Jump to content

Petition for lightrail revote?


scarface

Recommended Posts

I'm starting this topic because i am extremely disappointed on the underhanded politics that went in to killing lightrail for this city. This city has been back and forth before on the issue of lightrail and now that we've begun progress, we're moving backwards again.

I'm thinking of starting a petition to allow us to revote using different language. I am in the process of researching how to start one and maybe it could start here. I think its only fair because of how voters were duped in to thinking they were for the lightrail when really a "For" really meant against it.

I voted "For" rail when early voting took place. I didn't see articles about the confusion of wording until after I had already voted. I'm betting that millions of other people didn't see it at all.

LargeTX might be able to help me with this one because i think he's good with this stuff.

  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

I just started the letter I'm going to foward to the Mayor and Mr. Garcia. Tell me what you think. Let me know if anything can be added or taken out. Thanks

To Whom It May Concern:

I am writing this letter to express my disdain of the recent ballot language that was used regarding light rail for the City of Houston.

As a resident of Houston, I am extremely disappointed by how this matter was conducted. I feel the language in the ballot was fixed in a matter to where we thought we were supporting light rail, but really it was intended for a different outcome. I voted “For” thinking that I was supporting light rail expansion for the City of Houston. I did not learn that the vote “For” really was voting against it until after I submitted my vote.

I am requesting that the City of Houston considers a revote for the issue regarding light rail expansion using language that is clearer to voters. Many of our concerned citizens feel like we were duped in to making a selection that was entirely opposite from what we intended. Light rail is an integral component of this city’s future and progress. The longer we wait to expand the rail plans, the more costly it will be later on down the road. I ask that you please review this and respond back to me as soon as you can. Thank you and have a nice day.

Edited by scarface
Link to comment
Share on other sites

The Mayor and Mr. Garcia knew what they were doing. They won't care if you tell them so. It was a deal that allowed the county and municipalities to get what they want, while keeping in place METRO's inefficient little transit fiefdom.

What you need to be doing is writing requests to the Harris County District Attorney and Texas Office of the Attorney General asking for an opinion on the legal implications of this ethical lapse, and whether a process that thoroughly confused the issue might be worthy of investigation by their offices. Be respectful, and try not to confuse light rail advocacy for what this really is, which is grossly dishonest and unaccountable governance. You should CC: all of the state legislators whose districts were impacted.

(BTW, you know that I'm not a big fan of light rail, but I hope that you have an impact anyway. I am convinced that METRO needs to be re-chartered by the legislature in order for it to be effective. And I'm not a fan of how ballot language is done in Texas, lest we forget the 'drainage fee'.)

Edited by TheNiche
  • Like 2
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Also, if you want to make comments about this on the record you can sign up to speak at the board meeting next Thursday at 9am:

REQUESTS FOR APPEARANCE

A person wishing to address the Board at a meeting of the Board shall make his request by registering his name, address, telephone number and the subject of his proposed remarks with the Assistant Secretary to the Board, at 713-739-4834, or her designated representative at least forty-eight (48) hours in advance of the meeting. Such requests may be made in person, in writing or by telephone. Download Guidelines on Public Comments at Board Meetings (PDF)

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I think an important point here is that in 2003 a vote FOR the Metro referendum was in favor of a massive expansion program. In 2012 a vote FOR the METRO referendum was to eliminate funding for that program. That's nothing less than absurd.

The 2003 referendum was not a mandate with an auto-destruct timer, and would allow for its general plan (which was not a specific plan and was subject to sweeping modifications at METRO's whim) to have been built according to the availability of funds. The 2012 referendum places some restrictions on which funds can be used to fulfill the light rail component of the 2003 referendum, while specifically allocating funds to bus services, which lest we forget were also a component of the 2003 referendum.

Personally, I think that both referendums were farcical and are examples of a pattern of bad governance.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Thanks Niche and James for your suggestions. So I'm going to have to go to a different entity.

