Posted on 10 January 2010 by admin
Posted on 03 July 2009 by admin
Since elected officials don’t really get it, let’s review SunRail. The project has been voted down by voter referendums 3 times. It has been voted down in the State Legislature twice. So why don’t these elected officials give up? Easy! SPECIAL INTERESTS!!!!
Orange County already has several problems with elected officials including Rich Crotty who sits on the Expressway Authority board and has been deemed part of a Culture of Corruption. This is another story in itself. Right now I will stay on track.
The Orlando Sentinel had an online poll yesterday dealing with SunRail. ——–
SunRail: What do you think?
Backers say SunRail will create thousands of jobs in Central Florida, but critics decry its cost, say it will jam Lakeland traffic and is a taxpayer gift to CSX. What’s your take?
Approve SunRail already. We need an alternative to I-4, and gas prices are only going to go back up eventually. (92 responses) 6.2%
Reject SunRail again. With Florida in a recession, we don’t need to spend $1.2 billion on a choo-choo few will use. (1388 responses) 93.8%
1480 total responses
Yesterday Ex-Banker Exec turn State CFO Alex Sink, stated that she is in support of SunRail. I wonder if the special interests have gotten her on board because of her Gubernatorial Campaign. This will sure cost her votes though.
Posted on 02 July 2009 by admin
Here’s a Press Release sent out from her office:
Tallahassee – Florida CFO Alex Sink today commended Orlando Mayor Buddy Dyer for his announcement that SunRail is extending their negotiating period, keeping alive Central Florida’s aspirations for commuter rail. Below is a statement from CFO Sink:
“Commuter rail is so important for Central Florida, and it is my hope that with this extended negotiating period worked out by Mayor Dyer, a reasonable deal can be structured for the taxpayers of our state.
“I am encouraged that this amended plan comes at a time when the federal government’s commitment to high speed and commuter rail will mean a better financial deal and additional money, reducing the burden for Floridians.
“I am also pleased that Mayor Dyer has expressed his desire to involve risk management experts and attorneys from the Department of Financial Services in the liability provision discussions.”
Ordinarily this wouldn’t be important, However Orange County voters have voted SunRail down 3 times. The Florida Legislature has voted it down twice. And now we have Alex Sink saying that the commending Buddy Dyer over forcing SunRail on the citizens of Orlando and Orange County.
Personally, I’m not sure that Sink understand that’s she needs to carry the entire I-4 Corridor to WIN the Governorship. My thought on this, She just put another nail in the coffin with Central Florida voters.
Posted on 01 July 2009 by admin
THE CAPITAL, TALLAHASSEE, July 1, 2009 – Without major changes to the deal that would allow the Department of Transportation to purchase tracks from CSX Corp. to build the proposed SunRail Orlando commuter train, an extra six months granted by the company to hammer out details is “manufactured news,” the woman credited with derailing the train said Wednesday.
Sen. Paula Dockery told the News Service of Florida that she was unsurprised that the company extended the period to negotiate the SunRail liability agreement, which the freight rail company has tied to the sale of the track. The current agreement – a “no fault” indemnification agreement that would have the state and CSX each responsible for its own equipment, workers and passengers no matter who causes an accident and third party damage being split – was voted down by the Senate this spring despite being changed from a broader immunity plan the chamber balked at in 2008.
Dockery said that with the company slated to receive more than $600 million for the sale of the tracks that would be used for the proposed train and improvements to existing rails that would be used by rerouted freight trains, CSX has much to gain by giving the state more time.
“This deal was cut between the Florida DOT and CSX over two years ago and this arbitrary date of June 30 was set,” Dockery said. “The extension of the contract seems like a no-brainer (for CSX).”
Dockery said that she would have liked to see the DOT be more aggressive in trying to reconfigure the deal, as opposed to focusing solely on extending the deadline for the existing one. Dockery said she would like to see more flexibility from CSX on the liability, which backers said Monday the company was willing to revise. She also said she’d like to see more flexibility on the cost of the tracks, which was not mentioned as a change.
“The DOT should have said ‘let’s negotiate a better deal,’ but instead they were the ones putting pressure on CSX to extend,” she said. “They should have said that we need legislative approval about the spending of taxpayer money and where it’s going to go. They ought to put the price tag to the taxpayers on the table.”
But DOT spokesman Dick Kane said the deal was negotiated because Orlando area lawmakers wanted more time, not because the state transportation agency was eager for it.
“We understand the locals have been meeting with CSX,” Kane said. “Commuter rail is probably their biggest priority, so we are working with them to provide it.”
CSX spokesman Gary Sease agreed, telling the News Service that the freight company’s objective in the extension was “to determine if there was a way to complete the transaction.”
Hailing the extension earlier this week, SunRail backers said the new deadline would allow supporters to continue addressing concerns that were raised in the lengthy Senate debate and said opposition to the measure was not based on the concept itself, but the details of the plan.
Dockery, says she supports the development of commuter rail in Orlando despite being the bill’s primary opponent in the Legislature, said she hoped that was not just lip service.
“I hope that this is truly a good faith effort to renegotiate and not an effort to repackage the same deal and go back for round three,” she said.
But Sease said the deal was unlikely to be completely restructured during the extended negotiation period.
“We have an agreement with FDOT that was discussed pretty thoroughly during the most recent session,” he said
Detailed context on Florida transportation issues is available on the NSF Transportation Backgrounder at http://www.newsserviceflorida.com/transportation/transportation.htm.
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