29 November 2010

Kudos: Qualls

At City Council’s most recent meeting, Roxanne Qualls proposed a resolution (item # 201001612) expressing Council’s support for the 3C rail corridor and urging other officials and Governor-elect John Kasich to support it. The item was referred to the Livable Communities Committee.

The resolution states some relevant facts, such as:

...the Cleveland-Columbus-Cincinnati (3C) travel corridor is the most heavily traveled corridor for passenger trips between metro areas in the entire Midwest, according to the U.S. Department of Transportation Bureau of Transportation Statistics;

...the federal grant will not add any annual costs to the State of Ohio’s troubled general revenue fund;

...the State of Ohio’s share of passenger rail operating costs will instead be supported by the ODOT budget, which is legally separate and financially distinct from the State of Ohio’s general revenue fund;

...the states of Illinois, New York, and possibly other states have asked the federal government for Ohio’s $400 million if Governor-elect Kasich opts out of receiving the money;

Then the resolution provides rationale for supporting the rail initiative, namely that it will (1) Create good-paying rail industry jobs; (2) Provide affordable, efficient, quality transportation; and (3) Promote economic development along the corridor.

As a supporter of infrastructural progress, I appreciate Qualls’s initiative to keep this issue alive. But this part of the resolution struck me in particular:

…the Council encourages City of Cincinnati and Hamilton County officials, the Ohio General Assembly, the Ohio Congressional delegation, and other leaders to undertake all reasonable action necessary to ensure the development… continues unabated in Ohio’s 3C corridor.”

I think this is a key step to ensuring progress on this matter. The support of other public officials will be hard to overlook, even for a stubborn ideologue like Kasich seems to be.

To really put it over the top, the support of the general public and the business community is necessary. The public already voiced its desire at the ballot box. With the backing of public officials and business leaders, it stands a good chance of moving forward. Any Governor would seriously undermine credibility by rejecting an initiative supported by local citizens, local officials and local businesses.

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