Del Snow letter to Town Council

From: Del Snow <djdsnow@msn.com>
Sent: Monday, March 13, 2017 3:19 PM
To: Mayor and Council
Subject: Durham Orange Light Rail project

Mayor and Council,

I know the decision on the Durham Orange Light Rail project (DOLRT) is not yours to make, but as our elected officials, I am asking you to make a strong statement to the Board of Commissioners.  Chapel Hill Town Councils have passed resolutions supporting social justice causes for years, and this is no different.

People have become numb in the face of fake news on the national level and aghast at the size and scope of injustice.  Many people are trying to impact this by doing what can be done to right the wrongs they see.

Here is one you can do.

On behalf of the residents of Chapel Hill, reject the DOLRT plan. There is no way to “fix” the proposal and there is no defensible rationale for going forward.  This should not be a political, but rather, a moral decision.

Chapel Hill residents, renters, and home owners alike, will be paying big time for a rail line that will be obsolete by the time it is paid up.  Property owners already shoulder the high property tax rate that may have to be raised to cover LRT expenses, – but Chapel Hill will be doubly burdened by the resulting loss of improvement to Chapel Hill Transit service. We will not be able to buy more buses, add hours, or increase ridership because the money will…just… not… be…there.

The DOLRT debate is no longer about transit, a necessity that EVERYONE supports.   It’s about what to do when the numbers really don’t add up and residents’ children and grandchildren will be burdened with debt and not much to show for it. When the false advertising is ignored, you KNOW that sales tax revenue is not going to grow 4% every year for 45 years. [An assumption like this tells you all you need to know about the very shaky foundation of the current proposed plan]

Acknowledging that affordable housing will not happen along the route unless the Town and/or County spends the money to build it makes the social inequity of this plan is appalling. And, if one looks beyond the parameters that have been presented as a “given”, you may agree that creating a real transit SYSTEM that is interconnected, frequent, energy efficient, that would be in place sooner, and be much cheaper is more realistic and sensible.

Your statement can be powerful.  Please speak out.

Thank you for all of your hard work.
Del Snow

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