...of our last post - "A familiar idea." We’re pleased to know that our efforts are being noticed by at least a handful of people willing to read and respond with comments.
One reader has been very specific in some statements, particularly concerning the relationship of the overall transit proposal and the so-called Red Line, indicating a complete lack of connection between the Red Line and the upcoming new tax referendum. It occurred to us that a new post would a better answer than a "back and forth" by comment.
We had raised the question of using TIF funds from the consolidated downtown TIF district in areas outside the district. The reader, on Aug. 29, assured us that much of the total money would be spent inside the district, on bus stop stations, etc., including the TIF funds, and that such probability made the usage legitimate.
The reader included the statement "By statute TIF funds cannot be spent on operations." But it seemed to us to open a loophole when the next sentence said, in part, "Generally speaking, TIF funds must be spent on hard items...." (Our emphasis.) Our use of those words has always meant "most of the time" or some other phrase definitely not within a statutory specification of "cannot."
On Aug. 30 we received another comment from the same reader, including this statement: "Red Line is not specifically mentioned anywhere in the referendum." Correct. But, in the specified litany of actions affirmatively listed therein, the final words are, "...and implement three new rapid transit lines." My desk top dictionary defines the word implement as, "to put into effect."
This morning’s paper adds this information regarding the revenue from the proposed tax. "That extra cash would be used to increase service over five years and would pay to run the Bus Rapid Transit Red Line and two other future BRT lines." (Again, our emphasis.)
It’s too bad we can’t get information as straight as the Stadium/Palladium line through the center of the city. But then again, that wouldn't help pass the referendum, would it?