Monday, December 11, 2006

A dumb move by Perrysburg OH officials

Perrysburg OH - While I generally don't agree with many editorials in newspapers, the one from the Toledo Blade on Monday 12/11/06 I do agree with. I have been following this story some as it has unfolded so I am not unfamiliar with what is happening there.

Perrysburg leaders wish to pull out from the local transit system, the Toledo Area Regional Transit Authority (TARTA) as they don't see they are getting value from their contribution to the system. A few minor studies were commissioned by city leaders and minor attempts to try and improve service but the elected leaders have been opposed to TARTA for quite awhile and it was all just a show to try and claim they are impartial.

The surveys commissioned by the city also bring into question the accuracy of the survey. If taken at face value, the survey states nobody wants to ride the TARTA service. If that's the case then why is there ridership and why do voters routinely vote to fund TARTA?

City leaders refuse to acknowledge that residents willingly voted for the funding levy to fund Perrysburg's participation in TARTA for the past 20 years. While ridership numbers aren't spectacular, 30,000 riders a year originating in Perrysburg, it isn't pathetic either.

What is happening is that a handful of Perrysburg city leaders want to control the purse strings on TARTA and dictate how TARTA is to provide service. Since they can't directly control TARTA, given the regional nature of the operation, city leaders want to take their ball and go home.

While I agree with the Perrysburg city council in terms of transit needs to be run as a business, TARTA does a decent job of it for a government agency. No transit operation is without its problems, public or private.

What the Perrysburg city leaders are doing isn't meant to improve anything for their residents. All it's meant to do is give the city leaders more power and give them more money to spend how they want it to be spent, regardless of what the voters approved at the polls.

Perrysburg residents will soon find their access to public transit eliminated or severely limited. If city council contracts out services at a much greater cost than contributing to TARTA, it will only result in higher taxes. The power struggle of a handful of city officials to do a cash grab of the money that the city residents voted to provide to TARTA will ultimately prove to hurt all residents in Perrysburg and is a dumb move by Perrysburg officials.

Perrysburg leaders get the Lance for their attempt to pull out of TARTA even though the residents of the city voted for the service.

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