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Passage of county sales tax levy would keep WRTA rolling



Published: Sun, July 6, 2008 @ 2:25 p.m.

By David Skolnick

YOUNGSTOWN — With the Western Reserve Transit Authority on life support, the approval of a 0.25-percent Mahoning County sa;es tax in November is the difference between making a full recovery and thriving, or quite possibly pulling the plug on its existence, its executive director says.

“It doesn’t look pretty; we don’t know if we can cut much more,” said James Ferraro, WRTA’s head. “We don’t know if we can survive [without the sales tax]. We’ve cut as much as we can.”

If the tax fails in November, the agency’s board will give serious consideration to shutting down, he said.

“We don’t want to close,” but may have no other choice, said Ferraro, adding that the current level of service by WRTA is “almost embarrassing.”

The county sales tax for WRTA was rejected by 57 percent of voters in March.

More than 60 percent of Youngstown voters supported the tax issue that was soundly defeated in the suburbs and rural communities.

Read the full story Monday in The Vindicator and on Vindy.com.


Comments

1buster62(24 comments)posted 6 years, 2 months ago

I just read the article about WRTA. BULL!! They have the money to keep the busses rolling.

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2buster62(24 comments)posted 6 years, 2 months ago

I just read the article about WRTA. BULL!! They have the money to keep the bussesrunning. Every since Ferraro took over the bus service has been going downhill. Why does he not explain the pay raise he took two years ago? This company would have money if he did not cut Saturday and night route services. Why did his company buy the old Salvation Army property and tear it down? The talk is by the bus drivers that if the levy passes he is building a new terminal and closing the old one.
I will vote for the levy, not for him but for the people who use their service.

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3Bull_Chip(170 comments)posted 6 years, 2 months ago

The department declines to openly publish statistics on rider ship per available seat mile, total cost per available seat mile and per rider mile, distribution of cost, distribution of income (rider paid fees, rider sponsor paid fees, ex. Paid by school system, local, county, state, federal and other grants or support etc.) and it is the evil suburban voter that turned it down!

Gee, those who would pay the bulk of the cost and reap none of the benefit said no? Imagine that.

The population density and available destinations does not justify the existing system. Since the WRTA will not provide any detailed financial detail information to the contrary, we can only assume the less than 20% of the income is from the riders, the rest is from all of the rest of us.

It may well be less expensive to provide private taxi service at no cost to the riders, and the current WRTA employees don’t want to be accountable to the private sector as taxi cab drivers and mechanics.

Enough of threats by public officials to intimidate or more properly extort tax money from us with threats instead of justifications. VOTE NO! Public servant ruling us by bullying us and terrorizing us with threats of releasing criminals, canceling services, not providing busses and sports to our kids and on and on is over!

Most of the country does not accept public servants ruling the voters, why does the city think it is ok?

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4AKAFR1(322 comments)posted 6 years, 2 months ago

Vote NO!

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5city_resident(513 comments)posted 6 years, 2 months ago

Why can't non-city residents ride the buses?

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6AtownParent(562 comments)posted 6 years, 2 months ago

Its not that we can't, its that we don't need to as much as the city residents need to. Vote NO!

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7city_resident(513 comments)posted 6 years, 2 months ago

Well, of course. Those who really need to use mass transportation need to move to the city where the WRTA is at least a little more useful.

If the suburbs had better/restored service, (especially with gas at $4/gallon) I think more people would use it.

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8Anita(20 comments)posted 6 years, 2 months ago

The last time this came up for a vote, Ferraro screwed up. He promised to expand the WRTA to remote areas of the county. Of course he didn't mean it, but he would have done better to promise NOT to bus Youngstown's problems out to the suburbs and beyond. Why not just arrange for chauffered Mercedes-Benz's for the 8 or so people who ride the WRTA. It would be cheaper in the long run.

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9clayor(281 comments)posted 6 years, 2 months ago

A bus goes up my street every day......EMPTY. I agree limo service would be cheaper and less tacky!

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10jona(3 comments)posted 6 years, 2 months ago

No, the W.R.T.A does not have the money to continue operating.

