To the editor:
As you all have heard by now, Gov. Rick Scott approved the SunRail project.
As a taxpayer, I have many questions on how Osceola County is going to pay for this train that will never pay for itself. I would have preferred a rail system that would take me as far north as Tallahassee and as far south as Miami. I would think that type of rail system would have been used a lot more than the proposed SunRail.
Sun Rail is going to cost hundreds of millions of dollars, actually, the latest count is in the billions. The state of Florida has made perfectly clear that it will have a seven-year obligation. After the seven years, the counties involved will have to support this rail system.
My question is, why, as the chairman of the County Commission, hasn’t Brandon Arrington addressed the sole-source funding item? Mr. Arrington’s lack of leadership shows us all his lack of ability to manage our tax funds.
Mr. Arrington said to local news media that “the long term operational costs for SunRail will most likely be from an increase of taxes, such as a gas tax, a county charter surcharge and maybe even a rental car surcharge. Right now, with gasoline costing us in excess of $3.50 per gallon and climbing, we don’t need more taxes added to the price per gallon. And let’s make sure that we tax our tourists even more so that they can think twice before coming here on vacation.
With food costs skyrocketing, unemployment still at double digits, food stamp use soaring, utility bills on a constant increase, 80 percent of our students on free lunches and foreclosures at a record high, Mr. Arrington is willing to burden Osceola County with more taxes. What kind of world is he living in? It certainly isn’t ours. All he knows is to tax and spend. It seems that his only knowledge of economics is coming straight out of the Whitehouse.
As a sitting commissioner and a chairman, where is the leadership he should be bringing to this county? Where are the job creations which he should be focusing on? Where is there any kind of relief for our citizens who struggle just to keep food on their table? Instead of assisting and actually helping those of us who need relief, he would raise our taxes for more wasteful spending. What’s next, more green projects to bring more cost to us?
Mr. Arrington has had more than two years on the County Commission and has proven to our residents that he’s simply a tax-and-spend commissioner.
Land deal after land deal, which should have never even been considered, passed under his alleged leadership as chairman. Yet, with economic times like these, he actually complains that the county needs money.
Why are we even buying useless land projects that are costing the taxpayer millions of dollars? Why does Mr. Arrington continue to allow, and even support, spending our tax dollars so foolishly?
He might be able to pull the wool over some of the residents’ eyes with his town hall meetings, but rest assured, the truth will prevail.
Osceola County Commission
Candidate District 3, Kissimmee