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The Way I See It!

I am an Ultra-Conservative, Alpha-Male, True Authentic Leader, Type "C" Personality, who is very active in my community; whether it is donating time, clothes or money for Project Concern or going to Common Council meetings and voicing my opinions. As a blogger, I intend to provide a different viewpoint "The way I see it!" on various world, national and local issues with a few helpful tips & tidbits sprinkled in.

The Metra and Cudahy Station

Metra

First, you already know I am a conservative and most conservatives are against light rail for many of the reasons I am giving.

 

Here is what those in favor of the Metra/Commuter Light Rail are not talking about.

 
  1. It will have to be funded by tax payer money
  2. There is no firm date, this is all just possible that the Metra will happen.
  3. A study was done for South Milwaukee and here is what was found: “Based on extensive data compiled by the Southeastern Wisconsin Regional Planning Commission, businesses located within one mile of a Metra stop tend to do well, says Plan Commission member Brett Briesemiester.  Under the proposed plan, South Milwaukee is targeted as one of the stations along the commuter line.”  The full article is at the link below.  One mile! 
  4. For businesses to do well beyond the one mile, those getting off the Metra will have to walk (not in Winter), take a bus (how does that help businesses not on a bus route) or Cudahy will have to have a streetcar service like Kenosha has (of course Taxpayers paying for it).
  5. If the Metra goes through as with any light rail, it will need to be funded by tax increases.  A never-ending tax increase.  Look at Chicago or Minneapolis - where they're contemplating a second light-rail line for $900 million - the plans and the costs would just keep getting bigger.  How many are profitable?  Hint “zero”!
  6. They would have to share existing train lines, which means train schedules for both commercial and this Metra will have to be worked out.  That is a large complaint of those using Amtrak. 
  7. The other alternative would be to put in new lines at taxpayers cost.  On our dime or in this case Millions!
  8. Is this a case of Overstating a benefit, while Understating the cost?
  9. Can this have a positive impact?  Sure, it will just cost the taxpayers in the end.
  10. Who wins is up for debate, who loses isn’t.  All together – The Taxpayers!
  

Now my understanding is that the train is used currently in Kenosha to Chicago mainly for those working in Chicago or Kenosha.  That tourism is just a small part.  Some feel that people getting off and on a Cudahy Station would be upset at seeing a Wal-Mart.  I must ask the question, why would they be upset?  The building would have to be approved by our elected officials.  Are they not going to dislike the smell from Patrick Cudahy as someone already pointed out as well?  How is this going to play out if Milwaukee decides to add a backside Amtrak station that would stop on the train lines that runs just west of the parkway at Mitchell Field, continue on to Chicago, and make the turn to O’Hare, instead of connecting with the Metra?  Would that not harm rider ship on the Metra?  I know that there are a lot of “if’s” with even this competing train line as is with the Metra.  At this point, the Metra/Commuter Light Rail and the competing train line are rumors based on the assumption they will happen!  According to the RTA (Regional Transit Authority), the date has slipped from the 2010 to 2012 already.  We have no fact it will happen or that it will not become the next “White Elephant.”

 

I am also not clear on this.  Is it more for getting people to and from their jobs, I thought it was for tourism?  Boy, I am confused.  Aren’t you?  Why should the taxpayers be paying to offset the cost of it, if it will only save money for those going to work.  If I car pool does the state or city pay for my costs?  Also, if people are going to use it for tourism and going to be walking, what are they going to do when it snows?  Does that mean only the Cudahy Station will see the benefit during that time?  Will the city have to make sure that the areas that they feel will benefit have snow removed first or more often?  Will we put in a streetcar system like Kenosha has at taxpayers expense or are they going to use the bus?  Will the streetcar be public or privately run?  Again, how is this going to help out the rest of Cudahy further south of Layton on Packard or off a bus line?  There is no guarantee that Cudahy will be the only official stop for the airport (what about South Milwaukee or St. Francis), thus taking the wind out of the sails.  Will we have a parking lot to store cars and bikes that the riders may leave behind while they are riding the Metra and gone maybe for days?  Now, you want to talk about a magnet for crime!!

