In a show of pointless persistence, second only to the example above, City leaders say the streetcar is still a "go project."
- (Left arm) Before resigning from Council, former Democratic Jeff Berding appoints Republican Wayne Lippert, who vows to vote against the streetcar until the City gets its finances in order. Council is now comprised of 4 anti-streetcar Republicans, 4 pro-streetcar Democratics, and 1 pro-streetcar Charterite who is a registered Republican and tends to vote that way. However Charterite Bortz is forbidden from having anything to do with the streetcar due to ethical conflicts. Under council rules (PDF Pg 14, #6.6), "on a tie vote, the matter is lost."
"'Tis but a scratch...I've had worse."
- (Right arm) ODOT personnel today advised Ohio's TRAC board to reallocate all $51.8 million that had been previously recommended for the streetcar. Two of the ten board members expressed reservations about defunding a project assigned the highest score under the old Molitoris rules. We kindly refer them to PDF page 24 of TRAC's Policy & Procedures, which says, "It should be emphasized that the TRAC process does not require that a selected project have a numeric ranking nor that the TRAC must fund projects in order of their ranking. The ranking is a means to help the TRAC generally prioritize and rank projects in order of their transportation and community/economic development benefits." "It is explicit TRAC policy that projects can be selected regardless of their score, ranking, cost, or functional class. The reason is that no ranking system can completely measure all project attributes. If other factors arise that the TRAC finds important to a project, the TRAC can select the project for funding."
"Just a flesh wound."
- (Right leg) The Ohio Senate unanimously passed HB114, the transportation budget, including a provision which “prohibits state or federal funds appropriated by the state from being used for the Cincinnati streetcar project.” The Feds purposely pass funds through the state first so they have recourse for funds recovery should the recipient city go bankrupt. Legislators obviously see the project as something less than a guaranteed money-maker.
"Right, I'll do you for that...kill yah. ...I'm invincible!"
- (Left leg) Councilmember Charlie Winburn introduces a "cease and desist" motion in Council to halt all spending and activity on the streetcar. Citing the police/sheriff outsourcing deal as precedent, he reminds the City that when the votes aren't there to see a project through, it's best to abandon it before wasting everybody's time.
"All right, we'll call it a draw...I'll bite your legs off."