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Critics blast (Houston) Metro's $2.6 billion bond plan (~4x what voters approved in 2003)
Houston Chronicle ^ | March 9, 2010, 11:25PM | BRADLEY OLSON and MIKE SNYDER

Posted on 03/10/2010 12:12:17 PM PST by a fool in paradise

The Metropolitan Transit Authority intends to issue an estimated $2.6 billion in bonds in the next four years to help pay for five new light rail lines, about four times the debt capacity voters authorized in a 2003 referendum, Metro officials confirmed Tuesday.

Metro leaders insist the borrowing will not exceed the $640 million debt ceiling set by voters because the agency is allowed other borrowing capacity by state law, and much of the bonds will be paid with money from ridership fares.

But critics sharply criticized the plans as going far beyond what voters approved, noting that revenues from ridership fares fail to pay Metro's operating expenses.

Borrowing money backed by fares will make it necessary to use more sales tax revenues for operations, an underhanded way of using more sales tax funds to pay for rail than the referendum allows, said Houston lawyer and light rail critic Bill King.

King said Metro's claim that it is not violating a promise to voters is “pure sophistry.”

“This is just a different deal than what they made with voters in 2003,” he said. “And if the voters want to approve that, that's fine, but they ought to go back and ask the voters if they're OK with spending three times as much and borrowing four times as much as they were told in 2003.”

Metro President and CEO Frank Wilson said the agency does not have to ask for voter approval for the additional debt because it would be paid for with sales taxes, fare revenues and federal grants.

“If you read the referendum, there are a number of sources in there that we're allowed to use that doesn't require us to go back (to voters),” he said...

(Excerpt) Read more at chron.com ...


TOPICS: Business/Economy; Crime/Corruption; Government; US: Texas
KEYWORDS: boondoggle; cultureofcorruption; failrail; houston; metro; metrorail; smartgrowth; starkravingsocialism

1 posted on 03/10/2010 12:12:17 PM PST by a fool in paradise
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To: 1riot1ranger; Action-America; Aggie Mama; Alkhin; Allegra; American72; antivenom; Antoninus II; ...

Houston PING


2 posted on 03/10/2010 12:13:13 PM PST by a fool in paradise
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To: a fool in paradise

and much of the bonds will be paid with money from ridership fares

For all those that buy this they also have a bridge you can buy for a song.


3 posted on 03/10/2010 12:16:05 PM PST by Recon Dad ( USMC SSgt Patrick O - 3rd Afghanistan Deployment - Day 141)
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To: a fool in paradise

DUMOCRAT Bill White (gov candidate) handiwork.
Dumocrat bait and switch.


4 posted on 03/10/2010 12:19:44 PM PST by Marty62 (former Marty60)
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To: Marty62

Bill White? That guy who’s running for governor?


5 posted on 03/10/2010 12:20:54 PM PST by a fool in paradise
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To: All

Also from the Houston Comical editorial board:

Eye on the prize: Turbulence at Metro must not impede light rail work

With the Metropolitan Transit Authority embarking on a massive five-line light rail construction binge, the timing couldn’t be worse for the eruption of an agency scandal and the ouster of its top lawyer

http://www.chron.com/disp/story.mpl/editorial/6905397.html


6 posted on 03/10/2010 12:22:08 PM PST by a fool in paradise
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To: a fool in paradise

Yep, Mr. Sanctuary City Himself.


7 posted on 03/10/2010 12:22:17 PM PST by BradtotheBone (Moderate Democrat - A politician whose voting record leans left and whose vote can be bought.)
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To: BradtotheBone

Sgt. Schultz. Ask him about Houston’s sanctuary city status and he’ll deny it, claiming that there was no such policy, it wasn’t the duty of our police officers, and it was no different than any other (Democrat run) city in Texas...


8 posted on 03/10/2010 12:23:51 PM PST by a fool in paradise
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To: a fool in paradise

YEP he is a Far leftie nightmare.
Acorn supporter Clinton Admin lackey.
The new Mayor told all of his cronies to look for work.
Plus the brewing scandal of the Metro people shreading Docs is not helping.


