Time for County Executive to urge reallocation of streetcar funds
Statement from Alderman Bob Donovan September 11, 2013
Today (attached) I asked County Executive Chris Abele to intervene in the downtown streetcar debacle, urging him to seek reallocation of the money for the project so it can truly benefit the people of Milwaukee County.
I am hoping the County Executive can convince our mayor to do the right thing (reallocation), especially when an overwhelming majority of county residents do not support the project.
In fact, a one-time key supporter of a city streetcar project – philanthropist Michael Cudahy – has called the mayor’s current planned trolley route “stupid.”
Also, late last week the federal government landed another blow to the trolley when it turned down the mayor’s request for a $26.5 million grant to expand the streetcar route.
Not only should County Executive Abele seek reallocation of the original funding for the project, he should also ask that any future funds for operating the streetcar be shifted to cover public safety costs, street repairs and other, more pressing needs in the city. We need more resources to fight violent crime and to protect our citizens; we do NOT need a fixed trolley that will serve a small downtown loop and will have more ghost riders than actual human riders.
Yes, the mayor truly believes that more than 1.15 million people will ride the streetcar each year! For that ridership to happen, every man, woman and child in Milwaukee would need to take a streetcar ride twice a year.
That is absolutely laughable and absurd!
Mayor and County Executive Abele: It is time to tackle the real issues affecting Milwaukee. It is also time to listen to our citizens – the people you are supposed to be working for.
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