "groundswell" lie either.

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  11. Yeah Gordon -
    Continute to defend a serial political liar like Jeff Berding. After all, the last time he teamed up with Roxanne Qualls they sold us the stadium sales tax, which is now literally bankrupting the County. But we can trust them this time. Hahahaha.

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  12. Oh yeah, please don't sue me for that Jeffy. You big hair plugged baby.

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