And to all residents of Youngstown, please try to understand this,you will no longer have to pay property tax if the W.R.T.A Levy passes. VOTE YES!

No the WRTA willnot be building a new terminal,

The Salvation Army Building, The Federal Government gave grant money for this project.Grant money CANNOT be used for operating expenses. And besides, that building was a huge eye sore, vandalized, homeless people using it for shelter. Don't you think theres enough abandoned houses and buildings throughout the city of youngstown. The city needs to do more to bring jobs to the youngstown area, the mayor should be helping the WRTA.

sure vote no, have another business close down. Add another abandoned building, Add another 50 to 100 more people to the unemployment lines, force them to move out of town, out of state because there arn't any jobs here. Some people to try to get ahead and do the right thing and work for a living, Well Gee I Guess they would if they had TRANSPORTATION to get to other locations. And what about those residents that rely on public transportation to get them too and from doctor appointments and jobs. and trying to make aliving for themselves to put food on the table,a roof over their childrens head that cant afford a car.

And WRTA is trying to expand their service to outlying communities, why to you think their going for a countywide tax. They have met with the officials from the outlying communties. And yes gas is very expensive, but they can't expand without the levy passing to generate money to operate. They didnt want to cut services, they had no choice, nor did they want to cut Saturday service. Night service was funded by a grant, it ran out.

One last thing, alot of youngstown residents travel to the outskirts into the Austintown and Boardman shopping areas on the buses. They spend their working dollars at these businesses. The money that they spend circulates into your townships which generates money for your towns.

If the levy were to pass, it will not make anyone poor, do the math, it will not break you. Think of other people that are still able to use the buses to get to and from work, our seniors, our children to doctors, to buy groceries. Don't let these negative people influence your decision to vote. Sit down figure out what it would cost you, you would be surprised. And don't we teach our children not to listen to heresay, but to facts only.

And as far as the city of Youngstown and their water tax,that has nothing to do with the WRTA, you need to contact the Mayor.

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11clayor(281 comments)posted 6 years, 2 months ago

I figured out what this will cost me.....I am paying $4.09 for gas, East Ohio doubled my budget, my taxes on a house that will never sell are sky high, my insurance for car and home are increasing. I just paid for Mark Dann to make a profit on HIS house that we bought. Obviously you work for someone along the line to promote the levy......I am sick of paying for everyone's perks to live in "Paradise". I say vote NOOOOOOOO as many times as you can. This is Y-Town, vote early and often! Hey, eve slip,in an absentee ballot if you can, it will probably go un-noticed!

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12city_resident(513 comments)posted 6 years, 2 months ago

That $4.09 would pay for 3 rides on the bus...

I know this wouldn't be practical for most people even if the sales tax did pass, but imagine how much money you could save if you got rid of your car all together. Then, you wouldn't have to pay $4.09/gallon of gas, increasing insurance premiums, or maintenance. This is assuming you don't also have a car payment.

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13jona(3 comments)posted 6 years, 2 months ago

You act as if your the only one that is paying the $4.09 for gas. You act as though your the only one thats East Ohio's bill has gone up. And so is everyones elses taxes and insurance going up. And it was your choice to buy Mark Danns house. Your putting the blame on all the wrong people.
You should be blaming congress. Everyone is in the same boat as far as everything increasing. Your not the only one. Its us to us to try to make the best of it and to find other means to make ends meet. I am just a citizen that tries to be reasonable. Listen to the news, all the layoffs and jobs that are lost. Do you honestly want to see more people loose there jobs. And I don't live in paradise, but if you brought Danns house you must do.

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14jona(3 comments)posted 6 years, 2 months ago

I urge someone from the bus company to respond to some of these remarks. It would be in their best interest to try to make the public aware. I also encourage the Mayor to make some response after all the bus company is in the city and provides ridership

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15AtownParent(562 comments)posted 6 years, 2 months ago

Point is why should the county residents pay more so that the city residents income tax can go down? You say it brings in people to shop at the Austintown and Boardman stores, but if you can't afford a car, exactly how much are you really spending. Your bus doesn't take me to my job, or my husband, so why would I vote yes for something that does me no good? Why should I keep paying for the city of Youngstown residents, I already do that with all the other taxes that come out of my paycheck. You want your bus, you keep your bus, but as for the residents of Austintown and Boardman, do you really think that they want to pay for one more thing for Youngstown especially now with Jay's JEDD threats?

