Quantcast
 
Loading
WatchSonoma
WatchSonoma Watch

SMART opponents to pay for signatures

By BOB NORBERG
THE PRESS DEMOCRAT

Opponents of Sonoma-Marin Area Rail Transit’s plans are recruiting paid signature-gatherers in a last-ditch effort to get a measure on the November ballot to overturn the commute line’s sales tax.

RepealSMART organizers also said Thursday they are intent on gathering 40,000 signatures by Jan. 27 to force SMART directors to set the election.

“We would rather the money go to people locally than spend the money to fight this in court,” said Clay Mitchell of Windsor, co-chairman of the repeal effort.

SMART’s opponents believe that only 15,000 signatures are necessary to qualify the measure, using a threshold set by Proposition 218, a measure passed by voters in 1996 that set up an initiative process to overturn existing taxes.

SMART officials, however, are relying on the Secretary of State’s advice to follow a state election law that uses a different formula, which would require 39,000 signatures.

Organizers of the repeal campaign believe they will reach the 15,000 mark, Mitchell said, but by paying $1 per signature may possibly collect 40,000 signatures, giving SMART no choice but to set the election.

RepealSMART has relied on 250 volunteers to circulate petitions since late September. Mitchell said they are still trying to determine how many signatures they have gathered so far.

Supporters of SMART on Thursday called it a sign of desperation and a lack of community support for the repeal campaign.

“It is a sign of urgency and unease that they will not make their goal,” said Jack Swearengen, chairman of Friends of SMART and of a broader group, the SMART Riders Coalition, made up of business, labor and transportation advocates.

RepealSMART is circulating petitions in an effort to place a measure on the November ballot to repeal the quarter-cent sales tax, which voters approved in Sonoma and Marin counties by 70 percent in November 2008.

The opponents argue SMART has downsized the plan to a point that it is no longer what was promised voters and would not draw enough ridership to relieve traffic and reduce emissions.

SMART has sold construction bonds and awarded a contract for the first rail segment, from Guerneville Road in Santa Rosa to downtown San Rafael, but it is 38.5 miles instead of the 70 miles originally planned and service will start one to two years behind schedule.

Extending the line to Cloverdale and to Larkspur is still planned as additional funds become available.

The quarter-cent sales tax is the main source of funding for the project, along with other local, regional, state and federal funds.

To recruit people to gather signatures, RepealSMART sent e-mails to the thousands of registered voters in Sonoma and Marin counties who included their e-mail addresses in their registration, Mitchell said.

So far, the group has raised about $20,000, all in small donations averaging about $100, Mitchell said. He and co-chair John Parnell of Novato will dip into their own pockets to make up the difference, if necessary, he said.





42 Responses to “SMART opponents to pay for signatures”

  1. Steveguy says:

    Is there a copy of the Pro-SMART leaflet that has been mentioned ? I would like to fact check it.

    Perhaps one of them can post it.

    Thumb up 7 Thumb down 3

  2. Kirstin says:

    @ Chris Snyder,
    Yes, any group has the right to give out leaflets in an orderly manner and within reasonable, constitutionally-appropriate guidelines set by local government. You shouldn’t even be asking that question.

    The problem was (is?) that some pro-SMART people were not just handing out leaflets at an appropriate distance away from RepealSMART signature gatherers. They were being, according to first-hand reports, abusive and were, in some cases, only about two feet from potential signers of the initiative.

    I too hope that in all future cases, there will be respect and appropriate distance between RepealSMART and pro-SMART folks. That is the way to conduct democratic processes.

    The message that needs to get out there is that the money spent for an election now is nothing compared to the total costs of the SMART train. And since the train is expected (by SMART’s own projections) to serve only a tiny percentage of our population, and the revised plan will only build approximately 1/2 the train and 1/3 the bike paths for the amount that was — we were told in 2008 — supposed to build the entire 70 miles, Sonoma/Marin voters are entitled to be the ones to decide whether they want to go ahead with this or not.

