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Friday, December 16, 2011

Open Letter to Councilman Henderson

Dear Dave,

The Patch recently shared very extensive bits of information (Click) you gave regarding your stance on the Transit Center project.

I know that in the short four weeks you've spent in office you've probably been inundated with information about the project that perhaps you'd not seen before. You talk as though you are fully aware of the pros and cons of giving Troy a revenue-generating forward-thinking multi-modal transit center on which to re-build our economy.

So I have a few questions for you.

-- You say oppose the Transit Center because our kids and grand-kids will be paying it off for years. Surely you realize that if/when Troy turns down the financial assistance to build this center, the money will go to another city. Can we assume, then, that you prefer we help develop some other city? If so, which one and why?

-- You say revenue projections are "pumped up and unrealistic." On what are you basing that, and what proof do you have? Additionally, can you offer what you would consider a more realistic analysis?

-- You say, "If you look at the reality of 'If you build it, they will come' from Field of Dreams, that's now a vacant field — nobody plays baseball on it, and it's used as a tourist attraction in the middle of Iowa." That was something that was built for a movie and now remains as a revenue maker for the city in which it resides. Can you explain how that really applies to this situation?

-- You say, "If we can build something for a million dollars with a parking lot and a heated facility with a kiosk where you can buy your tickets ... that makes a lot more sense..." Can I see the budget you have for the $1 million dollar facility? On what are you basing that number? Can you explain how you would get folks across the tracks for $1 million dollars or less?

-- On your FB page, you say (with regard to waiting to build it later on our own dime), "I imagine we could locate a nice piece of property (maybe one we already own) near the Big Beaver corridor. Park your car there, take the bus to the Amtrak station on the Birmingham side of the tracks where you'll be dropped off for a trip to Chicago." So, you've argued before that no one rides the train now, no one will ride it later, but if we DON'T built it near the tracks and we DON'T make it convenient, people will park somewhere else, wait for a bus to be taken to wait for a train. I...uh...I just don't know what to say to that other than...WHAT ARE YOU THINKING?

We'll be happy to publish your comments, spreadsheets and detailed drawings.


P.S. If the current plan is so palatial, WHERE THE HECK ARE THE GARDENS AND CONSERVATORY? Now I feel cheated.


  1. Waiting for Concilmember Henderson's reply, or will he present it as he votes no on Monday? Being a public servant requires accountability unlke what he was used to before. If one is opposed to a Transit Center ever being built in Troy I could see voting no, but it sounds like Dave is not opposed to a Transit Center per se, he would just rather we spend our own future Troy tax dollars for that should go to police, roads, library, etc., you name it.

  2. I wish the national debt problem could be solved by simply turning down a federal grant; the Councilman was elected to do what's best for Troy, he should have run for congress if he wants to address the national debt. The fact is the money has already been appropriated and it WILL be spent somewhere. If our children and grandchildren have to pay it off at least they'll be paying for a facility in Troy.
    Perhaps there's a better way to look at this. If the Mayor, Councilman and their supporters truly believe the private sector will drive the economic recovery and with recovery generate profits that will then generate revenue for the government (this is a principle conservatives and the Tea Party have repeatedly stated) and if it's governments role to create an environment that business can flourish in (again, a conservative principle); why aren't they listening to the private sector? As I understand it the Chamber of Commerce and business leaders in the community support the transit center and think it will be good for commerce. Maybe the office vacancy rate will go down and maybe a building will be constructed. Results of that? More than $30,000 (the anticipated transit center operating cost) in city taxes. At least that's what our business leaders seem to think.

  3. These guys, like their supporters have nothing to offer but conjecture, anecdotes and vivd imagination to offer in this debate. They never, never bring forth a statistic that is up to date or honest. I'm hereby adding Henderson to my recall list.