Winter Park leaders question rail cos...

Winter Park leaders question rail costs -- Local Authority, Ora...

There are 106 comments on the Orlando Sentinel story from Jun 4, 2008, titled Winter Park leaders question rail costs -- Local Authority, Ora.... In it, Orlando Sentinel reports that:

The commuter-rail question in Winter Park has gone from "Should we do it?" to "How do we pay for it?" one of the city's new commissioners said Wednesday.

Join the discussion below, or Read more at Orlando Sentinel.

Mark Strong

AOL

#41 Jun 4, 2008
Overit wrote:
<quoted text>Don't get carried away with your infatuation for a fat guy with a couple of hundred SSI collectors for a fan base.
Mica is not white collar crime, he is however, on this issue, a white collar dummy.
Unfortunately, some of these pro-rail posts are being paid for with tax dollars and some the work of taxpayer supported nitwits who spend thousands of dollars decorating pick-up trucks and pretending to be "combat veterans."
This is a simple deal, North and South running heavy rail is not what Central Florida needs, today, tomorrow or forever. Central Florida does need circulating light rail in select areas as the budget allows.
If the region can't get what it needs from the elected__change the elected!
This commuter rail deal is a bad deal for taxpayers and those that seek authentic transportation alternatives.
The reasons I know this is because I listen to Doug Guetzloe's radio show as often as I can on 1190 AM. 11-12noon. Matter of fact, I have heard the plan that Charlie Klein has proposed on Doug's show several times. It's a real plan that can really work.
Geutzloe is a real leader on this issue and I haven't believed a word that has been printed against him in this rag or the liberal media.
You shouldn't either.
As far as "SSI collectors" - I don't know what that means but he seems to have plenty of advertisers and clients.
I don't know what your implication is but he's still in business and on the air every day and Ax the Tax is still leading the opposition. the Axe the tax website has a bunch of information on the rail issues - www.axthetax.org .
I'd get with the program and help oppose this boondoggle-Doug is!
MONORAIL

Daytona Beach, FL

#42 Jun 4, 2008
ooLOOK OUT UTICA, HERE COMES ORLANDO !!!!oo
A New Day

Orlando, FL

#43 Jun 5, 2008
Overit, You're right, Mica is the white collar dummy - he has already spent $41 million on commuter rail and forgot about the voters he claims he represents. He bought the diesel fueled commuter cars years before Central Florida signed off on the deal - talk about arrogant stupidity.

Whether white collar crime exists or doesn't exist, I find it curious in a city this size, everyone seems to escape prosecution. In fact, I can't recall a single person convicted of a white collar crime in the last decade or two.

Unfortunately, the city of WP has already voted on commuter rail and we're stuck with this fiasco. Maybe our commissioners can figure out a way to control the costs which the former Mica puppeteers voted through with little protection.
Kick The Can

Winter Haven, FL

#44 Jun 5, 2008
A New Day wrote:
Unfortunately, the city of WP has already voted on commuter rail and we're stuck with this fiasco. Maybe our commissioners can figure out a way to control the costs which the former Mica puppeteers voted through with little protection.
Interesting revisionist history. The former commission was prepared to vote for commuter rail stop that contained cost certainty. There was never a blank check. ONEWP aligned with anti-rail folks and forced a referendum vote on rail in WP. ONEWP et al, lost. The commission then voted, but wanted cost certainty.

I think most people like the idea, but hate the financing and the potential cost to WP. But, most people thought by 2017 there would be a "dedicated funding source", i.e. a county wide tax. I am glad WP is looking at the costs again. I am glad that we have the time to do it. I didn't vote for the current commission, but they're doing the right thing. This was pitched to us at one level and now we're told it's at another, higher level.

As a comuter rail supporter, I am glad we voted "yes". But I am also glad the commission isn't rolling over for the new, higher fee. The previous commission wrestled with the county for months over costs. Don't forget it was the previous commission that inserted the "opt out" clause. Don't rewrite history. The previous commission did a good job.
dinky line

Daytona Beach, FL

#45 Jun 5, 2008
A New Day wrote:
Unfortunately, the city of WP has already voted on commuter rail and we're stuck with this fiasco.
I don't necessarily agree. The referendum that authorizes expenditure of city funds is not a limitless blank check that is open for all time. It was a specific measure addressing this one system proposal. In my opinion, once supporters come to accept that this system, as proposed, is in fact DEAD, any new proposal and financing scheme will call for a seperate authorization.