    I note that your SMART Riders Coalition facebook page is intolerant of comments that ask pertinent questions. Why did the SRC delete a reasonable question asking how SMART is going to fund the 2nd phase of the project (Cloverdale to Santa Rosa, and San Rafael to Larkspur)? If you don’t know that answer to this vital question, all right, but then I suggest that it should be of interest to us all to get the answer. Don’t you want an answer to that question? Here is another important question: why should Sonoma/Marin taxpayers pay for something that will NOT decrease traffic or emissions to any significant degree? SMART claims it will, but various analyses using SMART’s own numbers indicate the opposite.

    Some people are SMART enthusiasts to the point that they don’t care what the facts are. But the falling support (see the last, widely publicized poll vs. the election margin in 2008) among the public indicates that many residents here are not willing to build something so expensive if the numbers don’t support it. SMART and SRC should take this important viewpoint into greater consideration.

    Thumb up 9 Thumb down 3

  3. Chris Snyder says:

    @ GAJ and Kirsten-

    I hope you agree that pro-SMART people have a right to leaflet wherever there are petition gathers without interfereing in any signature gathering.

    It is absolutely the right of repeal-SMART to gather signatures without any interference. It is also the right of citizens to peacefully express disagreement via handbilling. No one from our SMART Riders Coalition has ever been instructed to harass anyone. In fact we have been pro-active in training people in any sort of conflict avoidance. I have been told that there have been some very friendly and respectful conversations between the two camps in the field. I hope that both sides can continue to stand side by side peacefully expressing their views.

    The message needs to go out that putting this on the ballot will cost taxpayers millions of dollars. Also, if it is re-pealed taxpayers would be on the hook for tens of millions of dollars more…if not a hundred million or more. Also, there are thousands of jobs at stake for working men and women in Sonoma and Marin counties. We need jobs now and SMART is already putting people to work.

    So save money and decline to sign any repeal SMART paper.

    Thumb up 3 Thumb down 12

  4. John Parnell says:

    I also read that on the Patch police report & was blown away. I think the policeman miswrote the report, or Patch transcribed it wrong. We are looking into it. It mixes up the parties, and is not correct.

    I was on one end of that verbal argument when the policeman arrived. My volunteers called me when he arrived. I know that the “blocker” is the one who complained & acted like our volunteers bothered him. My great-grandmother volunteer called the police, while I told him that he couldn’t lean on the pillar, looming over my volunteers from literally 2 feet away. We were disagreeing over that, and when he called us liars and that we are killing “thousands of jobs”, I told him that perhaps he should get his facts straight. I missed all of his F-bombs, but I do have a picture of the guy.

    I just put it on our Facebook page. Do you know this man?

    http://facebook.com/stopsmart

    Thumb up 5 Thumb down 3

  5. GAJ says:

    @Chris, correct me if I’m wrong, your post says the proponent of SMART was the one talked to by the Police about their behavior.

    “Officer(s) determined that a person opposing SMART train system and a proponent were in a verbal argument. Advice was given to the proponent regarding his actions and how to go about properly conveying his message.”

    Thumb up 5 Thumb down 3

  6. Kirstin says:

    @Chris Snyder, it is you who are misinterpreting the blotter report. The police did not ask RepealSMART to leave as you imply. The police did speak with a pro-SMART person, who I believe, was swearing/shouting at RepealSMART signature gatherers and signers, including some elderly women. This man, after being spoken to by a police officer (as the report indicates), then left the area according to witnesses.

    My understanding is that this was not the only incident of pro-SMART people doing more than just handing out leaflets. They heckled and harassed at several locations, although apparently that is not happening currently. I’m sure John Parnell and/or others will elaborate on the facts.

    Thumb up 8 Thumb down 3

  7. Chris Snyder says:

    @ Parnell I know that your group is trying to spin everything in your favor and thus the made up stories about harassment. The facts are that people have a right to pass out leaflets telling the truth about SMART. Perhaps you should be doing trainings on First Amedment rights. Not one person from the SMART Riders Coalition has been cited for anything and they have actually been complimented for their proffesionalism by police and property owners (after repeal-SMART calls the police to try and stop leafleting). It is ironic that repeal-SMART tries to silence the voices of others with false claims and hysterics. On several occasions repeal-SMART has been asked to leave property once becoming belligerant.

    This police blotter from Novato shows that it was anti-SMART petioners who were aggresive and were asked to leave the premisies.

