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Monday, January 16, 2012

Mail Bag

A reader sent us this letter that he/she had sent to Governor Snyder:

Dear Governor Snyder; The City of Troy has the opportunity to move along with your vision for mass transit in Southeastern Michigan. I have been paying close attention to the initiatives that you are proposing for light-rail and interconnectivity. It is without doubt a key component to getting the region growing. Emerging Trends in Real Estate for 5 years running has reported that investments near transit are the best now and moving into the future. Secured funding for light-rail along the Woodward Corridor is getting in place and communities are getting on board with this important move. Except it appears in Troy. Over the past 10 years, city officials, the Chamber of Commerce and many, many stakeholders have worked tirelessly to get federal funding in place for a transit center in Troy along the Amtrak rail line. The federal transportation organization has granted Troy approximately $8.4 million dollars toward this effort. Up until about November 3, the project was moving forward. In the November election for Mayor and City Council, seats turned over to new members that were not fully understanding this project much beyond cost and that they were federal funds. The mayor and some new members have decided that they don't want to accept the money and give it back, ostensibly to "pay down the debt." They think there aren't enough riders to make it worth it or that it will be useless. It has been pointed out to them constantly that the money will then just go to some other community for their use. Business owners and other citizens have told them that ROI for transit is not always immediate and that it takes other added investments to see it through over a timeline. They don't care, they have an ideological point of view that does not seem to see the bigger, long-term picture. Our community must make a decision by December 19th. If you believe, as you seem with your own push for transit to grow the region, would you be willing to contact our new mayor Janice Daniels and discuss with her the broader picture here? Help her to see that you have a plan and that Troy can be a part of that vision? Perhaps, L. Brooks Patterson could advise her that he should be keeping that $8.4 million dollars in Oakland County and not give it away. The gesture of refusing it does nothing in the scheme of things. It is political naivete. She won't take the time to educate herself in 2 weeks, as she has said openly she is against it and will vote that way. Please take the time to look into this situation before it is too late. We have a very difficult situation and climate in Troy right now. We need cooler and more experienced heads to prevail. Can you help? Thank you.

And the response from the Department of Transportation...

More proof that those who are leading our state forward are looking for our Mayor to lead Troy in the same direction.

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