Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Why the street bond is a bad deal for the city

Harvey Rose

George Wooding sent me a city document that verifies his analysis in the Westside Observer of what the street bond will actually cost city taxpayers: $437,249,617. The attachment is a document from July 13, 2011 by Budget and Legislative Analyst Harvey Rose:

[O]nce all $248,000,000 of the GO[General Obligation] Bond have been sold, the estimated total debt service requirement between July 1, 2011 and June 30 of 2035, a period of 24 years, will be $437,249,617, or an annual debt service of $18,218,734 per year ($248,000,000 in principal plus $189,249,617 in interest at an assumed interest rate of 6 percent)...The proposed $248,000,000 GO Bond principal and the estimated $189,249,617 of related interest expense would be repaid from increased Property Taxes on all property owners in the City (page 20, emphasis added).

Compare this forthright statement, buried in an obscure city document, to the deceptive statement by the City Controller in the Voter Information Pamphlet (page 41 of the PDF file).


Bicycle Coalition passes the hat to screw up Panhandle traffic

The Bicycle Coalition is asking for donations to push the city to create separated bike lanes on the Pandhandle by either taking away a traffic lane, or, more likely, taking away scarce neighborhood street parking. The money from the donations will be for "materials, staffing and hundreds of hours of community outreach that it will take to get these separated bikeways approved by year’s end. Right now we need to seize the opportunity to get these approved! Your safety depends on it."

There's no evidence that there's a safety problem between Scott and Baker, but that won't stop the Bicycle Coalition from deploying another Big Lie in this campaign, like the hysteria they whipped up about the Fell/Masonic intersection.

In the past the city has paid the Bicycle Coalition to do "community outreach" on bike projects, like on the Bicycle Plan itself ($279,000).

Why isn't the city paying for this? Probably because a Bay City reporter busted the MTA and the coalition last July for their phony "neighborhood survey" to justify the same Panhandle project. It wasn't clear from the story whether the city paid for that put-up job, but the MTA claimed at the time that they had $165,000 to do  an “extensive public outreach campaign,”  which is what the coalition is passing the hat for now. What happened to all that money?

Labels: , , ,