    Jan. 14, 12:02 p.m. – A verbal disturbance was reported in front of the Safeway store on Nave Drive. A group of petitioners were in an argument with another person. The reporting party said the people were using abusive language and that customers were upset. The reporting party had also asked the group of petitioners to leave the premises and they have refused to do so. Officer(s) determined that a person opposing SMART train system and a proponent were in a verbal argument. Advice was given to the proponent regarding his actions and how to go about properly conveying his message.

    Thumb up 3 Thumb down 7

  8. Steveguy says:

    Did anybody else notice the pathetic photo-op ” Start of Construction ” pic ?

    They were blocking a lane of road, when any off road benchmark would work. It was a show. I know surveyors, this was an act.

    sigh

    Thumb up 17 Thumb down 11

  9. Steve Klausner says:

    @Engineer
    The serious flaw in your business plan is dependence on transporting with the North Coast Railroad Authority.
    Taxpayers, state, federal, and local, have been generous in their support for renewing freight service. We’ve purchased the line and rebuilt the tracks and crossings. They’ve got the trains and engineers It’s ready to roll. Why are weeds still growing in the tracks?
    And please be advised, freight service has nothing to do with SMART. They separate, although equally inept entities.
    You may also what to update your business plan regarding any dependence on Redevelopment Districts. They’re not happening either.

    Thumb up 15 Thumb down 9

  10. Ring Ring Ring says:

    INSANITY !! !

    :)

    Try and try again.

    Thumb up 3 Thumb down 8

  11. John Parnell says:

    John Reed – 20 feet? I counted about 2 feet (maybe 3) at Safeway today in Novato. Is using the “F”~word repeatedly a part of your code of conduct. If you doubt that fact, look at the police report. Classy!

    Engineer – using the freight has nothing to do with SMART. Actually, SMART will be more of an impediment for your business, and will interfere with you business. SMART is going to shut the freight down during their construction, and then want the freight to run solely at night. So unless you work at night, SMART will have a negative affect.

    Chris Snyder – all of that stuff…housing implications, no weekend service, not going to Larkspur, cutting/”deferring” the bike path – those are all things that SMART has said. Perhaps you should pay more attention to what is said at SMART board meetings (and not what they tell the press happened) and not listen to the propaganda being told to you by Lisa Maldonado.

    Do you believe this “phases” lie too? If so, could you explain how “phase 2″ is going to be built, when all the money is spent on “

    Thumb up 13 Thumb down 9

  12. John Parnell says:

    John Reed – 20 feet? I counted about 2 feet (maybe 3) at Safeway today in Novato. Is using the “F”~word repeatedly a part of your code of conduct.

    Engineer – using the freight has nothing to do with SMART. Actually, SMART will be more of an impediment for your business, and will interfere with you business. SMART is going to shut the freight down during their construction, and then want the freight to run solely at night. So unless you work at night, SMART will have a negative affect.

    Chris Snyder – all of that stuff…housing implications, no weekend service, not going to Larkspur, cutting/”deferring” the bike path – those are all things that SMART has said. Perhaps you should pay more attention to what is said at SMART board meetings (and not what they tell the press happened) and not listen to the propaganda being told to you by Lisa Maldonado.

    Do you believe this “phases” lie too? If so, could you explain how “phase 2″ is going to be built, when all the money is spent on “

    Thumb up 9 Thumb down 10

  13. Billy C says:

    Remember this is just for a re-vote
    On a project that is materially different from the original proposition.
    I will also cost twice as much.
    Aside from that times have changed things.
    We no longer can afford the most minimal
    maintenance on our road system. The Billion dollars that SMART will cost
    may only serve a few hundred people.
    The loss of usable roads will cripple our
    economy. What would you rather have? the ability to drive you car around the county or be able to ride a train to San Rafael? I have only been to San Rafael once so I would vote NO on “SMART” but that’s just me.
    If you would like to vote on this then by all means find a petition and sign it!
    It is a rare chance to stop what could be a very expensive blunder.

    Thumb up 11 Thumb down 9

  14. Whatever says:

    @Missy

    That’s right! “We are taking back the North Bay NOW!”

    And we’re starting with that cray liberal loon Lynn Woolsey! She’s going down in flames. FLAMES! We are the people and we will make ourselves heard! Enough is enough! “The PD, the leftwing socialists & their apparatchiks on this page, you are ALL on NOTICE. You don’t HAVE US anymore. We won’t be going along with your BS.”

