“Can anybody here count to six?” That is a question asked by Virginia Beach Mayor Will Sessoms according to the Virginian-Pilot as the mayor climbed aboard the Norfolk light rail Tide a few weeks ago. Apparently, our mayor is ready to ignore the resounding NO vote that Virginia Beach citizens spoke in the referendum several years ago.
As long as Mayor Sessoms gets six votes on our city council, that’s all he needs. How will he get his six votes for light rail?
Unfortunately, the mayor is well on his way to reaching that count of six. In the last city council election, the mayor funded television ads for his favorites. Three of his favorites were reelected and brought the total to four of the six. (The mayor plus his three cronies.)
In the special election coming up this November for one city Council seat the mayor will fund advertisements for his favorite – Prescott Sherrod. His election would add one more, pushing the count to five of the six.
One more after that and the mayor will have six and can say to heck with all the citizens of Virginia Beach who voted no light rail.
Keep in mind that taxpayers will fund the new tracks and the new stations. We pay and the Power Centers lay in the new tracks, build the stations and make lots of money. We pay, they chuckle all the way to the bank. Then the Power Centers will build new condos and apartments near the stations and make even more money. (Transit Oriented Development – TOD. You remember that don’t you?) You will hear more chuckling as the Power Centers haul all the profits to their bank.
And don’t dismiss the possibility of Public Private Partnerships to build the condos and apartments. That would mean even greater profits.
A vote for light rail means heavy taxes.
A vote for Prescott Sherrod is a vote for light rail, for heavy taxes and for those monstrous subsidies for all the operation and maintenance costs that light rail will require.