Why did Houston re-elect her again especially after the lie she sold us on the drainiage fee? It clearly said in the ballot that it would be $5.00 and then later tried to base it off impervious land area and everything. Then she tried to slightly go back and adjust it, but it still wasn't to what voters voted for. I can't wait for her term to be up. But knowing Houston, we're going to elect another schmuck that is not interested in investing in this city's future and doing things the same way we did in the past.

I encourage everyone who supports lightrail and the future of this city's progress to do follow suit. Please take the time to write a letters to both the city officials and the District Attorney and the Texas Office of Attorney General as Niche suggested. I think they can be reached by email but here are the websites. I'll try to narrow it down to specific email addresses when I can get a little more time.

http://app.dao.hctx.net/OurOffice/Contacts.aspx

https://www.oag.state.tx.us/

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I think an important point here is that in 2003 a vote FOR the Metro referendum was in favor of a massive expansion program. In 2012 a vote FOR the METRO referendum was to eliminate funding for that program. That's nothing less than absurd.

The For vote is for what's described in the referendum. I did not find the language confusing.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I don't mind petitioning for a re-vote with better language, BUT I still think the people of his city will vote to have better bus service and shelters compared to a crappy bus servicw, more Metro debt, and all at the cost of building another line west. It would be great for that entire area, but at the cost of efficient bus service first is a mistake. This gives Metro time to clear debt and better prepare for he University and Uptown line. Again I would definitely support a re-vote though.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Thanks Niche and James for your suggestions. So I'm going to have to go to a different entity.

I encourage everyone who supports lightrail and the future of this city's progress...Please take the time to write a letters to both the city officials and the District Attorney and the Texas Office of Attorney General https://www.oag.state.tx.us/

Before you waste your time writing the AG's office for an opinion, please visit the oag website and see who can legally request an opinion. Unless you are an "authorized requestor" your request will not be honored.

If you want an opinion from the AG, you will need to convince someone who can legally request one to do it for you. It's not impossible, perhaps your stae rep can be persuaded.

here's the list, and good luck:

https://www.oag.state.tx.us/opin/

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I don't mind petitioning for a re-vote with better language, BUT I still think the people of his city will vote to have better bus service and shelters compared to a crappy bus servicw, more Metro debt, and all at the cost of building another line west. It would be great for that entire area, but at the cost of efficient bus service first is a mistake. This gives Metro time to clear debt and better prepare for he University and Uptown line. Again I would definitely support a re-vote though.

If we got rid of GM payments, we could improve bus service and build light rail at the same time, we wouldn't have to choose between one or the other. As long as we have to choose between bus or rail, our transit system will never be adequate for a city this size. We need both.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

First, demonstrate that a significant percentage of people were fooled by the wording. I found it perfectly straightforward. We lost. Houstonians want transit dollars diverted to roads.

The ballot language was not informative. While most people interested in transit understood the language and situation, the average person had no idea that a "for" vote effectively ends light rail expansion. It was not made clear in the ballot.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

If we got rid of GM payments, we could improve bus service and build light rail at the same time, we wouldn't have to choose between one or the other. As long as we have to choose between bus or rail, our transit system will never be adequate for a city this size. We need both.

I wish that next to the "Like This" button was an "Off-Topic Propaganda" button.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

The ballot language was not informative. While most people interested in transit understood the language and situation, the average person had no idea that a "for" vote effectively ends light rail expansion. It was not made clear in the ballot.

But it doesn't. METRO can still use funds in its existing budget to build rail, and money is fungible. Furthermore, we're just a federal grant away from continuing at any time.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

But it doesn't. METRO can still use funds in its existing budget to build rail, and money is fungible. Furthermore, we're just a federal grant away from continuing at any time.

but it will take at least a decade or longer before we are in the running for another federal grant. :(

Link to comment
Share on other sites

If we got rid of GM payments, we could improve bus service and build light rail at the same time, we wouldn't have to choose between one or the other. As long as we have to choose between bus or rail, our transit system will never be adequate for a city this size. We need both.

