Transit authority delays transfer
KALAMAZOO -- The Kalamazoo County Transportation Authority voted Monday to delay the transfer of the public transit system from city to county control.It seems their big plans weren't so inevitable after all.
The move, which was expected, comes after Kalamazoo County voters in November rejected a tax to pay for the operation.
The transportation authority is now developing a plan to have separate city and county tax requests placed before voters at different times in 2009.
Kalamazoo City Manager Kenneth Collard and Kalamazoo County Administrator Peter Battani have recommended to the transit authority that it design a "two-tiered millage'' including a countywide vote on demand services, such as Care-A-Van, and a city vote on the Metro Transit bus system.
A city transit tax likely would be placed on the November ballot, and a county tax likely would go before voters in either May or August.
The transfer of control of the system will be delayed until there is stabilized local funding. Authority officials say they intend to begin an aggressive public education campaign on the importance of public transit.
Linda Teeter, the authority's chairwoman, said they have "been on a mission since 2006 to transfer the system.'' She stressed the importance of public transit for economic and community development.
Teeter said the education campaign would include forums, conversations with local media, detailed information about the authority's Web site and community meetings.
After the people who don't have any bus stops within miles of their houses decided they didn't want to pay for a bus system, the KCTA will be forced to go back to the people who actually can use it.
Whether or not government transportation is "important", the trouble with socialism is that there is no good way to determine how much of it is necessary.
It remains to be seen whether either of the forthcoming tax proposals will be a tax increase.