Wednesday, August 31, 2016

Thoughts on Indy's Mass Transit Referendum

I’ve looked at Indy’s mass transit plan in preparation for voting on it in November, and I just can’t make sense of why someone in Decatur or Franklin Townships should vote for it other than civic pride.

These two townships are notably left out of the plan which is being sold as a good first step towards a mass transit system to make our city proud, but I’m not seeing it here on the Southwest side. In fact, I’m voting no.

Yeah, I know a bunch of my Democratic friends are going to yell and scream at me for not seeing the big picture and playing it selfish with my vote. Well, if you believe the polls, it doesn’t appear my vote is going to matter anyway. It will be one vote of protest as we’re asked again to raise our own taxes for something I will get no benefit from.

Here’s my problem, and I’ve told this to my friends that are supporting this plan. This is the same thing Decatur Township and, I assume, Franklin Township residents get told. If you support this plan, we’ll get around to you. Then, the money runs out and they never quite get around to us. We get left out.

We’ll be glad to take your trash down here. We’ll be glad to generate your power. We’ll be glad to even treat your sewage. Just don’t worry about us. The Great Southside will be here for Indianapolis no matter how much we are forgotten by those in the City-County Building. Someone called my argument emotional, and it is.

By the way, thanks to Mayor Joe Hogsett and other leaders who have tried to encourage the people of Indianapolis to educate themselves on this issue without advocating one way or another on the vote. I’m not sure Hogsett’s predecessor would have been so quiet.

I support mass transit that will serve all. I don’t support mass transit that serves some and takes money out of my pocket for it. At least not when I’m getting asked to pay for Eskenazi Hospital or the transportation issues here in Decatur Township schools. Nope. I’m not going to vote to pay.

Down on the Southside, we have civic pride, too. I just wish we’d see some payoff for it sometimes.

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