Friday, May 9, 2008

Proposition 1 Bond Election

It will be interesting come this Sunday morning to see how the Bond election turns out. Some in Ft. Worth say that the Mayor and City Council snuck in some millions of dollars as a pork project to get un-needed Trinity River Bridges built which will take away money from improving our neighborhood and arterial streets. The opposers say that the Trinity River Bridge money should have been separated and not included (hidden) in the Bond that the Mayor & Council are selling as a Neighborhood Betterment package. Here's what I've found:

"Fort Worth’s Transportation and Public Works Department identified $335.3 million worth of existing neighborhood streets in need of reconstruction citywide – about 480 roadways. The proposed 2008 bond program provides $33 million to address these neighborhood streets."

So the City is going to take care of 10% of the neighborhood streets in need of reconstruction.

"Fort Worth’s Transportation and Public Works Department identified two major bridge projects for funding through the proposed bond program —the West Seventh Street bridge and three new Trinity River Vision bridges on Henderson and North Main streets and White Settlement Road. The cost of both projects is an estimated $108 million, but if the city commits $22.2 million, the remaining costs will be covered primarily with state and federal funds. Because the city does not have $22.2 million in its operating budget to pay for its portion, it has been included in the bond program."

"The city already is obligated to pay for a portion of construction costs for the three new Trinity River Vision bridges. In 2007, council approved incorporating the Trinity River Uptown Plan into the city’s Comprehensive Plan, which included a $26.1 million capital investment commitment. Part of that capital investment is the $10.2 million in the proposed bond program earmarked for the three bridges. The bridges are needed as a result of construction of the flood protection bypass channel on the Trinity River. This bypass channel crosses White Settlement, Henderson and North Main, and the bridges are necessary to maintain the integrity of our Central City’s arterial road system." (is this really true?)

On the contrary, I get emails that contain such as:

"DON'T let yourselves be fooled by the flier that our Mayor sent out to all the registered voters via the mail Tuesday. If this were all on the up and up, they would have spent such a HUGE amount of money to send out the mass mailing. There is desperation to try to convince us that there is an immediate need and that it’s the right way to keep F.W. moving.

Financial Mismanagement is what is keeping Fort Worth from moving as well as why we have what we do now. Over all there’s a combined $4 BILLION $$$ DOLLAR SHORTFALL (DEBT). It is time to vote responsibly. It is known by the Mayor and Council that there is such a high volume of opposition to the bond throughout the city, that is why there was a mass mailing of the flier. It was known by our “ELECTED” city officials of the MANY Neighborhood Associations, City Neighborhood Sector Alliances, The F.W. League of Neighborhoods and other organizations suggested they remove the bridges from the bond and make the bridges a separate issue on the ballot and they refused. "

Who knows the right thing to do? It all sounds sort of confusing, room for a little untruth, room for a bunch of our money to be wasted, room for a bunch of money to be made by perhaps a few, especially if you are in the construction business. I honestly have no idea what would be the best way to vote on this issue. With that said, I already voted and it will be interesting to see how the numbers come out on Sunday. I'll bet it passes just because I doubt most people will vote against our local Mayor and government and the sales pitch sounds good, I mean everyone wants better neighborhood streets "w/out raising taxes" and that's what they are selling it as....we'll see.

Fort Worth Chamber says

"this Chamber has always supported a street bond election to improve our quality of life. That's our mission and we believe this bond program will accomplish these goals:

· Improve neighborhood streets without increasing tax rates
· Relieve congestion on major thoroughfares, including needed bridge repairs and enhancements
· Improve dangerous intersections and upgrade traffic signals
· Allow better response times for police, firefighters, ambulances
· And bring millions of dollars in matching grants from federal and state road funds"

Why no mention of Trinity River Vision by the Chamber? Just asking?


Anonymous said...

Trinity River is just a way for the rich to make more money. They will open restaurants, and entertainment venues along the banks that are not geared to the lower income people of Fort Worth.

Suzette said...

Yhea, maybe so. My question is, how does one prove this to be factual. I can definitely see your point of view, it seems that CFW always wants the newest greenest pasture and leaves the older parts on the back burner which is exactly why we hear the Mayor and our Council members saying (during budget workshops) "Well, we don't have money for our street lighting infrastructure and it needs updated, we don't have money to reconstruct the roads in our older, poor neighborhoods, we don't have the money to finish the curbs on Riverside Dr. and E. Lancaster, we don't have the money to build more jail space, we don't have the money to hire more Community Prosecutors, we don't have the money to demolish bldgs that are sub-standard, we don't have the money to update the neighborhood water & sewer systems, blah blah blah. Oh yhea we need to raise your property taxes. Those aren't pretty, money making, instantly gratifying issues and the majority of rich people, who back their campaigns, don't really see, care or know about the above list and how it affects their taxes. Many would call people like you and I making these comments, cynics. (Oxford = person with little faith in human nature.) I have little faith in most politicians. I wouldn't say I have little faith in human nature.

Thanks for reading and commenting.