Claremont Insider: A Reader Writes - Transportation Funds

Sunday, March 15, 2009

A Reader Writes - Transportation Funds

We received this bit of mail regarding Friday's post about the hedgehog and the fox The reader noted that rather than waste transportation funds on the useless and relatively unused Claremont Trolley, we could have found some real, though less glamorous, transportation needs on which to spend the money.

Or, we could have (gasp!) given the money back so it could be used by some community with transportation greater needs, assuming that the sort of money swaps that new Claremont Councilmember Larry Schroeder proposed during the campaign season aren't permitted.

Here's what our reader had to say:

DATE: Friday, March 13, 2009 2:38 PM
SUBJECT: Hedgehog/Fox
TO: Claremont Buzz

Responding to your hedgehog/fox article, it's worth noting that besides a trolley, there are in fact other transportation unmet needs in Claremont. So, not only is it not a question of trolley vs. $ swap, it's not a question of trolley vs. no trolley, either (which is the sense that I got from reading the City's description of why to do this...since it's restricted funds, we might as well spend it on this since we wouldn't be able to spend it any other way...). It could be trolley vs. expanded dial-a-ride, or trolley vs. higher service level from Get About, or trolley vs. a small local bus bringing Claremonters to the Village rather than around the Village. And there are probably other transportation needs that could be met, some of which might address a real community need while also supporting our local economy.

Another idea--if we really can't spend the money on anything of value here (or at least more valuable than the trolley), could we actually return the money? With budgets so tight, surely it could be well used somewhere else, perhaps in a City that really would run a full bus load of people from one place to another? Why just waste it? What kind of stewardship of the public trust does that represent?

Just some idle thoughts.