Wednesday, December 19, 2012

Weasel Words from Qualls Crew

Today's heralded news that Council resolved not to use transit funds for the Streetcar would seem at first to be good news.

UPDATE Brian Thomas picked up on this same point this morning on 55KRC listen below starting at 15:20

However, lost in the shuffle are the weasel words involved:
BE IT RESOLVED by the Council of the City of Cincinnati, State of Ohio: 
Section 1. That the City of Cincinnati hereby resolves that it shall not use City transit funds that are intended for use by the Metro bus system to pay for any portion of the Cincinnati streetcar or its operation, and that the City further resolves that the City of Cincinnati shall continue to strive to be a leader in the area of regional public transportation in all of its different forms. 

Note the portion in bold. Why does the City specify that the city shall not use "City transit funds that are intended for use by the Metro bus system?" Because Cincinnati is currently arguing to Judge Marsh that not all City transit funds are "intended for use by the Metro bus system."

So, stripped to its essence, the resolution merely states that whatever portion the City declares to be "intended for use by the Metro bus system..." won't be used for the streetcar. Which begs the question, what portion of the city transit fund is intended for use by the Metro bus system?

Until the current litigation, everyone presumed that every penny of the transit fund was intended for the Metro bus system. Now, City Council under the guise of clarity and transparency provides more confusion and obfuscation. Aren't we all surprised?

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