Barring that, I suspect that a revamped rail "deal," taking place in an entirely different economic environment, will prompt a petition drive and new referendum. Remember how Jeb Bush got a "re vote" on the bullet train? Once we've determined who pays how much and when, people will be eager to let this boondoogle pass us by.

In politics, nothing is written in stone, and this project is all but deceased. There is no reason to assume that these costs to our city are inevitable or fixed or that we're obligated because of an out-dated and somewhat irrelevant vote.
Kick The Can

Orlando, FL

#46 Jun 5, 2008
dinky line wrote:
<quoted text>
we're obligated because of an out-dated and somewhat irrelevant vote.
That's an intriguing statement: "somewhat irrelevant vote." This is where governance by referendum can bite you in the a.. I guess we can constantly have ongoing referendum drives to satisfy a particular school of thought. It wil be fun to see if a new referendum is pushed. WP politics is better than watching Democrat political contortions.
A New Day

Orlando, FL

#47 Jun 5, 2008
The former commission voted for commuter rail without a cap on costs. The Puppeteers could barely contain their enthusiasm while endorsing the $1 billion and rising costs, no ridership study, no traffic analysis, no investigation of indemnity and no seat at the table. It was like watching a train wreck.

Please, referring to everyone who questioned this project as "anti-rail aligned with Guetzloe" and/or "One Winter Park" is tiresome and seems to suggest that you don't support citizen debate outside your small circle. Every voter has the right to question the fiscal sense of a $1 billion corporate welfare package - especially in this economic climate.

Commuter rail has stalled because of it's unfair burden on the taxpayer. Blaming people and pointing the finger at the citizens without mentioning these costly issues is exactly why 2 people weren't elected to the WP Commission.
Micas Folly

Daytona Beach, FL

#48 Jun 5, 2008
Kick The Can wrote:
<quoted text> That's an intriguing statement: "somewhat irrelevant vote." This is where governance by referendum can bite you in the a.. I guess we can constantly have ongoing referendum drives to satisfy a particular school of thought.
Remember, the questions on the last referendum were: "should we be allowed to use some city land for the stop"; and, "can we spend city money for such a stop?"

The questions were NOT: "will we commit and approve, in perpetuity, to any and all rail projects that are proposed regardless of design, placement, need, or impact"; or, "will we commit to spending any, unlimited amounts of money, even if costs are disproportionately allocated to us, forever, to satsify others' regional transport goals" ?

There is a difference. A BIG difference. And times have changed.

As such, once the corpse of this CSX based corporate welfare/jump on the bandwagon rail deal is finally buried, and a new "plan" comes to light in the coming years/decades, I think it is entirely proper and necessary to revisit popular support for the placement, impact, and burdens for a new and different system in this city.

Authorization to locate a stop at the Amtrak platform does not equal carte blanche to do whatever you want under the umbrella of "commuter rail" forever. I guarantee this debate and vote is not the end of it, even if this system does indeed mercifully fade away.
Vote Mica Out

Grovetown, GA

#49 Jun 5, 2008
Have you heard about the LEXUS LANES on I-4? Do you remember Congressman John Mica said NO TOLLS ON I-4? Do you remember the defeated Mobility 20/20 that was going to put LEXUS LANES on I-4?

Remember what Mica said when FL refused to support his CSX commuter rail? Something to the affect "you don't want to get me mad" - that is not the exact quote, but close. Mica was threatening to block other funding if FL did not support his commuter rail pork project for CSX.

Well guess what....it appears that Congressman John Mica (most likely with help from FDOT)is trying to extort (shake-down) the people of Florida for his CSX commuter rail. Now FL is claiming that they have to put LEXUS LANES on I-4 because they don't have the funding.

LEXUS LANES NO ONE WILL BE ABLE TO AFFORD TO USE - THE COST WILL VARY AND CAN BE ANYTHING THE STATE OF FL WANTS IT TO BE AT ANY TIME.

LEXUS LANES are coming because FL said NO to commuter rail that we cannot afford.