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16cooks50(20 comments)posted 6 years, 2 months ago

What some of you people fail to understand is that, city residents arent the only people to use the bus. Ive seen many residents outside the city, who use this transit system, especially with the gas prices. People such as atownparent and others are making there opinion based on race which is wrong. I say this because Im looking at your other postings such as feeding the hungry. Once you guys decide decide to leave your small world known as the suburbs, you will realize that the rest of the country collaberates with the city on mass transit which creates a successful economy.

Atown parent if you only knew how dumb you sound. Its scary to think you are a parent.

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17debraweaver(30 comments)posted 6 years, 2 months ago

I don't know what planet you suburbanites live on. You rant and rave about the city of Youngstown as if you have a vested interest in making sure the city fails. I don't understand that type of mentality and to be frank I think it is indicative of a self defeating attitude at best and a psychological complex of some kind at worst. This type of attitude has run rampant throughout this area for far too long. Times have changed and will keep on changing. It is not corruption that is keeping the area down any longer. No, it is you!
Get with the program folks. If you want your suburban life to improve you need to have a strong core city. You don't have to believe me, but why don't you study up on urban and economic development and find out for yourself.
Now, on to the primary issue here which is public transportation. Virtually all mid to large cities have public transportation. Not only is it a necessity for those without cars, but it is better for the environment. Now granted I realize that I live in an area that is stuck in the 50's or something, but we have a climate crisis happening right now. We have a moral obligation to take public transportation. However, I understand that the self serving among us need something more than a desire to save the world , they need something for themselves. Well, how about saving that $4.00+ on that gallon of gas.
Furthermore, the reason the WRTA cut back on routes and service is because the levy failed the last time. Also, to the person who didn't know that anyone can ride the bus, you can. You don't have to be a resident. That is ludicrous. Also, just a little enlightenment, poor people are not the only ones who need the bus. Disabled people use the bus, young people use the bus, students use the bus, and the elderly use the bus. What is more we should all use the bus and the bus system should be supported so as to be able to enlarge their area of service to include at least the entire county. Enough of the classism in this area and the notion that public transporation is some kind of handout to the poor or worse yet, that someone will see you riding the bus, and think that you are a loser of some kind. Get over it folks! If we lose the bus system, I can promise you that within another ten years you will be wishing you had a bus system, and it will cost a fortune to get one up and running again because you failed to take care of the one we have. Don't believe me, check out what happened to the trains that used to go through here.
I also suggest that you all take a trip to another city and ride some public transportation. We can have that here too, if you have a little imagination. One more thing, you will be happier if you have a more positive attitude.

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18cooks50(20 comments)posted 6 years, 2 months ago

Well Said debra...you took the words right out of my mouth!!

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19Anita(20 comments)posted 6 years, 2 months ago

Why are the outlying areas always being saddled with Youngstown's woes. We already pay for their Mill Creek Park that very few residents of Smith, Goshen, Berlin, Green, Beaver, Ellsworth, Springfield, Jackson & Milton townships ever use. You city folks don't seem to understand. We don't want your busses out here. The WRTA, like ALL other Mahoning County public sector entities, exists not for the service it supplies, but rather to provide jobs and pensions for the sons, daughters, nephews, nieces, in-laws & grandchildren of former political hacks, labor leaders & mob figures. If the WRTA closes up shop, city residents will just have to find another way to get to A-town & Boardman to do their shoplifting (oops, I mean shopping -I think)

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20AtownParent(562 comments)posted 6 years, 2 months ago

cooks50 - you are making assumptions about my posts based upon what other posters have commented. It is absolutely pathetic that there can not be a debate about anything involving Youngstown without some unintelligent, uninformed idiot involving race.