9 posted on 03/10/2010 12:24:01 PM PST by Marty62 (former Marty60)
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To: Marty62

Hopefully enough of his corruption and liberalism and lying comes to light in 2010 that he does not run for the Senate in 2012.


10 posted on 03/10/2010 12:28:47 PM PST by a fool in paradise
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To: a fool in paradise

Well Perry is not known for being Mr. Nice Guy in Campaigns, so White is getting a detailed exam. Similar to a Proctological exam.


11 posted on 03/10/2010 12:31:16 PM PST by Marty62 (former Marty60)
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To: Marty62

He has 3 tones of voice, befuddled meak Elmer Fudd, another where he speaks to voters as if he’s the only adult and everyone else is a 3 year old (it’s for your OWN good), and pitbull (”I DARE YOU!!!”).


12 posted on 03/10/2010 12:33:22 PM PST by a fool in paradise
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To: Marty62

I meant Bill White’s 3 tones of voice, not Perry by the way...


13 posted on 03/10/2010 12:33:51 PM PST by a fool in paradise
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To: Marty62

I think that Bill White is going to be a hard sell to people in the Dallas Metroplex.

And to get back to the thread at hand, it’s good to keep up with what Metrorail is trying.


14 posted on 03/10/2010 12:34:35 PM PST by a fool in paradise
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To: Recon Dad
and much of the bonds will be paid with money from ridership fares

I hope one of these lines goes to the NW 'burbs.
I hate it whenever I have to drive inside the beltway.

And there's MORE good news: looks like Galveston is planning on connecting to the Metro!!!

Galveston County pitches public transit district

More riders = more fares to pay for the bonds!!!

WooHoo!!!

15 posted on 03/10/2010 12:35:35 PM PST by Willie Green
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To: a fool in paradise

He rarely use the I dare you one.
He seemed to be fond of the Elmer Fudd one to hide his malevolence.


16 posted on 03/10/2010 12:35:41 PM PST by Marty62 (former Marty60)
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To: a fool in paradise

If you ask me (and you didn’t), this Metro Rail thing reeks to high heaven.
They forced the Rail right thru the neighborhoods on Richmond. Even when the residents provided evidence of the dangers of running the line over gas lines. If the truth be known I bet there are some political deals that would make even the most jaded pol blush. It’s the Dum way.


17 posted on 03/10/2010 12:39:08 PM PST by Marty62 (former Marty60)
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To: Marty62

Not when push comes to shove (or like when he kicked out the clients who’d rented the George R. Brown during the Katrina and aftermath timeframe, he dared them to sue the city). He’s used that angry tone several times on other items too.

But he definitely told some fibbs when he was on the radio the other day. Says he never invited anyone to Houston during the Katrina evacuation and that Houston was the closest city. Memphis is 6 hours from NOLA as well and there are even closer cities. We faced the Rita “threat” almost 2 months after Katrina.

He originally denounced those who blamed Houston’s crime rate on Katrina evacuees and then pointed the finger of blame exclusively on them so he could appeal for FEMA funds (same with lodging costs and other blank checks he signed).


18 posted on 03/10/2010 12:40:30 PM PST by a fool in paradise
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To: Marty62

But Bill White’s scheme worked. No one ran against him when he ran for re-election in the next cycle.


19 posted on 03/10/2010 12:41:02 PM PST by a fool in paradise
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To: Marty62

The public voted for rail on WESTPARK, not Richmond. The city never honors the ballots.


20 posted on 03/10/2010 12:41:36 PM PST by a fool in paradise
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To: Willie Green

A rail to Galveston. Reminds me of when someone wrote to Al Gore to save the Texas Eagle train.

“Thank you for your letter regarding the protection of the Texas eagle....”


21 posted on 03/10/2010 12:43:24 PM PST by a fool in paradise
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To: a fool in paradise

Well, at least yours runs. In Austin, we’ve been paying for rail service for two years and it still isn’t open to the public. But that hasn’t stopped them from lobbying for a second train route.


