Sunday, April 26, 2009

Hey, Ward 6

Councilwoman Nancy Hart, running for re-election, spoke at a candidate's forum sponsored by The Group on 4/4/09. Readers who were at that forum asked me to post this audio, so you could see what the Councilwoman thinks about the Greyhound situation.

Either use the player above, or download the file here. (40k VBR MP3, ~1:45)

Some choice excerpts:

Moderator: Greyhound is scheduled to leave Downtown Riverside June 30th, with no alternative locations... Will you take action to ensure that Greyhound remains in Riverside with no break in service?

Councilwoman Hart: Probably not with no break in service. We have made a deal with Greyhound... They accepted the money, so evidently they are willing to move somewhere else.

In other cities, Greyhound does not have a depot. All they have is... is like an ATM machine... They don't have places where you can have vagrancy happen. Greyhound does not need to be in the middle of Downtown Riverside behind the Fox Theatre. (emphasis mine)

I don't think I need to tell you that this isn't exactly the kind of progressive representation we're looking for from our City Council.

1 comment: said...

Nancy Hart is ignoring the needs of tens of thousands of individuals who use Greyhound, and seems to be catering to special interest who don't want "those people" e.g. people who ride Greyhound near the Fox Theatre that the City is transforming into a Performing Arts Center where they hope the rich/affluent will attend prestigious events, and also I think to the Greater Riverside Chamber of Commerce whose office is directly next to the Greyhound and which people have told me does not want Greyhound next to their offices, so has been working to force Greyhound out of downtown Riverside.

Nancy's language on the audio tape, mirrors the propaganda being spread by a number of City Council members and by City Manager Brad Hudson, all in an attempt to force Riverside Greyhound out of town, which is unconscionable as Greyhound passengers are comprised of Riverside residents from across the City of Riverside and includes one or more millionaires, an Olympic athlete, some citizens who volunteer on Riverside's Commissions, our senior citizens, our University Students and more.

In one of my discussions with Nancy Hart she said she was OK with Greyhound leaving Riverside and that it would be fine for "those people" e.g. her constitutend in Riverside, if they used the Greyhound Station in San Benardino which could take more hours each day to get where they need to go.

I asked Nancy Hart to give up use of her car for one month (she gets a $500 per month car allowance as part of being a City Council member) to find out first hand the hardships she was inflicting on tens of thousands of Riverside residents by her votes to force Greyhound out of Riverside and her refusal to work to keep Greyhound at its downtown location, now that she has been informed that it served 83,000 passenger trips a year. She said she would not give up her car to learn what others face riding public transit and was not interested in the hardships she, by her actions, is adding to citizens in tens of thousands of household across Riverside -- should Greyhound be force to leave AFTTER THE JUNE 2 elections, which is when the decisions about Greyhound will be made.

As it stand now, GREYHOUND IS SCHEDULED TO LEAVE RIVERSIDE on JUNE 30, 2009, if Riverside City Council does not take action to change this. If Nancy stays in office, she has clearly indicated she will be voting to force Greyhound out of downtown Riverside, and if that means out of Riverside altogether, than she is fine with that.

But Nancy has a car, and a monthly $500 car allowance which is paid by Riverside citizens, including those for whom Nancy acting to deny a basic affordable form of transportation, which is Riverside Greyhound.

The City Council seems to be STALLING the final fate of Greyhound (which the COUNCIL WANTS out of Downtown Riverside, perhaps on the fringes of Riverside where it will NOT be convenient for Greyhound passengers who need to transfer to the RTA to reach their destination, or perhaps out of Riverside altogether.

What is BEST for the Citizens of Riverside is for Greyhound to STAY WHERE IT IS NOW LOCATED next to the Chamber of Commerce building, across the street from the Fox Theater, BECAUSE THAT IS WHERE RTA plans to stay for the time being and perhaps for the next few years.

The City Council IMPLIED that a Riverside Regional Multimodal Transit Center may be coming to the Vine street Metrolink, which is a good idea, but that will take MILLIONS of DOLLARS and YEARS OF TIME, and will require modifications to the EGRESS for vehicles to that area before that will ever come to fruition. They should work toward a MultiModal Transit Center now, but as it will not materialize for perhaps a decade or more into the future, Greyhound needs a permanent home now.

RIVERSIDE CITY COUNCIL WANTS TO DIVERT ATTENTION that Riverside Council (except Melendrez) all voted to force Greyhound from downtown . . . and did so in my opinion . . . solely TO BENEFIT SPECIAL INTERESTS and not for the good of the community and NOT because of vagrants/drug dealers/homeless/criminals which are an issue across downtown from Fairmount park and all over including at the RTA colocated with Greyhound in downtown Riverside.

Issues of homelessness/drug dealers/criminals go with Riverside growing into a more urban city and are CITY OF RIVERSIDE issues, not a Greyhound issue, as those are Riverside residents NOT Greyhound passengers, as an expert at the League of Women forum on Transportation said.

Riverside in Ward 6 should vote for one of the two challengers running for the seat of Riverside Council Ward 6.

VOTE Bill Scherer City Council Ward 6


VOTE Ann Alfaro City Council Ward 6 (no website see this post for information about Ann