Count the number of riders that come to Austintown on the bus, why would everyone want to pay for a service that the few use? It is not a mass transit system like proponents of the service would like everyone to believe it is. It does not take me to where I need to go, nor does it take anyone in my family. Why would I vote yes for that? So my taxes can be raised and yours could be lowered? Or so that the few can benefit off the many?

We are not a mid to large city at all. The majority of the people in the "suburbs" are the population in the Youngstown area. And we are losing population every year because there are not enough good jobs to keep people here. The WRTA is not going to change that, no matter how many people say jobs will come here if we have a mass transit system. You want jobs to come to Youngstown, get rid of the crime, then rebuild your city. You know whats funny. Everyone talks about how this area would be so much better if we had a strong city. Yet, our city can only better itself by piggy backing on the suburbs. Stand on your own two feet and then you can talk about how much we suburbanites need the city.

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21Bull_Chip(170 comments)posted 6 years, 2 months ago

“what planet”- Earth, specifically the Mahoning Valley

“making sure the city fails”- irrelevant, it already has, it committed suicide we didn’t influence it, the city government did it all be itself

“It is not corruption that is keeping the area down any longer. No, it is you!”- who is charging a 2 ¾% income tax? Who has failing schools funded at a much higher per student level than ANY suburb? Who has a murder rate keeping it in the top 10 most deadly cities? Who has a “zero tolerance” program consisting of traffic stops and not gang/drug/property crime?

“you need to have a strong core city”- Yes and with the development of Austintown/Boardman/Canfield cities we will have them. If you are referring to something such as the core of an apple that you throw in the garbage, Youngstown is that on both parts.

“Virtually all mid to large cities have public transportation”- Youngstown does not fall into even the category of “mid” any longer. Youngstown is only a destination for YSU students & government related issues. Insufficient for a transit system and a truly regional system such as New Castle Area Transit is not under discussion.

“but we have a climate crisis happening right now. We have a moral obligation to take public transportation”- “climate crisis” is not a religion, therefore not a moral issue. “Climate crisis” is not a given, the last 12 months have been cold compared to averages. The last hurricane season was mild compared to averages. By definition we are still in an Ice Age, we still have permanent ice masses at the poles. At times there have been no ice masses there. It is further confusing how humans could effect a change in the global environment when more greenhouse gasses are put into the atmosphere by volcanoes OR pine trees OR any of a number of natural phenomenons.

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22Bull_Chip(170 comments)posted 6 years, 2 months ago

“Don't believe me, check out what happened to the trains that used to go through here.”- no Amtrak because of low ridership. No ridership because of no demand. Are you saying we need to run empty passenger trains to unwanted destinations?

“take a trip to another city and ride some public transportation”- This would be a place with destinations at BOTH ends of the routes. Like jobs and safe shopping in the city? The Y-town system is a one way system, city riders leave the city for shopping, very few for work as stated by Jay Williams in his JEDD proposal (less than 30% of all income taxes collected by the city are from residents) and the city is a daily destination by comparatively very few in the suburbs. Result, low ridership and very high cost per passenger mile. Tax subsidy on the order of 80% to 85% of the cost.

Lastly, why should suburban voters increase their own taxes so that city residents can have their property tax lowered? Jay and his neighbors already have an abetment on their property taxes, why not just have them pay some of the cost?

Another approach to funding might be to build an entertainment center, give a sports team owner a multi-year exclusivity even though he is not fielding a team and spend multiple millions over the funded amount to build it. Maybe buy a brown field area for multiples of the market value that would cost millions more than the land cost to make completely usable to put it on.

To make sure the food sales are profitable how about charging $7 for a beer and similar prices for food and soft drinks. Sure, you won’t sell much, but at a cost of less than a buck, you will gross $6 on each beer you DO sell.

To make sure the cost aren’t too high for maintaining the venue, don’t schedule many events there and watch the profits roll in!

Once again allow me to remind you, we are not killing the city, the city government started committing suicide/citycide many years ago. Closing the mills did not kill the city, the city governments’ response did.

DEPENDS YOUNGSTOWN! Note: this is not a misspelling.

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23Dennick(160 comments)posted 6 years, 2 months ago

The lack of community displayed on this message board is appalling.