    That’s right! Oh, wait. This is the anti-SMART page. Oh.

    Let’s try this again.

    That’s right! “We are taking back the North Bay NOW!”

    And we’re starting with that cray liberal SMART! It’s going down in flames. FLAMES! We are the people and we will make ourselves heard! Enough is enough! “The PD, the leftwing socialists & their apparatchiks on this page, you are ALL on NOTICE. You don’t HAVE US anymore. We won’t be going along with your BS.”

    Be prepared for the rise of JIM JUDD. Ah, I mean anti-SMART! Yeah, that’s it!

    Thumb up 7 Thumb down 11

  15. John T says:

    The sad fact is that SMART will not be able to run without taxpayer subsidies.

    Even sadder is the fact that Detroit is SMARTer when they realized they couldn’t afford light rail and pulled the plug on their project.

    http://www.thetransportpolitic.com/2012/01/08/back-to-basics-for-detroit-light-rail/

    Unfortunately, not so SMART rail advocates continue to blindly move forward, taxpayers be damned.

    Thumb up 10 Thumb down 9

  16. Social Dis-Ease says:

    Missy, you rock.
    Why don’t you contact me, lets get a protest going at Smart work sites-like 3rd st..

    Thumb up 8 Thumb down 10

  17. Kirstin says:

    RepealSMART is out in force today gathering signatures. If you want the chance to vote again on the SMART train/bike path plan that has changed so drastically since Measure Q was originally passed in 2008, please check here for some of the locations: http://www.facebook.com/StopSmart#!/StopSmart.

    Engineer: the freight train situation is one apart from SMART. RepealSMART is only concerned with facilitating another vote on the proposed passenger service plan that was presented when Measure Q was put on the ballot in 2008.

    Chris Snyder: It’s getting pretty thick in here too. You totally ignore the fact that SMART sold the voters on a specific plan to get Measure Q passed in 2008 and then slashed the percentage of the line that would be built for the tax money. Instead of a full 70 miles from Cloverdale to Larkspur, we are only getting Santa Rosa to San Rafael (and I believe that doesn’t even reach into the middle of San Rafael but stops at the Civic Center — I heard that last week but if it is incorrect, someone will undoubtedly advise us all). In order for the remainder of the line to be built, additional funds will have to be found. Wherever those funds come from, they will be taxpayer funds in some form or another. So, we are talking about a train that will cost roughly 2x what we were told in 2008. Yet, SMART doesn’t think that kind of change ought to get renewed voter approval? You apparently don’t think so either. RepealSMART does think so.

    Furthermore, Mr. Snyder, if you want to get into misinformation, let’s talk about SMART’s contentions that the train will reduce 101 traffic and emissions. Even today about 70000 cars travel across the Sonoma/Marin county line every day each way. That’s today, not twenty years from now. SMART’s owe projections claim a top figure of about 3600 one way trips each day if the entire line is built. Anyone with rudimentary math skills can see there will not be much impact. And emissions will not be reduced either, obviously. The train itself will run on oil-based fuel too, let’s not forget.

    Additionally, if there should be significant increase in population here in Sonoma/Marin over the next 25 years (as we’ve been hearing from “planners”), there might be a few more people riding SMART, but there will still be increased traffic and emissions accompanying the higher population. Yet, SMART touts the idea of denser population, especially around the train line, doesn’t it? Which, by the way, would significantly alter the character of our counties, now wouldn’t it? Yet, I think many people deliberately moved to Marin and Sonoma because they sought a less densely populated area!

    John Reed: we’ll see how your “code of conduct” is implemented, won’t we? So far, though, there have been incidents with both people who were and were not part of your group. RepealSMART welcomes appropriate information dissemination by anyone who has facts to share. However, RepealSMART signature collectors have been experiencing harassment which goes beyond such dissemination.

    Thumb up 10 Thumb down 10

  18. Missy says:

    Dear lefties on WSC, your bullying tactics aren’t going to work against The People. The People will still sign. Bring it on, you’re really scared RepealSMART will get the signatures so you are doing threats and bullying tactics to STOP PEOPLE from signing. Nice work. It will only work to serve AGAINST YOU in the long run. You will turn more people OFF to your cause.

