Friday, December 10, 2010

Streetcar Project Fully Funded With a New State Grant

The Cincinnati Streetcar Project got yet another boost yesterday with news that the State of Ohio is providing an additional $35 Million grant to fund the construction of the Streetcar lines running from the Banks through Downtown and OTR to the Uptown area. As UrbanCincy Reports, the City now has recieved a total of $150 Million for the $128 Million project.

This doesn't stop the anti-city forces from lying, again. This time they are lying about the position of the Council Member on the Streetcar. The semi-positive news is that in the Enquirer article the reporter indicates that at least someone at the Enquirer is getting closer to the truth about the Funding of the Streetcar and how ending the project will do NOTHING to prevent layoffs of Police and Fire due to the Budget gap.
With the FOP, Cincinnati Fire Fighters Union Local 48, Westwood Concern and other groups searching for ways to preserve some of the 370 city jobs at risk, the controversial streetcar project – and Berding – have become their primary targets. Berding’s support is needed to guarantee a majority vote on council for streetcar matters,

By law, state and federal money that City Hall has received for the $128 million-plus streetcar could not be spent for other purposes. That also is the case, City Hall officials say, with the $64 million in local bonds that the city plans to commit to the streetcar project.

For that reason, supporters insist, blocking the streetcar would have no impact on City Hall’s current $60 million budget deficit. Opponents, though, argue the system’s future operating expenses would divert dollars that otherwise could fund jobs and services.
The Enquirer is closer to the truth, but the reporter still fails on two levels. First they fail to point out that the future expense of operating the Streetcar is IN THE FUTURE. The Streetcar is NOT built yet. We have a budget deficit NOW that will require laying off police officers and fire fighters. If we don't get an economic turnaround and the City's revenues are hurting again, they can have that argument again in 5 or 10 yearrs, when it would be relevant.  The real reason this argument is made, is because the groups making it are against development of the City and Urban core.

The second failure of the reporter comes in how they segregate City laws as something more mysterious than State or Federal Laws. I would prefer that if any media outlet publishes someone demanding an end to the Streetcar and even HINTS that this would save cops or fire fighters jobs (a lie), then the media outlet must print the facts about the Streetcar funding. In this article it would have been nicer for the Enquirer to not just report "City Officials Say" when talking about the $64 Million in bonds to be issued by the City for funding of the project. City Laws are just as much laws as State and Federal laws. We have to follow all of them. The reporter fails to 'have' all of the facts when they write "By law" in regards to the State and Federal Grants, but not for the City Funds. Who did the reporter get to confirm that the State and Federal funds grants are an issue of law? Could it have been a State or Federal official? Are not City officials as much of a definitive source of information on City laws as a State or Federal official on State or Federal laws, respectively?

As we learned recently how the bias in national media outlets affects news coverage and distorts the truth, we must insist that the media be fair to the truth, not just a blind reporting on what one side says.


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  2. Last year, these very folks waged a smear campaign against Greg Harris, and he didn't quite have the political capital to withstand it, though he gallantly challenged them head on. This year they are going after Berding, who is also challenging them head on, & probably has the political capital to prevail (strong name ID & war chest). The FOP, Fire, Westwood KKKoncern, care nothing about the truth in their tactics. The very premise of their campaign is built on lies (linking street cars to layoffs), so it's no surprise they'd be dishonest in their targeting of Berding. The irony is Berding has always been their lap poodle. How quickly they eat their own. They are scuzzy people who represent the city's true entitlement class.

  3. The streetcar has absolutely nothing to do with this year's budget problems. I agree.

    But shouldn't we worry a little bit about funding streetcar operations with revenue that hasn't happened yet? We see now how well that worked out with the stadium fund....

  4. There's no commitment to fund it with revenue that hasn't happened yet. The problem with that stadium fund deficit was that there was no way to raise extra revenue from the stadiums, because the teams restricted what the county could levy fees on, as well as advertising and vendor agreements.

    With the streetcar it is easy: If we get enough revenue from the casino, then we can have free rides. If we don't, then we charge for rides and charge for on-car advertising. We adjust the rates to match the expense.


Don't be an idiot or your post will be deleted.