I am single, I live in a suburb of Youngstown. I don't have children, nor will I ever. Yet, I pay taxes so other people's children can attend school and so that the single mother next door who lost her husband to cancer can still support her family. I don't have a problem with this because it is the least I can do for the good of the community. A 0.25-percent sales tax is hardly an exuberant amount, especially considering rising gas prices, the number of people who rely on public transit for work, AND the potential role WRTA could play in bringing people downtown for arts, education, and entertainment as the revitalization project grows.

I say...vote yes.

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24city_resident(513 comments)posted 6 years, 2 months ago

"who is charging a 2 ¾% income tax?"

Because much of the tax base has fled to the suburbs.

"Who has failing schools funded at a much higher per student level than ANY suburb?"

City schools get the reputation of being "bad" (deserved or not) and so most parents who care about their child, and have the money, pull them out. This leaves only the impoverished children, (a larger percentage of whom are special needs) or those with parents who don't care. In each case, these children aren't going to be the best students. And now, the city schools have a higher concentration of these types of students.

Who has a murder rate keeping it in the top 10 most deadly cities?

While Youngstown's murder rate is terrible, how many homicides are committed by people who don't know their victim?

Getting back on topic... Youngstown is about the same size as Canton. Canton (or Stark county, if you prefer) has an excellent mass-transit system paid for with a sales tax, and not a property tax on Canton residents. Why can it work for them, and not us?

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25Bull_Chip(170 comments)posted 6 years, 2 months ago

A 0.25% sales tax is not exorbitant, but an overall (state, federal, local) tax rate of over 40% is. I am saying no at ¼% at a time.

You post “Yet, I pay taxes so --- the single mother next door who lost her husband to cancer can still support her family”. This, I am afraid, is an oxymoron. If she is living off welfare, she is not supporting her family, we all are. If she is working and earning all of the family income, she is not livening off your taxes. If she is receiving SSI survivor benefits or life insurance payments at least her husband had paid into those plans.

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26Bull_Chip(170 comments)posted 6 years, 2 months ago

"who is charging a 2 ¾% income tax?" your reply “Because much of the tax base has fled to the suburbs”. Pardon me, but that means the cost for services has been reduced also. Why does Youngstown have the highest tax burden of any city in the state? Because when the income tax increase was voted in, the 80+% of the voting age city population that have no earned income were told to go ahead and vote yes, it wouldn’t cost them anything.
“City schools get the reputation of being "bad" (deserved or not)”- When the schools are passing 3 of the standard school rating criteria at over 50% more dollars per pupil than the suburbs that are passing 21 of the criteria, the school system is completely indefensible. This is the profile of the Youngstown City Schools. And, by the way, special needs children are rated separately so they are not a drag on the ratings. The employees per student are high in the YCS compared to successful schools, the primary driver of costs.

You post “While Youngstown's murder rate is terrible, how many homicides are committed by people who don't know their victim?” You seem to be saying that it is best not to know anyone from Youngstown. Then remind the reason you are supporting the WRTA?

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27Dennick(160 comments)posted 6 years, 2 months ago

Bull chip, look up the definition of oxymoron.

Also...

"If she is living off welfare, she is not supporting her family, we all are."

My neighbor works full time AND ALSO receives support from government programs for her children...programs that are paid for by taxes.

As much as you (and people like you) would like for everything to be either black or white, the world is filled with gray areas.

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28Dennick(160 comments)posted 6 years, 2 months ago

And just so we're clear... by "people like you" I mean racist, gay bashing, right wing myna birds who make up for their inability to form an original thought or opinion by utilizing repetition and volume.

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29George412(161 comments)posted 6 years, 2 months ago

"And just so we're clear... by "people like you" I mean racist, gay bashing, right wing myna birds who make up for their inability to form an original thought or opinion by utilizing repetition and volume."

Brilliant, Robert!

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30cooks50(20 comments)posted 6 years, 2 months ago

Robert...great post,
And to Atown parent you are assuming I live with in the city.. I happen to live in austintown and know many people from austintown who used the bus to get to ysu, such as myself. And yes youngstown is my city in which I have a strong passion for. When I go out of town people recognize Ytown not austintown which is jus an entity of the city. So you are the uninformed and unintelligent one.