    However, keep doing these threats and bully tactics, this will only serve to swell our numbers. BRING IT ON! You’re bringing in your big Union Thugs, bring it on, the people will not tolerate this and your demise will be quicker.

    Thumb up 8 Thumb down 11

  19. RAW says:

    Paying signature gatherers is very common. When big money wants something on the ballot, they pay big bucks. Sound familiar? Medical marijuana paid $2 to $3 per signature. Tens of millions spent to legalize it. The anti-pension bill that will be on the ballot in November paid $5 to $6 per signature and got the jo done quickly, all in the LA area. A buck a piece is pretty cheap, obviously there is no big money interest in stopping SMART. People stopped the Bridge to Nowhere because it was outrageously expensive. SMART, by it’s own admission, is outrageously expensive and very heavy in upper management salaries and chronie paybacks. They don’t care if the public knows now, they have people who will get out and spread the word, a train at any cost. A train is the only thing that matters.

    Thumb up 10 Thumb down 7

  20. Missy says:

    Volunteers? You mean UNION THUGS don’t you “John Reed” aka Lisa Maldonado.

    For fun google Lisa Maldonado’s picture. ROTFL!!

    Thumb up 7 Thumb down 10

  21. John Reed says:

    “Decline to Sign
    Keep the train on time”

    That’s my mantra for the weekend!

    Thumb up 18 Thumb down 27

  22. John Reed says:

    The volunteers with the SMART Riders Coalition will be out this weekend to do outreach and public education so that folks who are approached to sign the repeal petition will have the facts about how the SMART train and pathway will create much-needed construction jobs and provide a long-term benefit to the North Bay by providing a regional transit network to supplement the crowded 101 corridor.

    We have been compelled to get out and make our case now that the anti-SMART campaign has gone to using paid signature collectors. We have a code of conduct for all our volunteers which requires them to not engage with the petitoners, remain 20 feet away, and to remain calm and peaceful at all times. We don’t want to spend our weekend out in front of shopping centers, but the enormous cost that the misguided and destructive repeal campaign would impose on our community requires that we do our civic duty and make sure that voters have the real facts about SMART.

    Thumb up 17 Thumb down 27

  23. Missy says:

    They’re desperate to save SMART effort, why they even have their own little motto “Decline to sign” which they’ve put on this page already several times.

    Guess what, the North Bay is becoming more conservative and we WON’T BE BULLIED by the leftwing loons, people are actually waking up and MANY/MOST of them are Dems!

    Well well well. The worst thing the LEFT hates is DEMOCRACY, like this petition drive. The PD, the leftwing socialists & their apparatchiks on this page, you are ALL on NOTICE. You don’t HAVE US anymore. We won’t be going along with your BS.

    It’s all gelling right now. The meeting “for” OneBayArea which the PD and the lefties tried to portray people as Tea Partiers (which they are not, they’re DEMS!), this SmartRepeal, and on and on.

    NOTICE – we THE PEOPLE are sick of you and your lies. WE THE PEOPLE will not be pushed around by your mindless agendas and nanny state bs anymore!

    We are taking back the North Bay NOW!

    Thumb up 21 Thumb down 18

  24. Engineer says:

    I will be locating my business at a business complex that is at an already established rail spur. If not I will be building a spur with help of the rail and county. I plan on moving my goods by fork lift directly to the rail cars and then off to the national rail system. Saving on the shipping costs.
    If the trains are repealed I will not be locating my business in Marin or Sonoma and I can thank all the folks who oppose building American infrastructure, capitalism and commerce.

    I support passeger and freight trains.

    Thumb up 19 Thumb down 18

  25. RAW says:

    I have some news for all of the transplants from other states and southern California. I don’t blame you that you can’t remember anything about the North Bay, you weren’t here the first go around.

    BART was considered and a cost analysis was done in the late 80′s. $1 Billion just to sling a track under the Golden Gate Bridge. Today? I wouldn’t believe anything less that $3 Billion for that crossing. They blocked the Sonoma Valley with a Scenic Corridor designation, so BART can’t come in that way. Sonoma County has effectively “Greened” their way to isolation. The train is a bloated boondoggle… Why have there been no freight trains? Because the trains can not go to the end destinations, the stores. The expense to load a semi to go a quarter mile is rediculous. Some boasted a train can transport a ton 450 miles on a gallon of diesel. Guess what? A semi can transport a ton over 200 miles on a gallon of diesel. Not a bad deal for not having to load and unload it two to three times.