Yeah I understand that arguemnet, but you really think Metro would have placed as much focus on both? I mean look at all the recent articles about how all of a sudden Metro realizes it needs to create an efficient, reliable, flexible bus service, but how come before the vote so much emphasis was placed on light rail when now Metro is saying it's now going to focus on reducing it's debt and plan for the next line in the near future? It's all politics! Metro knows it can still fund a new line in the near future, they just wanted to use the GMP payments as leverage to gain more power and possibly waste more money. The people of Houston put Metro in a position to reduce debt, create a reliable/efficient bus service, and still build the University Line. If the people of this city can get screwed from the last vote for rail expansion west after it was already approved, what makes you think Metro can't still go along with building a new line regarless of what the ballot said?

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I wish that next to the "Like This" button was an "Off-Topic Propaganda" button.

The issues revolving around GM payments is exactly what this thread pertains to. There's been so many posts even more off topic than my post, why pick on me?

But it doesn't. METRO can still use funds in its existing budget to build rail, and money is fungible. Furthermore, we're just a federal grant away from continuing at any time.

Not sure if it's that easy. Everything the mayor and METRO officials have said implies otherwise. I personally don't know of METRO's actual budget numbers, but considering the fact that they aren't moving forward with the line now indicates that they won't in the near future either.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Not sure if it's that easy. Everything the mayor and METRO officials have said implies otherwise. I personally don't know of METRO's actual budget numbers, but considering the fact that they aren't moving forward with the line now indicates that they won't in the near future either.

No rail was coming in the near future in either case. If Disagree won, A) there's still not enough money to build a rail line in near term and B ) There would be a protracted fight in the legislature over Metro's funding against Harris County, etc.

Edited by kylejack
  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

The issues revolving around GM payments is exactly what this thread pertains to. There's been so many posts even more off topic than my post, why pick on me?

Precisely, and your comments did not address that. Your propaganda is part of a pattern, a sort of pathological light rail apologism in even the most loosely-related of threads.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

No, because I read the question and found it perfectly straightforward. It specifically describes that an Agree vote means continued dedication of Metro taxes to road work.

I disagree.

The question also mentioned lightrail at the end and it did not say or indicate anything about cutting funding to lightrail. "Roadwork" could have been interpreted many ways to voters. It could have meant all road activity; streets, buses, including lightrail since lightrail does infact run on the roads.

So, i can respect you defending the ballot, but I will maiintain that it was misleading. It shouldn't be an algebra question when voters are trying to decide what to do for their city.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

No rail was coming in the near future in either case. If Disagree won, A) there's still not enough money to build a rail line in near term and B ) There would be a protracted fight in the legislature over Metro's funding against Harris County, etc.

We'll never know. But we do know that if GM payments ended, METRO would have over $2 billion more in funds over the next decade. So, knowing this, how exactly is there "still not enough money to build a rail line in the near term?" Which is enough to pay for the University Line when you factor in federal funds (half the cost). It's also enough to pay for meaningful bus improvements. Your "B" point is just simply speculation. A scare tactic to get people to vote "for" GM payments.

Precisely, and your comments did not address that. Your propaganda is part of a pattern, a sort of pathological light rail apologism in even the most loosely-related of threads.

My comment was in response to another poster's comment. If you are going to conclude that my comment was off topic, then so was the poster I was replying to.

Your propaganda is part of a pattern, a sort of pathological light rail apologism in even the most loosely-related of threads.

Sure Niche, whatever you say <_<

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Nope. That's an absolutely ridiculous theory.

You can attack me all you want, but that's all it was.... a theory.

But even reading the clip you included, it is still misleading. It says "related projects". An average citizen like myself would think that metrorail is a related project because it involves road and infrastructure. So i stand by my assessment, The ballot language was not clear and it was very misleading.

Edited by scarface
Link to comment
Share on other sites

You can attack me all you want, but that's all it was.... a theory.

Refuting you isn't the same thing as attacking you. I didn't attack you.

so what is a related project then?

Sidewalks, maybe utility realignments. Not sure what the restrictions are on what Harris County and the cities can spend it on.

Edited by kylejack
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

Loading...
×
×
  • Create New...