Just as Robert said many people do not have children however still pay taxes for those who do to attend the schools. Just because you dont use the bus dosent mean no one else does.

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31city_resident(513 comments)posted 6 years, 2 months ago

"You seem to be saying that it is best not to know anyone from Youngstown."
No, I'm saying that it is best not to associate with drug dealers/users or gang members. Because I don't associate with gang members or drug dealers/users, I am as likely as you are to be a murder victim.

Getting back on topic... Youngstown is about the same size as Canton. Canton (or Stark county, if you prefer) has an excellent mass-transit system paid for with a sales tax, and not a property tax on Canton residents. Why can it work for them, and not us?

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32Bull_Chip(170 comments)posted 6 years, 2 months ago

Robert posted “by "people like you" I mean racist, gay bashing, right wing myna birds who make up for their inability to form an original thought or opinion by utilizing repetition and volume.”

Robert, brilliant post – for want of presenting a cogent cohesive factual argument. Continue with the insightful and witty repartee, I am sure your colleagues view name calling and insults as the highest form of intellectual dialogue.

As to “original thought”, it would appear that you can but parrot (they are much better mimickers of speech than Myna Birds) the far left party line. Move On Dot Org and the daily K-whatever are apparently your prime resources. Left wingers frequently feel they are well rounded if they listen to NPR, due to its “conservative” bent. One network I truly enjoyed was Pacifica, you might want to find out if it is still out there. It made the current incarnation of Air America look conservative but it did it with class.

Pseudo intellectual left wing liberals are so boring. You hear the same insults, mis-directions, lies and name calling from all of them, as if they all go to the same source. I have had no racial references in this string, but I am a racist. I don’t think sexual orientation is an issue here, but I am gay bashing. Yes, I am a conservative. As to “make up for their inability -- by utilizing repetition”, I take that as a compliment coming from you. That translates to consistency, illustrating adhering to beliefs, but allowing for change.

Yes Robert, I hope you and your ilk continue to openly hate me. It speaks more loudly of you than it does of me. It reveals true character. It shows who can accept diversity and who is truly intolerant.

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33lucy(123 comments)posted 6 years, 2 months ago

First of all, Austintown and Boardman are not cities of their own, they are townships of Youngstown.

Also, the WRTA issue should NOT be one of city residents vs. suburban residents. I live in the suburbs (Boardman), and I work in the city. My husband and I both voted "yes" for the WRTA levy, we encouraged our friends to do so, and we'll vote "yes" again.

Mayor Williams has said over and over, "As goes the city, so go the suburbs," and while I'm sure some of the more vocal and venomous posters here will jump in with some commentary about Mayor Williams, I believe in his vision for the city. I hope I see this vision come to pass. As a longtime resident of the area, I've watch a renewed enthusiasm for the city grow around the 2010 plan, and I've applauded it.

The WRTA benefits all, and it takes a community--city and suburbs alike-- to be a community.

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34Dennick(160 comments)posted 6 years, 2 months ago

"As goes the city, so go the suburbs,"

Exactly! Youngstown has issues. It's a city that has had many set backs and certainly its share of crime and corruption. No one is denying that. But instead of coming together as a community and solving the problems, many citizens think they can run from them. They move away. The problem grows. They move away again, further this time. The reality is, you can only run so far. Eventually the problem is going to catch up to you and by then it will be a giant problem, with big teeth, and it will devour you.

Several years ago I was robbed, at gun point. I lived in Youngstown and took the bus to work. Every day I would walk from my home on the north side to the bus station downtown. Then I would ride from there to Boardman. I did this for years without a problem. Then one night I was approached by two men, in their twenties, one of which was holding a hand gun. Where did this happen? The parking lot of the Southern Park Mall. The men, who were later caught, were from Struthers and Poland.

I have been working downtown for almost a decade now. The progress I have seen in the Federal Plaza area alone has made me a believer in this city and this cause.

