Tuesday, June 25, 2019

Defects Keep Swirling Around All For Transportation Tax and Court Ruling

As we posted here, Judge Barbas gutted the illegal All for Transportation (AFT) tax hike charter amendment. Barbas threw out all of AFT's illegal spending appropriations, illegal prohibitions on funding new roads and other illegal regulations they tried to force on the taxpayers of Hillsborough County.

In addition, according to this Florida Politics article, Commissioner Stacy White filed a motion to remove the sentence that required the AFT sales tax to be distributed to the County and municipalities based on their population.
“...any such allocation should be based on the actual transportation needs of the municipality, not on arbitrary, fixed percentages that were created to serve an entirely different tax with entirely different goals.”
White's motion also requests a final judgement be made which then enables an appeal to either the Supreme Court or the Second District Court of Appeals.

Thursday, June 20, 2019

What's Next?

Now that much of the mandated spending constraints All For Transportation tax hike have been found unconstitutional, all the media, business elites, politicians and proponents that were so wrong about the legal issues, are pushing hard to reinstate the "will of the people".

Judge Rex Barbas summary judgement, while preserving the tax, makes it clear why so much of the AFT charter amendment was unconstitutional.

The Honorable Rex M. Barbas

But that's not slowing down AFT and the "mix of interest groups."

Tuesday, June 18, 2019

Judge Throws Out Most of AFT Tax Hike Amendment But Lets the Tax Stand

The ruling by Judge Barbas yesterday on the All for Transportation tax hike confirms what Commissioner White and the Eye warned about last year but local media refused to report.

All for Transportation (AFT) never legally vetted their 5 page tax hike charter amendment and now Barbas threw out most of it.

In his ruling of AFT's $16 Billion transit tax hike, Barbas threw out the pre-determined appropriations and he struck out the limitations and prohibitions of funding new road capacity.

Barbas also reigned in the Independent Oversight Committee authority who will no longer have approval authority but can now only function as a glorified citizens advisory committee.

Barbas allows the sales tax to stand but little else does. Thanks to Commissioner White and his lawsuit, we now know that most of AFT's tax hike charter amendment was unlawful and a fraud.

Saturday, June 15, 2019

No Grant Funding Should Go to Dishonest Failing Transit Agency PSTA

PSTA, who is using reserves to keep operating, is going broke.

Instead of addressing their failing transit agency, PSTA is pursuing a proposed $44 million bus rapid transit (BRT) service and pursuing over $30 million in federal and state grant money to fund it.

As we posted here, PSTA's BRT project is on life support. Two of the three municipalities (St. Pete Beach and S. Pasadena) along the proposed BRT route do not want the service in their community and have formally opposed it.

This PSTA project is in such dire straights the Tampa Bay Times felt compelled to write this editorial trying to cover for PSTA's mess:  Move forward with bus rapid transit linking St. Petersburg, St. Pete Beach. And stop the sniping.

Friday, June 14, 2019

PSTA's BRT On Life Support As Kriseman Sends "Mafia Move" Letter to St Pete Beach

The wheels are going flat on PSTA's proposed Central Avenue BRT (CA BRT) bus service. The CA BRT is a $42 million new bus service PSTA wants to run from St. Petersburg thru S. Pasadena to the Don Cesar on St. Pete Beach.

But PSTA, whether it was intentional or incompetence or a combination of both, did a lousy job of informing the public, the communities impacted and engaging their stakeholders.

So now the wheels going flat are about to come off this unneeded BRT that duplicates existing bus services, removes a lane of vehicle traffic and parking on 1st Ave N and 1st Ave S, and removes a lane of vehicle traffic on Pasadena Avenue, including right before the Corey Causeway draw bridge.

Thursday, June 13, 2019

I-275 Projects Survive Despite All Democrat County Commissioners Voting Against Them

Common sense prevailed Tuesday night as the Hillsborough MPO voted to keep FDOT's  I-275 expansion/improvement projects in their plans.

According to this Tampa Bay Times article, the vote was 11-5 to keep the projects in the MPO's plans.

We will note that all four Democrat Hillsborough county commissioners, including countywide commissioners Pat Kemp, Kimberly Overman and Mariella Smith, voted to remove those vital projects from the MPO's plans. They were joined by Democrat BOCC Chair Les Miller along with Democrat Tampa City Council member Guido Maniscalco.

Wednesday, June 12, 2019

St. Pete Beach Stymies PSTA ... For Now

At another standing room only St. Pete Beach City Commission meeting last night, residents and council members took a stand against more PSTA buses from the proposed Central Avenue BRT project on congested Gulf Boulevard. The Eye was there.

St. Pete Beach City Commission