Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Bus and Budget Cuts Commentary

Mayor & Members of City Council:

As Reported in this mornings newspaper, poor’ole S.E. is getting “DUMPED” on once again by city council in deciding to cut back on bus service to S.E. I suspect we know very little of what is coming down the road as to how drastic these cuts are going to be and what they will mean and how they will impact the poor, working class of our city.
 
YOU want to cut bus service when ridership is at an all time high
 
and yet you are spending how many hundred  thousands of dollars on a “FREE TROLLEY“to serve the “ALREADY WORKING CLASS”, Wealthy part of our city?  Shuttling the good people of Carilion earning top pay back and forth to downtown as you ponder cutting the fare paying service for the poor.
 
Many, and I hope even President Obama would see that this should be the other way around, free bus service from the poor working part of the city to get people to their jobs. This seems to apply to the “Smart Way Bus also” I seriously doubt it is serving the poor working glass?  I don’t think anyone is commuting to Blacksburg to flip hamburgers at Mc D’s. Yet how many are dependent of public transportation to get from their neighborhood to flip those hamburgers at minimum wages in trying to put food on the table and a roof over their head in Roanoke?
 
Where is the discussion about city council taking a cut in salary to show your good faith effort in these difficult times?  What you decide has a most profound effect and life style changes for the poor, while you will continue your lifestyle being unaffected on what you would have us suffer through.  I can’t think of a better opportunity to show how you all do things for yourselves and your neighborhoods while enforcing the rest of us to go without.
 
I have on any number of occasions asked about park benches for the greenways.  Of course the answer is always there is not enough money for them.  I bet you can count on ONE hand the number of park benches along the new greenway in S.E.  Has anyone counted the number of park benches in ONE BLOCK ALONG CRYSTAL SPRINGS AVE?  At the bare minimum a STAGGERING NUMBER OF AT LEAST 12
 
This pretty much says it all about the injustice of what is going on down there behind closed doors.
 
Again, as reported in this mornings paper about the school bus fire yesterday.  That bus serves “FIVE” students?  Why isn’t a smaller, more economical vehicles being used on these types of runs?
 
The other day while at Mill Mtn. Coffee a city truck pulled up out front and both occupants got out and came in the shop and the driver left the engine running.  I see this all over town.  Not only is it a horrible waste of gas, but the needless air pollution should give concern to all, I would think?
 
I would like to ask the city and or the newspaper if they would give the public an accounting of the 46 positions of those taking early retirement, mainly their department and job title?
 
Respectfully,
 
E. Duane Howard

Posted By Valerie Garner

Categories: Commentary

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