Sunday, July 12, 2015

Hillsborough PLG: Where is Plan B?

When it comes to the Hillsborough transportation issues, now dogs are sleeping with cats.
Skepticism about a proposed half-cent sales tax for transportation has members of two polar-opposite groups — the Tampa Bay Sierra Club and Hillsborough County tea party — agreeing with each other.
Though their reasons might be different, both groups have voiced concerns with the plan, which would ask voters to approve a half-cent sales tax next fall to fund roads and transit.
The executive committee of the Tampa Bay Sierra Club issued a statement Wednesday night saying it is not ready to support the sales tax and wants to see other changes put in place first.
The Sierra Club and the Tea Party are both aligning against the proposed 1/2 cent sales tax increase from the Transportation Policy Leadership Group, but have found some common ground.
[Sharon] Calvert said the two groups, though often at opposite ends of the political spectrum, agree on issues such as fiscal responsibility and making developers pay their fair share for new and improved roads and transit.

“A gas tax is a user fee and I’m not against a user fee as long as it goes toward road maintenance which is in dire need,” Calvert said.
Strange bedfellows? Perhaps.  But they both have a sense of something smelly.

GoHillsborough, who's motto should be changed from "Your voices. Your choices" to "Your voices. Our choice.", clearly at best was making it up as they went along.

The whole process on developing the GoHillsborough plan, from the questionable, no bid contract awarded to rail crony Parsons-Brinkerhoff, to the inside bargaining with local political insiders, to opaque methods and techniques on "community engagement", the whole process to date has raised more questions than it answered, much of which we've documented on this blog.

And at the end of the day we end up with only one sales tax increase with a something for everyone "plan", that has left too many with a bad feeling about the plan.

GoHillsborough Logo
You only got one choice.
Not to mention the total lack of leadership, engagement and questioning from the elected officials on the PLG.

One choice of a plan? Is that what them mean with "Your choices"?

Sierra Club and Tea Party aligning against the plan?

No other alternatives identified for planning and funding?

Nothing identified we can do to improve transportation between now and referendum?

We paid nearly a million dollars for this?

No wonder cats are sleeping with dogs.

If the PLG continues to bury their collective heads up  their in the sand, ignore the facts that organizations across the political spectrum are aligning against the GoHillsborough, plan, the results on any proposed referendum are predictable.  Especially when they've put all their eggs in one basket.

It will FAIL.

Just like Hillsborough in 2010.

Just like Greenlight Pinellas in 2014

Just like Polk County in 2014.

Just like Alachua County in 2014.

They all failed. This plan is on a similar trajectory to fail in 2016 as all other recent transportation tax increase related initiatives in Florida. Taxpayers are fed up.

Then what?

What is Plan B?

Do we have to wait until 2017 after the referendum fails to find out, like Pinellas is now doing?

That seems to be the strategy so far.  We have one option, take it or leave it.

When dogs are sleeping with cats, that should be a clue to the PLG.

Fix the plan, develop alternatives, start with some improvements we can do NOW.

Start with a reviewing of the existing budget.

Develop Plan B.

Or we'll all be losers.

Update: Fixed bad link.

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