 

Are we really looking at having people move from Chicago to Cudahy to live in the expensive Condos that are being talked about?  Is that the real reason for it?  Are these the well to do people that someone had mentioned?  Sure the tax base from these Condos would be nice, but at what cost?  Are these socialites going to run us out?  A few people in favor of the Metra at the last Common Council meeting said Cudahy was one of the most underrated property values in the area.  That many homes sit on land worth much more.  What is their angle on this?  When something doesn’t smell right, you know something is not right!  Something doesn’t smell right and it isn’t Patrick Cudahy!!! 

 

It is tax money that has to pay for the Metra.  Many clamor to have an eco-friendly mode of transportation as the reason for the Metra.  How many “Green” cars could we supply people with instead of using the money on the Metra at the same cost.  I am sure if you were to do a study on the costs it would be freighting.  To those so much in favor, they don’t care that taxes will go up, just build it. 

 

I am not going to sit on the sidelines as the events that affect me unfold to determine the course of my life.  I'm going to take a stand.  I'm going to defend it.  Right or not wrong, I'm going to defend it.  Do we want another Ice Port debacle to happen? 

 

This has to be stopped as soon as possible, otherwise this small flame could take the shape of a big fire and then it will become almost impossible to get rid of this mess.  We will face the never-ending task of paying for it or the mindset, “We have come this far.  We must see it thru.”  Or, “We have to finish it or the money we used to start it will be wasted!”

 

It would be nice for everyone to understand what are we trying to gain by this?  How much is it going to cost?  How are we going to pay for it?  When will it happen?  Do “WE” the citizens have a say?  Who are the players in this, names please?  We need all of these questions spelled out for us in writing, we should not all have to drive multiple times to city hall for answers or play phone tag.  How about this, just have the lawyers draw up a document in plain English and have Cudahy Now post it.  That way the officials can claim, I cannot confirm nor deny any information that was posted due to legal factors.  At least then, we would have some information rather than silence and more questions.

 

My understanding, to fund this, we are going to use taxpayer money from either an increase in sales tax, which Cudahy has an extra amount already added for other things, or from increase in service taxes.  I guess Cudahy will again be the butt of jokes, now more jokes about being the highest tax area in the state.  In an economic time when finding money to pay for public services is hard, it is tough to swallow more taxes!  This should serve as a notice, that in a time of money crunches, the taxpayers should not be paying for new services while existing services are constantly under attack to be cut.  If we don’t raise taxes then no light-rail or we cut the Police, Firefighters, or the new expensive library to fund it.  Aren’t we taxed enough? 

 

If taxes go up, will this not push out more people who live in Cudahy that cannot afford to pay more taxes?  Yes, and I think that maybe one thing some are looking for.  Replacement of demographics one of them uttered.

 

Mark Beling said it best, "The cruelest irony is that all of these “White Elephants” are paid for by the very people who never use them.  So why do we keep building these things?  Part of it is a neurotic desire to copy whatever other cities are doing.  It’s a kind of inferiority complex".  Part of it is narcissistic; I just want it and have to have it.  To those people I say “Better to want something you can’t have, then have something you don’t want”.

 

If I am wrong, please, someone correct me.

 

How will the train be policed?  Are we going to have police officers on the train?  Will this not have the possibility of bringing in rift raft with such a cheap subsidized ticket price?  If the subsidizing ends will the rider ship follow?  Didn’t Milwaukee try something like this not too long ago from Oconomowoc to Milwaukee and once the ticket price was no longer free or reduced, rider ship plummeted?  Do we not learn from experiences? 

 

I am concerned that this date is not even a firm date if the Metra line is even going to happen.  The date has moved for 2008, 2010, and now to 2012.  Will it help the business close to the train station?  Yes!  However, it will act like business welfare since taxes will be paying for this off the coat tails of the taxpayers.  Taxpayers are fitting the bill to prop up the Metra or whatever light-rail connecting train to the Metra.  Our local government should respect themselves as leaders and they should get involved and stop this madness instead of wasting taxpayer’s money.  More taxes are not the solution, but the problem!

 How about a train on and off toll to pay for it instead of sales tax?  That way those that use it pay for it!  Now that is a fair solution.  What do you say folks, fair is fair.  You use it, you pay for it!!  

http://www.southmilwaukeenow.com/story/index.aspx?id=710147

 

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