Bull chip...I don't hate you. I just strongly disagree with just about everything you post on this site. I don't know if I live in a bubble or what...but I thought people like you could only be found in Kansas, standing outside of a funeral, with a GOD HATES AMERICA sign.

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35AtownParent(562 comments)posted 6 years, 2 months ago

To cook - no where in my post does it say anything about you living in the city. You really should read what people write instead of inferring your own thoughts into other people's statements. Furthermore, I never ever inferred that you were a bus rider. My statements are generalizations about the bus system, its low ridership numbers and the fact that the city survives on the backs of the burbs. Get it right or don't bother commenting just to start some kind internet feud because you need excitement in your life.

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36Bull_Chip(170 comments)posted 6 years, 2 months ago

Robert posted
"Bull chip--- I thought people like you could only be found in Kansas, standing outside of a funeral, with a GOD HATES AMERICA sign".

Keep up the posting Robert, make your true character obvious to all. I wonder what your response would be if you did HATE me?

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37Dennick(160 comments)posted 6 years, 2 months ago

I've got nothing to hide, pal. I said what I said and I stand by it.

Notice that, unlike yours, my name isn't anonymous. I imagine it is much easier to be a hatemonger when you can hide behind a fake name. Or a white sheet with a pointed hat.

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38George412(161 comments)posted 6 years, 2 months ago

Bullchip, I think you may have outdone yourself in the self-deluded rhetoric category. You've actually completely perverted these exchanges to the point where you perceive yourself as tolerant and accepting of diversity. Talk about obfuscating and misdirecting...aren't those your favorite words?

Also Bullchip, out of curiosity, I skimmed all of your comments, and there are many. Tell me, have you ever offered and praise, encouragement, solutions, or positive feedback of any kind in response to a Vindy story? It's all negativity, assumptions, judgment, and accusations of obfuscation and misdirection with you. Like Debra said, a positive attitude makes for a happier life.

The facts are fairly simple. The cost of keeping WRTA running isn't going to really cost any one person all that much, but the benefits to the community and in attracting new business far outweigh all of the reasons, based entirely on prejudices against the city and its residents, provided here for letting WRTA go under.

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39Bull_Chip(170 comments)posted 6 years, 2 months ago

Robert, sorry to have to correct you, but the KKK (your white sheet and pointed hat) were inventions of the Democrat party, funded and peopled yesterday and today by Democrats. Same group that opposed the voting rights amendments and the civil rights laws.

George, I am a very happy individual. My posts are frequently in response things I challenge. The name calling directed at me is in the nature of homo-phobic when I disagree with their actions which impact on me and my practice of religion or my family. Definitely not homo-phobic, just disagree with their demands and refuse to accept something I see defined as sinful. Just because I disagree with something doesn’t mean I am sacred of it.

The argument of “The cost of keeping WRTA running isn't going to really cost any one person all that much, but the benefits to the community and in attracting new business far outweigh all of the reasons” is an example of incrementalism and ignores certain facts. No, it will not cost anyone that much, but as one of the fastest growing cost in the valley (government services) it adds on to an already large tax burden which makes the valley LESS attractive to business, same as the JEDDs would.

Further, it is curious that funding the WRTA at the level it was prior to the last cuts in funding is going to “attract new business”. Why didn’t it before the cuts?

Philosophically, if you ascribe to the theory that the government is better at spending your money then you are, vote for it. As I have stated elsewhere, Youngstown is an example of what happens when over 50% of the population pay effectively no tax to run a government body. A complete redistribution of wealth where the only major new construction is underwritten or wholly funded by government entities.

From each, by their ability, to each, by their needs.

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40apollo(1227 comments)posted 6 years, 2 months ago

Republican Klansman Edward Jackson was elected governor in 1924.

Klan delegates defeated a Democratic Party platform plank that would have condemned their organization.

Klansman David Duke, a Republican was active in South Boston during the school busing crisis of 1974. Duke was leader of the Knights of the Ku Klux Klan from 1974 until he resigned from the Klan in 1978.

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41buster62(24 comments)posted 6 years, 2 months ago

I ride the WRTA every day to work and back. If the levy fails it is not only the drivers out of a job, so are the mechanics, office personel, and possibly a lot of people who can not get to work. They have a donut shop at the terminal which will close putting workers out of jobs.

