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Published: Sunday, 3/4/2012

Letters to the Editor

Perrysburg opt-out of TARTA to hurt

The Ability Center of Greater Toledo seeks to assist people with disabilities to live, work, and socialize in a fully accessible community. So when there is a risk that public transportation options for our constituents will be limited or eliminated, our effectiveness is compromised ("TARTA tax is called unfair to Perrysburg; Issue of leaving agency on March ballot," Feb. 22).

As business leaders and economic development professionals hail the virtues of regional collaboration, voters in the city of Perrysburg will vote Tuesday on whether to remove their community from the public transportation system.

Advocates for the disabled have been watching this issue for two years, because opting out of the Toledo Area Regional Transit Authority should mean an alternate plan is in place. But there is no plan.

Perrysburg officials are wagering that they can develop a plan, award less-expensive contracts, develop infrastructure, connect Perrysburg to other communities, and pass a new levy by November. If this doesn't happen, public transportation in Perrysburg stops.

There are real people affected by this decision. It is up to voters to ensure that their neighbors are not left without options.

Tim Harrington

Executive Director Ability Center of Greater Toledo Sylvania

Perrysburg official urges opt-out

On March 6, people in Perrysburg will vote either to remain in or withdraw from TARTA.

If the vote to withdraw from TARTA is not done before the end of next year, the city will be trapped in a TARTA contract with no option to exit and no control over taxes levied or quality of services rendered.

Delaying the vote does not eliminate any potential gap in services, because of TARTA's refusal to provide services through the time taxes are collected. Should voters decide to withdraw, TARTA will provide services for six months from the time the vote is certified, even though taxes will be collected for nine months.

If the people of Perrysburg vote to withdraw from TARTA effective Nov. 6, 2012, the city will pay 12 months of taxes for six months of services.

Perrysburg needs high-quality, cost-effective transportation services that meet the needs of our residents and businesses. Such a plan will be on the Nov. 6 ballot.

If the people of Perrysburg believe that our city and not Toledo should decide how our tax dollars are spent, I urge them to vote to withdraw from TARTA and support the alternative transportation option.

Maria Ermie

Perrysburg City Council

Rider hopes TARTA is kept

Whether Perrysburg should withdraw from TARTA has been a topic of debate for years. Yet there remains no alternative to replacing TARTA and its Toledo Area Regional Paratransit Service in Perrysburg.

I drive from Bowling Green to Perrysburg and ride TARTA to downtown Toledo to work. TARTA is dependable and convenient.

A no vote will keep public transportation in Perrysburg, which many residents there rely on. TARTA provides transportation services for people in wheelchairs, seniors, and others with special needs.

Call-A-Ride responds to rider pickup requests and provides door-to-door service. Fixed routes provide service from designated bus stops. The Walleye Shuttle provides a round-trip ride to Huntington Center. The Muddy Shuttle provides a round-trip ride to Fifth Third Field.

TARTA ridership is driven by convenience for some and by necessity for others. Some riders have no alternative mode of transportation whether their destination is work, a medical appointment, or shopping.

TARTA has offered public transportation for years and there is no alternative plan in place. Voting no on this levy will preserve existing public transportation in Perrysburg.

Karen Peck

Bowling Green

Mean TV ads not new in Toledo

Viewers in the Toledo television market are quickly becoming accustomed to being bombarded by mean-spirited, distorted messages directed at U.S. Sen. Sherrod Brown (D., Ohio). The U.S. Chamber of Commerce, financed by a $3 million budget, has been cluttering our televisions and acting as a political action committee with its anti-Brown diatribes.

Such nasty presentations appeared to be out of character for our chamber of commerce, so I contacted the Toledo office. The person who answered my call said that the Brown campaign "came from national" and that the local chapter had nothing to do with it.

I wonder whether local authorities have any problem with an outside PAC spending money on poorly designed local political action.

Examination of the Toledo chamber's Web site indicates the community-spirited, pro-growth, pro-business agenda that has guided the chamber for many years.

Digging a little deeper, I found some anti-Obama messages on some inside links. However, no mention is made of the PAC and the national office serving as a funding conduit for the Republican National Committee.

In many organizations, the national office sets the agenda, which affects local chapters. Perhaps the time has come for the Toledo Regional Chamber of Commerce to clarify its relationship with political projects that support the Republican National Committee through the U.S. Chamber of Commerce PAC.

Edward Nussel

Sylvania Township

N.J. governor off on how society runs

Gov. Chris Christie is wrong to want to put social issues to a popular vote ("N.J. governor vetoes same-sex marriage," Feb. 18). A democratic society protects the rights of minorities. You can't have four wolves and a sheep vote on what's for dinner.

Bill Pieper

Oregon

Ex-Mass. resident muses on Romney

My husband and I moved to Ohio in 2008 after living in Massachusetts for many years. It is difficult to believe that anyone associated with the auto industry would vote for Mitt Romney ("Romney's 'defense' of auto industry doesn't go," op-ed column, Feb. 26).

Mr. Romney has flip-flopped so many times on issues, I find it hard to recall his current positions. Massachusetts was one of the first states to recognize same-sex unions.

A big issue in the presidential campaign is health insurance. Mr. Romney came up with the idea in Massachusetts for what is now called RomneyCare, yet he has always put down ObamaCare. His insurance was the blueprint the President used.

Mr. Romney always tells us that he is the candidate to beat President Obama. Yet they have so much in common, it's sickening to listen to him.

Susan Schurman

Springfield Township



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