Mayor Cranley’s Jump Off The Rails: Mea Culpa? Pt. 3 of 3
Cincinnati City Council was standing room only on December 18th as people spoke out about the pros and cons of the streetcar project for over 3 hours.
Many iron workers and one minority owned business leader spoke out about the hardships of being out of work. One man who was a felon told how his missed child support payment could land him behind bars. Other men spoke about how their children would not have presents for the holidays.
Opponents stated that the city could not afford the streetcar. The project was too small and that the effort was underfunded even if the voters approved of the deal. They stated that the 2.7 percent return on investment figures that KPMG calculates is a myth and, that higher cost overruns and raising taxes are in the possible future to raise money for a streetcar system that in their eyes is an inevitable failure and, a waste of taxpayer money.
Instead of a lump of Xmas coal for Christmas, December 19th Cincinnati City Council passed a motion 6-3 to allow the street car construction to go forward. A holiday miracle of hard work for five years moved the project momentum forward with the number of signatures, voter referendums and speakers.
Councilman Kevin Flynn contacted the Haile Foundation through whose extraordinary generosity pledged a $9 million reserve to help fund the streetcar project operations. “The Haile Foundation is part of the The Carol Ann and Ralph V. Haile, Jr./U.S. Bank Foundation and, an independent family foundation dedicated to enhancing the quality of life for residents in Greater Cincinnati and Northern Kentucky.”
No amount of money will equal the reputation and the benefit to visitors, convention goers and citizens. Their contribution should not go unnamed in the project but act like hugging arms or a mistletoe wreath greeting friends for the holiday. Like holiday cards, their names should be hung in places of meeting and departure around the 3.6 mile loop.
Stopping short of Charles Dickens’ Scrooge, Mayor Cranley stated he does not intend to veto the measure despite what he said to get elected and his heart warmed just a little. Cranley refused to sign the agreement like the Ghost of Christmas Past, he intends to be the watchdog and redeemer for city council moving forward with Councilman Winburn. Windburn offered nine points that he said could be used to serve the taxpayers who voted against the streetcar. Together they will intend to try and summon the powers of Scrooge to save taxpayers every: penny, nickel, dime and quarter.
Wrong as wrong can be, Cincinnati may not turn into a dismal mini-Detroit with the street car or the joke of Mark Twain’s superior vernacular. It being passed, Cincinnati can focus attention on other issues next year starting January 2nd, 2014. There is a lot of promise in the four hard years ahead for Cincinnati’s new council and the city. And perhaps an egalitarian community will get a front row seat in the fight against corruption in Hamilton County. A legacy of constant change left by William Mallory Sr. who died December 10, 2013.
“The system makes it easy to keep people poor,” “Do not mistreat others as you have been mistreated,” —William Mallory.
Cincinnati Streetcars and Light Rail