OK, so it took me a day longer to get back here. I got busy. Now, back to our forum highlights!
People do want us to get specific on what to cut, so we do have some ideas. Richard Selwach usually brings up the equal opportunity office because, “We have a gay mayor and a black president. We have arrived. The EOO is unnecessary.” He also wants to cut city pensions. My own favorite targets are the communications office, because we don’t need a new layer of bureaucrats just for press releases and web site updates; empty and near-empty RTS buses; the Community Redevelopment Agency, which is going beyond its mission of street lights and sidewalks and is now a builder with its extra cash; money-losing Ironwood Golf Course; and the One-stop homeless center, which has great promise as an ever-growing drain for taxpayer money. We don’t only want to move the homeless to the outskirts of town; we also want to provide them transportation back into town. Why are we doing this?? Tom Hawkins big cut is a helicopter that he thinks we don’t need.
Bus Rapid Mass Transit
Richard Selwach is flatly against buses that “lose $2 every time a rider gets on”. I don’t know if that figure is correct, but no one denies that buses lose money, not even Tom Hawkins. I believe we should transition toward a private system by first downsizing the vehicles on the routes that are seldom traveled. I see near-empty buses every day downtown and on the outskirts, and these buses are HUGE! RTS burns almost 2500 gallons of diesel fuel every day, and I believe the majority of that could be saved if we just used minivans on those unused routes. The best way, I believe, to do this is by putting those routes up for bid to the taxi companies. Eventually, we need to deregulate the service so more operators can serve routes that are currently underserved because it takes too long to get a bus. My opponent sees these big buses as full some day as we make it harder for people to use their own cars.