Hmmmm - what is extortion?

Extortion - illegal use of one's official position or powers to obtain property, funds, or patronage

LEXUS LANES - Sounds like EXTORTION to me!!

FL taxpayers are getting extorted by the public process here and it must be stopped.

DO NOT RE-ELECT JOHN MICA. HE IS BAD NEWS FOR FL TRANSPORTATION.

Call Congressman John Mica and ask him if tolls on I-4 is his way of extorting the people of FL.

Call every other elected official and let them know we will not stand for this extortion/corruption. Floridians will take the necessary actions to stop the I-4 Lexus Lanes!!
Kick The Can

Orlando, FL

#50 Jun 5, 2008
Micas Folly wrote:
<quoted text>
Remember, the questions on the last referendum were: "should we be allowed to use some city land for the stop"; and, "can we spend city money for such a stop?"
See other posts. Previous commission placed adequate safeguards-"opt out" proviisons. Don't fret. However, when speaker to be Rep. Dean Cannon tells an audience that it's 90% chance for next year and Sen. Lee Constantine says 99% chance it will be funded next year, I wouldn't be so quick to call it dead. I agree with financial oversight and the current review. But the previous commission was responsible for the opt out provision. That feature is the ultimate safeguard. To not give them credit is shortsighted. Lots of nasty labels are thrown around in WP. IF it wasn't for the previous commission, the current one would not have any clout. Correct?
Kick The Can

Orlando, FL

#51 Jun 5, 2008
Vote Mica Out wrote:
Have you heard about the LEXUS LANES on I-4? Do you remember Congressman John Mica said NO TOLLS ON I-4? Do you remember the defeated Mobility 20/20 that was going to put LEXUS LANES on I-4?
I don't know how they do it in Georgia, but in Florida you don't have to drive on a toll road. Time vs. Money. The toll lanes on I-4 would be voluntary. You can stay in the right lanes and crawl or pay for speed. Ain't that the American Way?
Kick The Can

Orlando, FL

#52 Jun 5, 2008
A New Day wrote:
The former commission voted for commuter rail without a cap on costs. The Puppeteers could barely contain their enthusiasm while endorsing the $1 billion and rising costs, no ridership study, no traffic analysis, no investigation of indemnity and no seat at the table. It was like watching a train wreck.
Please, referring to everyone who questioned this project as "anti-rail aligned with Guetzloe" and/or "One Winter Park" is tiresome and seems to suggest that you don't support citizen debate outside your small circle. Every voter has the right to question the fiscal sense of a $1 billion corporate welfare package - especially in this economic climate.
Commuter rail has stalled because of it's unfair burden on the taxpayer. Blaming people and pointing the finger at the citizens without mentioning these costly issues is exactly why 2 people weren't elected to the WP Commission.
So, the opt out clause in 2017 is a lie? That would seem to me to be a very big stick. No cost to WP until 2017 and then if no dedicated funding source is secure, we can opt out of the agreement. How is that a blank check? The $100,000 increase in costs pertained to 2017. No dissembling allowed in WP.
Dano Bukem

Daytona Beach, FL

#53 Jun 5, 2008
Kick The Can wrote:
Previous commission placed adequate safeguards-"opt out" proviisons. Don't fret. However, when speaker to be Rep. Dean Cannon tells an audience that it's 90% chance for next year and Sen. Lee Constantine says 99% chance it will be funded next year, I wouldn't be so quick to call it dead.... Correct?
1) The "opt out" clause is merely a good sounding political concession, but it functionally useless to protect the city. I believe exercising that option would require reimbursing the state/CSX for certain costs - which would be prohibitively expensive. Ergo, if the problem is that WPK cannot afford its (bigger than every other town's) costs at the station, or find that it brings crime but no shoppers, etc., it may find that "opting out" costs 10s of millions that we don't have.... hence the station remains permanently.