    Get over the commute aspect. The numbers projected have exceeded the population of the end destinations. It is exaggeration to create jobs at a huge expense. Remember, the bridges were paid for a long time ago, the tolls now subsidize the ferry system for over $300 million a year. Taxes will go up a lot.

    Thumb up 35 Thumb down 16

  26. Chris Snyder says:

    It is getting pretty thick out there. Repeal-SMART folks are saying that the train is not going to run on weekends so no wine tours, the train is never going to Larkspur, cities will be make to build low income housing around SMART stations so there will be dangarous elements introduced in the community and the stations will be suject to gang activity… and there is no bike path….ect…blah…blah…blah.

    They will tell anyone anything to get a signature. There needs to be some truth in this process. Not a bunch of lies to get something on that ballot that will cost the taxpayers millions.

    We need work in this community folks not the destruction of work.

    Say no to the lies and half-truths. Decline to sign.

    Thumb up 23 Thumb down 35

  27. “In each of the three elections it took to get SMART on the ballot to begin with – paid signature gatherers were used. Shocking.” –Graeme Wellington

    Actually, I believe that as a board that governs a special district, SMART was able to vote to put the measures on the ballot without collecting signatures from voters.

    Thumb up 14 Thumb down 13

  28. Anderson says:

    @Juvenal

    If the SMART plan would have been to link to BART from the very beginning – instead of this total nonsense that ends in San Rafael and maybe, perhaps, we hope makes it to Larkspur one day – I’d bet almost EVERYONE in the North Bay would support this project. There would have been no need for a repeal effort.

    As it is, SMART is a typical government-funded debacle that will cost taxpayers hundreds of millions of dollars for little benefit.

    SMART board members blather on about “vision,” but people with true vision would have linked to BART from the start.

    Thumb up 32 Thumb down 16

  29. Reality Check says:

    Before comparing SMART to BART one ought to compare the population density between the two corridors. Few people familiar with the obstacles facing mass transit pretend that density doesn’t matter. But, alas, some were found in Sonoma and Marin counties.

    Thumb up 22 Thumb down 10

  30. Juvenal says:

    BART was considered a too-expensive boondoggle when it was first planned. Now try to do without it.

    Thumb up 24 Thumb down 25

  31. Steve Klausner says:

    But where are the freight trains that promised to take 100′s of trucks off the our roads? Taxpayers invested over a hundred million dollars. What’s the hold up?

    Thumb up 20 Thumb down 12

  32. Money Grubber says:

    Just a reminder to many of you and perhaps some of you who did not know.

    Back in recent history, the rail roads used to bribe and bully politicians throughout the state of California.

    The petition system, by members of the public, was designed to overcome and overwhelm the corrupt politicians through voter strength.

    Corrupt government politicians and corrupt government bureaucrats are the ones who hate the petition system. So, they scream and scream about paid signature gatherers because they cannot reveal the true criminal motives of bribed government bureaucrats.

    Thumb up 24 Thumb down 13

  33. Money Grubber says:

    The opponents of paid signature gatherers are nearly always those who fear the loss of their government power or those who fear the loss of their government spending.

    You could have an army of paid signature gatherers and nobody would sign the petitions unless the goal was beneficial to the general public.

    The screams against paid signature gatherers start in Sacramento where the corrupt government has recently enacted further restrictions upon the public with the intention to limit our ability to get reforms on the ballot.

    Thumb up 19 Thumb down 15

  34. Lisa Maldonado says:

    Apart from all the positives the SMART Train will bring in terms of reduced traffic, alternative transportation, jobs and bike and walking paths, prospective signers should ask themselves and the REPEALERS why they would want us taxpayers to buy a very expensive set of lawsuits that a repeal will bring. Because money has been spent, trains are being built(in the US) and construction contracts awarded and work begun, it’s quite possible that a repeal means we will still be on the hook for payment to fulfill all those legal obligations but without a train to show for it. The REPEAL SMART effort is a full employment act for lawyers and a disaster for taxpayers. Decline to Sign!

