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From: William E. G.
Sent on: Saturday, March 16, 2013 11:16 AM
We are trying to get a bunch of people to this meeting.  to let the city leaders know they are breaking a promise to citizens, and we, the people, do not feel adding streetcars to downtown streets and Broadway will help traffic congestion, but instead cause congestion as well as other problems, including new unnecessary expenses/Taxes?.  Please spread the word.  We would like a big turnout. Thanks, Pam Farris
NO STREET CARS              NO RAILS              KEEP THE TROLLEY'S
..Please try to attend this important meeting to ask why we need a 19th Century mode of transportation which will eventually cost the tax payers of Bexar County between $3.3 and $4.6 BILLION. Your voice needs to be heard since we aren't allow to vote on the matter.   PLEASE COME,  invite your friends and neighbors, to come speak out against the streetcar project  We need get a large contingent to protest this waste of money.
by Dick Slife
San Antonio Tea Party
Feb. 2012
The core mission of government is to deliver essential services without discrimination to all citizens.
Unfortunately citizens have allowed the Bexar County Commissioners Court to drift away from its core missionspending tax dollars on projects and programs that benefit only a few future residents of San Antonio and a handful of downtown real estate developers.
The VIA downtown rail project is a case study of the Commissioners Court breaking the public trust to reward the few at the expense of the many. The people voted 70/30 in 2000 against light capacity rail transit. In 2004, VIA put forth and voters approved a 1/4 cent increase in the sales tax to fund an Advanced Transportation District (ATD). During the election, VIA promised not to use the revenue to fund rail transit, or toll roads, and that funds would be split 50/50 on roads and transit. In fact, 12 road projects were identified to be accelerated by as many as 11 years with ATD funding. To date, the county has been able to use the 25% of the ATD revenues designated for use by TxDOT to match with state and federal funds to complete the six projects promised on Blanco and Culebra.
Fast forward to 2011. The county, with the blessing of the VIA board, has consigned the next 10 years of ATD revenues promised for road construction to help fund the construction of a $200 million, 5-mile rail line on a few downtown San Antonio streets. The county contends that the rail system will increase economic development along Broadway and help reduce traffic congestion. But the city is already providing $17.5 million in taxpayer subsidies to a handful of developers to build condominiums in the Broadway corridor. VIA projects that the line will serve, at most, 2000 riders per day.
Senator Wentworth and other local officials recently sent a letter strongly urging Judge Wolff and Mayor Castro to reconsider the use of the county share of the ATD funds on transit. Because Judge Wolff and Mayor Castro are gambling that a $200 million starter rail system will induce federal grants to build out the complete system, they rejected Senator Wentworths urging. As a result, on March 26, Senator Wentworth requested a formal opinion from the Texas Attorney General as to whether the promises made by VIA during the 2004 election form a contract with the voters, and preclude the county and VIA from using ATD funding for the rail lines. Senator Wentworths request will be assigned to the Opinion Committee. In addition to researching the law, the Committee welcomes additional briefs and any written commentary from the public. This option for additional comments provides citizen organizations and local officials the opportunity to have their views factored into the final decision that the Attorney General will issue in about 6 months.
In the meantime, the county has lost its ability to leverage the funds TxDOT has recently made available to complete the remaining 6 projects promised to the voters in 2004. These projects, which are detailed at attachment 1, will improve traffic flow for the 91% of area commuters who depend on cars and vans to get to work. Based on past history, the $100 million of ATD funding would generate another $400 million of state or federal funds for Bexar County road construction.
Local leaders have called on the county, pending an opinion from the attorney general, to release the ATD funds for badly need road construction that will benefit the manynot the few. Small city mayors will have an opportunity at the Greater Bexar County Council of Cities meeting in May to pass a resolution supporting Senator Wentworths call for the county to reallocate its ATD funds to road construction, and directing the VIA board members representing the Greater Bexar County Council of Cities to call on VIA and the county to abide by the promises made to the voters in 2004.  To view The Rest of the Story in PowerPoint, please click here

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Bucking21SA · 1803 Deer Mountain St · San Antonio, TX 78232
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