Tom Krent waxes on Troy Councilman Fleming's none-too-subtle killing off of the transit center on Monday
Fleming wants the power to be the decider, PERIOD.
The City did their careful work and obtained the necessary funding ($8,485,212) for a fully functional transit center.
Fleming came up with an arbitrary budget of $5,000,000, then later $6,000,000 after Slater offered $7.88 million after listening to the architect. The $6 million is 30% less than the amount needed to build the project properly. It only tells me that Fleming wanted the project to fail from the start, but he wanted it to appear like he had a solution.
He constructed a soap opera scene that could only fail. Maureen did a beautiful job of taking Fleming's plan apart and explained why it would fail because if the costs exceeded $6 million the City would be responsible for any additional costs.
But, it never would have been responsible because the grant is $8,485,212. Fleming imposed an arbitrary and unrealistic number that could only fail. Slater tried to come up with a reasonable and logical plan, but Fleming rejected it.
The bottom line is that Troy could have build the Transit Center at no cost to the City, but Fleming wrote a script that imposed an unrealistic budget and caused it to fail. To the uneducated, Fleming looked like he was trying to make it work. I've seen Fleming do his story telling (as opposed to problem solving) many times. That's just the way he is. He's a REAL (in the worse sense of the word) politician.
Fleming asked to hear from the business community, and probably to his surprise, he did hear. Every business that contacted the City Council was in favor of the Transit Center. There were at least 50 of them at the Council meeting (Meritor, Beaumont Hospital, etc.). But, Fleming wasn't moved. He said he wanted to hear the direct benefits for each company. Slater said that 90% of the emails he received were in favor of the Transit Center.
Bottom line: Fleming talks out of both sides of his mouth. He says "I'm in favor of it", but he voted against it.