    Thumb up 21 Thumb down 42

  35. Western Cluebird says:

    Let this be a lesson to us all-

    Do not vote for any new tax increases no matter how good the project sounds while we have unaccountable officials
    running things-they are dishonest and manipulative even while using our money to enrich themselves disproportionately.

    Thumb up 46 Thumb down 16

  36. Follower says:

    It’s really shocking how many people just don’t “get it”. They see this as the community pooling their resources to create something that will better the lives of the citizens.

    I understand that point of view.

    But others see this as yet another case of the Government taking the money we work hard to earn & handing it over to people to create their own little fiefdom, grease their friends & tax payers be damned.

    If I believed for one second that this train would be built on time, on budget and as advertised & wouldn’t lift a finger to stop it.
    I wouldn’t support it because I think it’s a luxury we can’t afford, but I wouldn’t actively oppose it.

    However, they have yet to even break ground and it has become painfully clear that this is nothing more than another out of control bureaucracy designed to use my tax dollars to line the pockets of people who are experts at playing the system.
    Oh yeah…. and build a train!

    Thumb up 35 Thumb down 15

  37. Skippy says:

    There are now two columns about this topic on the Opinion page of the PD.
    That must mean this issue is twice as important as the others.
    By Sunday there will be three places to berate RepealSMART for doing what SMART did every time it was on the ballot.
    Oy!

    Thumb up 26 Thumb down 14

  38. “Supporters of SMART on Thursday called it a sign of desperation and a lack of community support for the repeal campaign.

    “‘It is a sign of urgency and unease that they will not make their goal,’” said Jack Swearengen, chairman of Friends of SMART and of a broader group, the SMART Riders Coalition, made up of business, labor and transportation advocates.”

    Using paid petition gatherers is a smart move. It doesn’t mean that the Repeal SMART campaign doesn’t have public support. The number of signatures that have already been gathered indicates that it does have support. But it is not possible to rely on volunteers for everything. (Few statewide petitions qualify without paid signature collection.)

    We all know that SMART has paid tens or hundreds of thousands of dollars for PR over the last several years. Does this also mean that SMART itself doesn’t actually have support from the public?

    To say that Repeal SMART’s use of money is a sign of a lack of community support is to make an unfounded claim. As Mitchell stated, it makes sense to spend some money now on signature gatherers rather than to risk having to spend even more money on a costly court fight later.

    Neither Mitchell nor Parnell is drawing a salary from the repeal effort, and, as the article states, both are willing to personally contribute money to the effort.

    When a machine like SMART is spending public money in support of itself, it’s not fair that its supporters call foul when opponents of the project spend a little bit of private money to oppose the machine.

    Thumb up 33 Thumb down 14

  39. Graeme Wellington says:

    In each of the three elections it took to get SMART on the ballot to begin with – paid signature gatherers were used. Shocking.

    And if they somehow don’t reach their goal, the paid signature gatherers can be retasked to collect signatures to recall each and every member of the SMART board.

    Or the perhaps a RICO investigation can be initiated with the FBI — because this really is corruption,

    Thumb up 31 Thumb down 14

  40. Hunters 'n Gatherers says:

    I’m a RepealSmart volunteer.

    People’s willingness to sign the petition hasn’t been a problem.

    Finding the time is.

    I think paying for signiture gatherers is a good idea.

    The voter on the street has an opportunity to do so.

    The fact that the person with the clip board is paid (as they often are) is insignificant. The sheet has a breif summation as to what’s proposed.

    Make your voice heard any way you can.

    The more you know, the more it’s NO!

    Thumb up 37 Thumb down 13

  41. Its Our Constitution says:

    Storm trooper tactics by SMART backers trying to stop the lawful collection of signatures is despicable and unlawful. SMART backers seem to have forgotten that it is a basic constitional right to petition the government and if SMART is anything, it is a government organization.

    The local police and the SMART Board need to stop this immediately.

    Thumb up 38 Thumb down 14

  42. Missy says:

    https://www.facebook.com/StopSmart

    http://repealsmart.org/

    Find the places to go & sign near you! We CAN do this!

    Thumb up 26 Thumb down 16

Leave a Reply