Dear Pinellas County voters,
Opposition to the wasteful Greenlight Pinellas ("GLP") plan has grown steadily in the last two months, and is now very strong. A very recent independent poll showed Pinellas County voters solidly opposed. We thank you, the taxpayers and the voters, for this fantastic turn of events. Please tell your friends and family the truth: the Greenlight Pinellas Plan is an unnecessary and massive tax increase.
Before I go on: if you are NOT a Pinellas County voter, feel free to remove yourself from this list using the link at the bottom of this e-mail. We respect your privacy.
The incompetence of plan supporters has been on full display this month, as the long-promised and often delayed interlocal agreement once again failed to materialize. We have predicted for quite some time that there is no way they can protect us from double taxation....and it seems we are right. Also, Gulfport City Council member Dan Liedtke took the time to make a video about our transit authority's poor management culture and low employee morale. PSTA (your transit authority) is failing badly.
Well-connected real estate developers, powerful special interests and other supporters of the GLP plan still want you to vote "YES" in favor of their $110+ million per year slush fund for their cronies. We know you won't be fooled, because the GLP plan has very little to do with good transit. But it has everything to do with shifting money from the poor and middle-class to the politically connected.
On November 4, 2014, Pinellas County voters will decide whether to approve a sales tax increase to fund the GLP Plan. The GLP plan is deeply flawed. Let's start with the false premise of a future population increase in Pinellas County. This premise is the cornerstone of the GLP campaign. You see, plan supporters need to project a population increase in order to justify their unnecessary increase in public transportation. In fact, the 2010 US Census showed a population decrease and we lost a Florida House seat.
In fact, there is no evidence that we will have a population increase in Pinellas County. Bureau of Economic and Business Research official projections actually shows a slight population decrease between now and 2060.
We don't want to bore you with additional details about their premises. However, summing it up: their false premises lead to false promises.
Have you noticed how the other side have only been talking about "increased bus service" lately? However, over 90% of the capital expenditure money is for rail. It would be 10 years before the rail is completed, and the rail travel time from Clearwater to St. Pete will be over an hour!
Think about how you travel in Pinellas County: does it make sense to you to run a train from St. Pete to Clearwater? Most people say "no", and are even more opposed to it when they learn how slow it will be, how much it will cost ($2.5 billion) and the never-ending subsidies it will need every year.
The "Friends Of Greenlight" (FOG) advocacy campaign launched, and stumbled right away. First, it was revealed that 75% of their funding ($50,000) for Greenlight Pinellas came from Duke Energy. (Duke Energy was formerly known as Progress Energy).
Then FOG sent out their first mass e-mail, which was aimed at showing that exclusive use bus-only lanes will NOT take away lanes from other traffic. A local independent news website analyzed it and wrote an article with this headline:
"Greenlight Pinellas looks like it will really screw up 4th Street"
Greenlight Pinellas will also "screw up" and congest Ulmerton, East Bay, Gulf-to-Bay, 49th Street, Seminole Boulevard and wherever else they decide to put these bus-only lanes. Their plan is infinitely flexible: once passed, they can do what they want. So we must stop this rotten plan !
Did you know that the light rail would not run on existing CSX tracks? They were told this in writing February 2012, but pretended it wasn't so. That means they would have to buy land, and for safety reasons there has to be lots of clearance between the light rail trains and the CSX trains. By PSTA's own estimates, that means about $500 million to purchase real estate (in 2011 dollars).
Many people will be forced to sell their homes and/or businesses, or face eminent domain condemnation. When you take into account everything we have told you, does it sound like Greenlight Pinellas is a good plan?
Greenlight Pinellas supporters talk in generalities, using terms like "transformational change" and "livable communities". Talk is cheap....until the bill comes in. Cash-strapped Charlotte, NC is currently dealing with the financial disaster resulting from the light rail they built in the 1990's.
The mostly empty PSTA buses we see on our roads prove that PSTA is poorly managed !
Why would you give such a poorly performing government agency even more money? Vote "NO" because that will force PSTA to fix the existing multi-million dollar bus system with 200+ buses that we currently own.
Force PSTA to provide better service to the 1.6% of our neighbors that depend on the buses to get around our community. Say "no" to digging a $2.5 Billion sinkhole in Pinellas County for Rail!
If you have not already done so, please CLICK HERE for a short 10-question survey with all YES/NO answers. Make sure your voice is heard! Skip the survey if you have taken it before.
Median income dropped all over the US in the last decade, including in Pinellas County. Yet the only policy tool our local leaders seem to have, whether Democrat or Republican, is ever more tax increases.
Pinellas County voters have all the evidence they need to put the Greenlight Pinellas Plan where it belongs: on the trash heap of history.
Thank you for your time !
Spokesperson, No Tax For Tracks
Above: the reality if Greenlight Pinellas passes. Maybe that is why PSTA CEO Brad Miller recently said to Mike Deeson of 10 News : it is not necessary to talk about negative facts. (!?!) Unbelievable, but true.
Paid political advertisement paid for by No Tax For Tracks,[masked]th Avenue North, Saint Petersburg, FL 33703