Stop the Trains!

This is from Sharon Calvert of the Tampa Tea Party. She and Tampa-912 leader Karen Jarosh were instrumental in the grassroots uprising that killed light rail in the Tampa area. Now Senator Jack Latvala is trying to end run the voter’s decision. Please click on the link and send a message to Tallahassee.

LESS than 18 HOURS before critical BUDGET HEARING

Tallahassee INSIDERS are working to nullify the 2010 vote of Hillsborough County residents against Light Rail! As you read this, imagine the smoke-filled, back rooms of government from years ago, playing out again tonight in Tallahassee!

Senator Jack Latvala is working the back rooms of Tallahassee (before Tuesday’s all important BUDGET COMM. Vote), having inserted language into a BIG TRANSPORTATION bill to FORCE a merger between Pinellas (his) and Hillsborough County Transit Agencies. His aim is to FORCE these local communites, TWO SOVEREIGN COUNTIES, to pay a third Agency TAX PAYER MONIES . This agency TBARTA, has plans to re-introduce LIGHT RAIL despite the 2010 vote by HILLSBOROUGH residents against LIGHT RAIL by 60+%.

The TBARTA plan has not been vetted, it has not been put through a COST BENEFIT ANALYSIS!

It is an attempt for BIG GOVERNMENT INSIDERS to nullify the election results of 2010! But the PEOPLE have already spoken! Senator Latvala is trying to overturn the ELECTION with a back-door deal!

DON’T LET THEM GET AWAY WITH IT! You have less than 24hrs to let them HEAR YOU

In the last year (since the people voted down Rail in 2010), the Hillsborough Area Regional Transit (HART) authority has given up its rail aspirations and has made steps to streamline costs and pare down inefficient routes to provide transportation to the transit-dependent. To survive in an era of dwindling property tax revenues, they have enacted reforms such as freezing wages, requiring employees make a contribution towards their health insurance premiums, and laying off redundant administrative staff. They have plans to raise fares so riders pay more of the costs that taxpayers are currently shouldering.

Contrast this with Pinellas’ transit agency PSTA. PSTA’s answer to shrinking tax revenues was to raise their property tax rate to a rate 50% higher than HART’s! They did not attempt to slash spending and live within their means. In January, PSTA also announced plans to build a lavish $1.7 billion light rail system that would require an ADDITIONAL $100+ million a year of taxpayer dollars to operate.

In order for PSTA to qualify for federal funds (more DEFICIT spending we cannot afford), they need to show phenomenal ridership numbers. This is a problem since demographers anticipate that Pinellas county’s trend of decreasing population will continue for the next 20 years! Therefore PSTA needs Hillsborough County’s robust 30% growth rate in their corner.

So, Senator Latvala and his partners in the efforts to OVERTURN the ELECTIONS of 2010 want to MERGE the two seperate County Agencies to beef up ridership numbers.

…They have a problem however, because the HART board has rejected this idea with three resolutions. PSTA and HART already collaborate with seamless bus service across all three bay bridges and already realize quantity discounts on joint fuel and vehicle purchases.

SB 1866 pushed by Senator LATVALA requires HART and PSTA must meet to formulate the merger and bring the plan to the SENATE by February 2013!! Additionally, it requires HART to meet TBARTA goals within 7 years…including LIGHT RAIL…YES…the same LIGHT RAIL that HILLSBOROUGH residents already REJECT!

Senator Latvala is trying to OVERTURN the WILL of the PEOPLE! STOP Senate Bill 1866!!

PLEASE help the residents of CENTRAL FLORIDA stop SENATE BILL 1866….the next stop on this RAILROADING of the VOTER could by YOUR COMMUNITY!


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