2) They may revive this corpse at the state level, but the questions remain, will the federal funds still be allocated, and will our local municipality "opt out" preemptively due to just now calculated real world costs and taxation vs. benefit issues in light of new economic realities?
Captain Caveman

Daytona Beach, FL

#54 Jun 5, 2008
Kick The Can wrote:
Ain't that the American Way?
No, the American Way is Freedom.
Overit

Lake Mary, FL

#55 Jun 5, 2008
Again; Interstate 4, over time, has become the the longest shopping, dining and entertainment bazaar on the planet. The merchants who line I-4 have paid dearly for their spots which serve, Central Floridians, tourists and the millions who are merely passing through the area. The regions elected, rightly perhaps are not interested in relinquishing this traffic. For this reason the Western Beltway was and remains backburnered as it provides a "true" alternative to the daily war on I-4.

Our elected are OK with the tax producing gridlock!

North and South running heavy rail accomplishes nothing for the regions future and amounts to no more than a handout to CSX and "those served by CSX."

Complete the Western Beltway, let the dust settle, then adopt a plan which puts rail where it will be most effective. The proposed system will, like tri-rail, never be worthy of expansion.
GoodTime2RaiseMy Taxes

Daytona Beach, FL

#56 Jun 5, 2008
I bet Mica wouldn't even ride that train, except maybe for a photo-op. His house is way too far from the platform for him to walk. I wonder if he has one of those big SUVs too?
Kick The Can

Winter Haven, FL

#58 Jun 5, 2008
Dano Bukem wrote:
<quoted text>
1) The "opt out" clause is merely a good sounding political concession, but it functionally useless to protect the city. I believe exercising that option would require reimbursing the state/CSX for certain costs - which would be prohibitively expensive. Ergo, if the problem is that WPK cannot afford its (bigger than every other town's) costs at the station, or find that it brings crime but no shoppers, etc., it may find that "opting out" costs 10s of millions that we don't have.... hence the station remains permanently.
2) They may revive this corpse at the state level, but the questions remain, will the federal funds still be allocated, and will our local municipality "opt out" preemptively due to just now calculated real world costs and taxation vs. benefit issues in light of new economic realities?
No. It's a reimbursement of Federal money spent. No dissembling, remember? Would you rather be on the hook for millions$ or the amount the Feds paid for the station? The crazy part of this argument is that you can't give the previous commission credit for opt out clause. I agree with the current re-examination. I agree we shouldn't roll over for untold costs. BUT, the previous commission wasn't issuing a blank check. You folks need to be very careful about your declaritive, anonymous statements. Things have a way of coming back to bite you when you are so supremely assured of your purity.
Kick The Can

Winter Haven, FL

#59 Jun 5, 2008
Dano Bukem wrote:
<quoted text>
1) The "opt out" clause is merely a good sounding political concession, but it functionally useless to protect the city. I believe exercising that option would require reimbursing the state/CSX for certain costs - which would be prohibitively expensive. Ergo, if the problem is that WPK cannot afford its (bigger than every other town's) costs at the station, or find that it brings crime but no shoppers, etc., it may find that "opting out" costs 10s of millions that we don't have.... hence the station remains permanently.
2) They may revive this corpse at the state level, but the questions remain, will the federal funds still be allocated, and will our local municipality "opt out" preemptively due to just now calculated real world costs and taxation vs. benefit issues in light of new economic realities?
See above. Aloha.
Kiss the Can

Daytona Beach, FL

#60 Jun 5, 2008
Kick The Can wrote:
<quoted text>No. It's a reimbursement of Federal money spent.
So how much $$ is that? Enough to be prohibitively expensive, perhaps, especially if the city wishes to "opt out" because it cannot afford annual station upkeep. Maybe not such a great escape afterall.

And really who cares about which commissioner did what, who gets credit for what, who gets blame for what. Drop the petty politics and pathetic implied threats and stick to the issues, if you are capable. At least the city has enough sense now to examine the costs.
Kick The Can

Winter Haven, FL

#61 Jun 5, 2008
Kiss the Can wrote:
<quoted text>
So how much $$ is that? Enough to be prohibitively expensive, perhaps, especially if the city wishes to "opt out" because it cannot afford annual station upkeep. Maybe not such a great escape afterall.
And really who cares about which commissioner did what, who gets credit for what, who gets blame for what. Drop the petty politics and pathetic implied threats and stick to the issues, if you are capable. At least the city has enough sense now to examine the costs.
http://www.cfrail.com/Document s/145.pdf Try page 13. There are a lot of facts there. Try and overcome your natural allergic reaction. Kick the can, dude.

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