The SSI transit system went up in front of the county commissioners again to try and get county support. For some odd reason, City (representatives) were there and made their bid as well. I believe this to be a very unethical move by our city government. Government entities are not there to take over or destroy people’s business and they’re not there to play the game of seeing how many properties they can acquire.
They (city) denied funding last year, and when Kusek went to the city council to get funding, the city council was short and rude, asked questions that were unethical to ask, and Mayor Feldges refused to listen to everyone that wanted to speak. The transit system is something we need and Kusek has been doing a fine job running it. I was at the city council meeting eight months ago and one issue that still bugs me on that is the city council refused to review the transit program because they were on the third reading of the budget.
This is a program we need to show support as a city and as a county. Everyone that spoke that has used the transit was pleased with the service. And it’s not something that needs to be government owned. If there was a question creating a government owned transit system, that’s something that should be on a ballet. Or have on a ballot to have a small percentage of tax going to the current transit system so as to show and keep that support going to continue having support from the state. I believe it would be best to do a 5- or 10-year contract with the SSI so they can continue with all the programs they provide.
At the city’s public meeting, the only legitimate complaint was that the people would like to see Fridays and Sundays back on the schedule. And people were giving support to the City because Cox said he would bring that back. To me, it looks like the City refused support to see if SSI would fail without the extra funding. But they stepped up to the plate and like any business, you budget … but if we want more flexibility, then we show the support like we’ve done in the past.
One of the issues that Rachel Gonzalez (Rachel Lewis) has been bringing up for over 8 months is that she's been making (commenting) that the (manager) of the transit system had questionable issues on how she was doing her paper work … But the state did a review of her financial and the paperwork and they said she was doing a great job. Another issue that Rachel said she was mad about, is when the transit business had their regular meeting, did their open meeting, and then she went into a closed meeting and had to kick out a county commissioner so she can do a closed meeting. What they are mad about is a standard practice and the city council and county commissioners do this as well and they know the drill.
J.D. Cox did refuse to give names and companies that are supposedly going to donate to the city … but being a government ran program, you cannot keep these things secret. And do people really think $30k that he's proposed to obtain is actually going to do this business start up. That’s not enough to even pay for one van, and you need to get a fleet of vans. We would better off doing a 5 year contract at $30k a year that goes to the current SSI transit system, with a agreement to run on Fridays and Sunday, and save the city 700k (potential vehicle purchases and driver wages). The contingency fund that Cox wants to dip into is supposed to be for emergencies, not cooperate takeovers. This should be used to bring parks up to ADA code, repair the retaining wall at the park on Sweetwater, repair the basketball cement pads at the park on Sweetwater parks where many kids and adults have been injured, upgrade and revamp the dump system, which if you spend some time and check out all the dumps in the region, ours is by far, the worst, making sure we have adequate water supply at the airport for the planes to put out range or forest fires. That is part of our disaster readiness, that should be top priority.