22 posted on 03/10/2010 12:46:34 PM PST by OrangeHoof ("Barack Obama" is Swahili for "Bend over suckahs".)
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To: OrangeHoof

I thought in Austin there is a line that goes from the convention center a few blocks into downtown.

For years we heard that Houston’s rail had collisions with cars because Houstonians didn’t know how to drive. Then we had a high profile collision between our death train and a Metro bus.


23 posted on 03/10/2010 12:51:04 PM PST by a fool in paradise
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To: a fool in paradise

Do you remember what his response to the people dying on I45 during Rita Was?
The outragous stunt of running to the Gallery Furniture Fire,was typical of his level of priorities.
You know don’t you that the cameras and safe tow thing was to cover the financial nightmare his predecessor Brown, yet ANOTHER Clinton lackey left to Houston.
I mean come on. a month before Brown leaves office he gives all his appointees a big raise. Then what happens they all retire with their retirments based on the last month salary.
Even a blind man can figure out that one.
NOTHING and I mean NOTHING that Dums conjure up, Metro included, ALWAYS has a big payoff for Some group. And who pays, WE DO. This Metro thing reeks of the Enron type deals with the Clinton Administration.


24 posted on 03/10/2010 12:53:18 PM PST by Marty62 (former Marty60)
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To: a fool in paradise
"Metro President and CEO Frank Wilson said the agency does not have to ask for voter approval for the additional debt..."

Courtroom drama: Houston Metro CEO Frank Wilson accused of ‘improper’ relationship with employee.

"The president and CEO of the Metropolitan Transit Authority was accused in open court Wednesday of having an improper relationship with a female employee who works for him. That alleged relationship may include taxpayer-funded trips to Spain, additional compensation and benefits, and other items the public paid for with tax dollars, according to the attorney for former Houston Controller Lloyd Kelley."

25 posted on 03/10/2010 12:53:37 PM PST by Yehuda (Land of the free, THANKS TO THE BRAVE!)
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To: Marty62

I think Mayor Brown’s corrupt administration may extend into this scandal:

Monica Conyers Gets 37 Months In Prison!
WXYZ ^ | 03/10/10 | Various
http://www.freerepublic.com/focus/f-news/2468141/posts

“Detroit City Councilwoman Monica Conyers was sentenced for her role in a city corruption scandal. Conyers pleaded guilty to conspiracy last summer and admitted taking cash in exchange for supporting a $1.2 billion dollar contract with Houston-based Synagro Technologies.”


26 posted on 03/10/2010 12:59:42 PM PST by a fool in paradise
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To: BuckeyeTexan
Even better:

[Houston] Metro says it lacks expertise to manage light-rail project; hired $2,400/day consultant who is associate of Metro CEO.

27 posted on 03/10/2010 1:02:40 PM PST by Yehuda (Land of the free, THANKS TO THE BRAVE!)
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To: a fool in paradise

I was out of Houston , living in Dallas for a year. It looks like they made a turn at Cummings to Westpark. Glad the residents didn’t lose their property values, from this anyway.

No doubt. We have been 10 years under the nightmare of Clinton cronies. When will people EVER wake up. Made the collapse of the oil industry along with NASA MIGHT shake them up. One can HOPE for CHANGE.


28 posted on 03/10/2010 1:07:06 PM PST by Marty62 (former Marty60)
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To: Willie Green

Except of course it won’t get more riders anywhere equal to the cost of the more boondoggle. They’re going to spend billions to build more rail that will be ridden by thousands wasting the money of all.

Light rail should be declared a crime, it’s a blatant ripoff, all politicians that support it should be immediately impeached and thrown out, don’t even let them hang around long enough for the next election, they’ll just find something else to screw up.


29 posted on 03/10/2010 1:12:44 PM PST by discostu (wanted: brick, must be thick and well kept)
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To: discostu

When interacting with them, it becomes apparent that Houston Metro is simply a make-work operation designed to employ the lowest examples of our society. And by “examples” I mean racist, ghetto trash that are openly hostile to white people, while at the same time being dependant upon them to get their jobs done. The incompetence that goes on in their building, in all departments, is amazing.


30 posted on 03/11/2010 9:03:18 AM PST by I Buried My Guns
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