A small group of anti-progress activists are trying -- again -- to stop Cincinnati from developing a streetcar system serving downtown and Over-The-Rhine. They want a disastrous city charter amendment that would -- again -- go far beyond their stated intention.
In 2009, city voters overwhelmingly rejected a similar effort by the same group. The anti-progress group ignored the will of the people and continued a campaign to spread blatant falsehoods and misunderstanding.
Once again, it is up to Cincinnati voters to put a stop to a destructive assault on the city charter.
WHAT THE PROPOSED AMENDMENT WOULD DO
- It would bar anyone -- including private parties – from working on any form of rail-based transportation for 10 years. That arbitrary "dead period" would make it illegal for the city to take advantage of new technology and new circumstances, such as the future federal stimulus dollars. Under the language of this proposal, a generation would pass before Cincinnati could hope to see light rail or commuter rail, or even the return of the inclines.
- It would cost hundreds of jobs in construction of the line itself, and more importantly, jobs created by homes and businesses that will fill the area along the streetcar route.
- It would lead to confusion and lawsuits, further impeding the city's ability to grow.
- It would undermine the city charter, Cincinnati's version of the Constitution, by usurping the lawful functions of elected officials. It could open the door to a flood of California-style actions used by special interests to bypass the legislative process. The results in California have been tax hikes, deficits and civic paralysis.Whether you care about the streetcar plan or not, this dangerous charter amendment must not pass
The amendment would prevent the City from spending or appropriating any money (including city, state, federal and private funds) to plan, construct, or operate a streetcar system through the year 2020. Because of the definition of a "Streetcar System," the amendment would include any kind of passenger rail operating on city streets or publicly-owned rights-of-way. The amendment would stop not just the streetcar. It would also block any regional passenger rail system (light rail or commuter rail) and would keep any rail transit from being planned or built in Cincinnati for the next decade.
The LWVCA seeks to keep open the city's transportation options as a means of contributing to the City's economic vitality and development. The proposed Charter Amendment, if passed, would put on hold the city and region's transportation options for the remainder of the decade and beyond.
In addition, the League opposes the proposed Charter Amendment because the
Charter should provide for the flexible operation of government. The Charter should not limit or restrict City Council's legislative authority as outlined in the Charter. "The proposed amendment is too specific for a Charter and too far reaching in its consequences for our city and region's transportation options," says Melissa Currence, President, League of Women Voters.
Any way you cut it this amendment is bad for the city, bad for business, bad for jobs and bad for our future.