Triangle Transit Authority trustee Nina Szlosberg doesn’t want the TTA to strike the flag on Lite-Rail – so when the other trustees arrived at their last meeting she gave them copies of the children’s fable The Little Engine that Could.
Taxpayers have poured tens of millions of dollars into the TTA; we’ve paid for studies, bureaucrats, lobbyists, mock-ups of train engines, for land for train stations and what we have to show for it is The Little Engine that Could.
The federal government has told the TTA no and the TTA said it accepted that no as final. But now it has turned around and said it doesn’t matter. That it’s going to seek other ways to pay for Lite-Rail. Now who – other than the federal government – is going to give the TTA $800 million?
Part of the problem is government agencies don’t ever, ever say, Our job is done. Let’s shut down. They just don’t work that way. Government agencies get to spend other people’s money – taxpayers’ money – and spending other people’s money is like an addiction. It’s hard to give up. So the TTA is looking for a fig leaf to justify their next million.
But the fact is they have run out of rope.
City Councilman Phillip Isley has proposed taking the money we are giving the TTA and spending it on better roads and schools. Mayor Meeker or his allies on the City Council didn’t like his idea and they killed it before it got off the ground. But taking Councilman Isley’s advice may be the best public service the trustees of the TTA can perform.
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