Thursday, June 11, 2009

Wenstrup on Streetcars

(CINCINNATI, OH) Cincinnati Mayoral candidate, Brad Wenstrup, is asking city leaders including the Mayor, city Manager and City Council to think logically about a streetcar for Cincinnati. He cites other priorities that must be addressed.

"We read in the paper every day how much trouble the city is in because it has failed to meet its obligation to properly fund the pension plan," Wenstrup said. "A very large project that should be put off is the idea to place a streetcar in downtown because there is no guarantee that the city will meet its obligation to properly fund it either."

The City of Cincinnati is facing the reality of a $125 million shortfall in its pension fund in addition to a budget shortfall and potential slashing of city services. The city's streetcar project is projected to cost $185 million.

"Additional annual operating costs will force the city to operate the streetcar at a deficit thereby increasing the burden on the annual budget and taxpayers of Cincinnati," Wenstrup added.

Wenstrup added that any discussion regarding the streetcar that does not address the initial and long-term funding of the streetcar is disingenuous, and that city leaders must start answering the hard questions. Wenstrup pledges to address such concerns once elected Mayor.