The city of Youngstown will not take in anymore money to make Mayor Williams a millionare. No busses, no jobs. The city is always saying the want to help businesses, so why isn't the city helping?

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42George412(161 comments)posted 6 years, 2 months ago

Bullchip, Your posts are ALWAYS negative; no solutions, only "challenges." The Youngstown area is truly fortunate to have you to point out all of the flaws in its systems, government, future plans, citizenry, etc, etc. LOL.

Also, as far as the buses go, public transportation is not a handout or a frivolity. It is an essential part of a community. Those of us who support the levy are not saying that the WRTA is perfect or couldn't be run differently. We are saying that we believe WRTA is necessary...that our area needs some kind of public transportation.

The WRTA ALONE is not going to attract new business. Once again, you deliberately misunderstand, or is it "misdirect?" It CAN be part of a larger package...a more attractive community, city and suburbs together.

I know when I was working my way through college, living in an apartment in the city and working in Boardman, I relied on the WRTA during the long stretches when I couldn't afford to own a car. If it weren't for the WRTA, I wouldn't have been able to get to work, and we all know how you feel about people who don't work (well, people who you perceive aren't working).

A viable city needs public transportation. Period. Public services cost money; building and maintaining a community worth living in takes sacrifice.

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43Bull_Chip(170 comments)posted 6 years, 2 months ago

Senator Robert Byrd

Not unimpeachable, but good enough for here:
the Klan defended the interest of the planter class and Democratic Party by working to curb the education, economic advancement, voting rights, and right to keep and bear arms of blacks
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ku_Klux_...

As Southern political power gradually reverted to traditional white Democratic control during the 1870s, the need for anti-Republican, anti-black organizations to remain secret decreased.
http://history-world.org/ku_klux_klan...

Yes, there were Republican members, the same as Black freedmen members, but it was and is today, primarily a Democrat organization.

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44RickA(4 comments)posted 6 years, 2 months ago

Supporting and using WRTA makes sense, especially in these days of $4 gas. If you work at Northside Hospital, St. Elizabeth's Hospital, YSU, Downtown Youngstown, or anywhere along a WRTA route, and you work Monday through Friday between 8 AM and 5 PM, and you live within a couple block walk of a bus stop, you'll most likely save money riding the bus to work.

I started riding WRTA in January. I work Downtown, now. I live on the North Side (about a 4.5 mile round-trip). Using the new IRS mileage rates (50.5 cents per mile?) and 75 cents per day parking (the cheapest Downtown lot), it costs $3.02 per day for me to drive to work. At normal WRTA rates, it costs $2.50 to ride the bus. Buy a monthly bus pass or use the coupons in the phone book and it's cheaper still. In addition to the cost savings, I don't have to scrape windows or wait for the car to warm up in the Winter and the AC is already on when I board the bus in the Summer. I don't have to wash the bus, change its oil, buy it new tires, brakes, shocks, etc., like I do with a car. I actually went as far as to get rid of the car that used to be my work car. It feels liberating.

Plenty of people living in the suburbs and rural areas drive to jobs in Youngstown. If the WRTA levy passes, park-and-ride becomes a possibility. Other metro areas around the nation do it. So can we.

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45apollo(1227 comments)posted 6 years, 2 months ago

Hey Bull_Chip what does the Dem party of nearly 150 years ago have to do with the Dem party of today? The KKK had members of both parties back then. It was the Dems (LBJ) that passed civil rights legislation in the 60's. Blacks vote 90% Dem and for good reasons.

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46tylersclark(182 comments)posted 6 years, 2 months ago

And what does the Democratic party or the KKK have to do with the WRTA? Why can't we just discuss the issue at hand instead of running off on tangents?

It would be nice for once if we could challenge ourselves to stick to relevant facts and statistics in making our points about the topics that we're discussing. We might get somewhere instead of this-versus-that-political-party rantings.

I'm not trying to single any individual out, and perhaps I've been guilty from time to time, but can we all agree to raise the bar a bit from now on?

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