has set up a hearing with key MN Senators and Representatives at the Capitol. This is our final opportunity to DEFUND the Central Corridor Light Rail Transit project during the MN State budgeting process.
Tue, April 5, 2011, 11:00 a.m.
Conference Room 229, Capitol Building
75 Rev Dr Martin Luther King Jr Blvd
Saint Paul, MN
This meeting was arranged by Eva Ng. Greg Copeland, SD66 candidate, attended to lend support to the small businesses along University Avenue, whose businesses are being destroyed by this project and the mismanagement displayed by the organizations that signed contracts without funding agreements in place.
I arrived late to the hearing, and missed much of the impassioned pleas from the small business owners whose businesses are being destroyed along University Ave. They commented that the environmental impact statement had stated that there would only be a 2% impact on local businesses during the reconstruction. That is so far from the truth that one has to wonder how the "study" was done. Several businesses in a two block area have already closed, with many more sure to follow. No help of any real significance was prepared to mitigate this disaster for these people who have placed their life saving into their business. Icons like Porky's have already closed and are being dismantled for memorabilia.
I understand that Democrat Rep. Alice Hausman may have been in attendance for the first few minutes. I may have missed her appearance this time, but her townhall response still rings loudly as she responded to their pleas that
"the regrettable thing about transportation systems... we know systems of transportation are essential... there are always some who bear the greater burden... one small group is in a sense being asked to bear the greater burden".
The local media was supposed to be in attendance, but none arrived. You can listen to the discussion and comments made by some legislators, some of the businesses, and Greg Copeland.
Light Rail Meeting 04052011 Part1, Part2, Part3
This has played out with arrogant sounding statements by Democrat policy makers saying "this train has left the station". These are the same officials who took these actions and signed contracts, without the Federal matching funding in place. It is unclear who will ultimately pay for this folly. It also leaves one wondering if this wasn't pushed ahead to create a position of "fait accompli", so recent elections at both the state and federal level could not de-rail this train. It is unlikely we will ever know the motivations behind these actions, because they seem so incongruent. But the end results will create much distress for the people who live and work along University Avenue.