AN OPEN LETTER TO TCPALM

Publish Date: 
Thursday, July 28, 2016 - 12:45pm

TO THE TCPALM:

Maybe this will give you some indication as to why the county needs to hire consultants now and again. Of course, they could not worry about the lives of residents or our environment and just toss these reports and forget about it. Fortunately, a strong majority of taxpayers want the county to use every means possible to stop the trains including the legal efforts. So much so, that they’ve given their hard earned dollars to private organizations to help even more. (Oh right, you’ve noticed this.)

TC Palm has not reported on a number of issues including the firm that developed the ridership numbers used in this report has been found to be unethical, been banned by international financial firms and a principal has been convicted of fraudulent activities involving federal government contracts. The firm is even used for projects by the DOT – amazing how that works!

Or how about that after thousands of responses to the EIS from our region, the US DOT has still not filed the Record of Decision, the final step in solidifying the EIS as complete.  One wonders if they ever will.  But there is no wondering about why they haven’t, it is required before anyone can legally challenge the findings in the EIS.

If the newspapers want to represent their readers against the power and money of big businesses and the almighty federal government, one would think that you would be pointing out and doing investigative reporting on these issues, I thought that was the raison d’etre of liberal media outlets.

But no, you sit quietly by and periodically pick on a local elected official or an organization fighting the good fight in order to malign them. You don’t cover our community activities…too trivial but you’ll call into question the use of consultants to acquire expert opinion while trying to protect the citizenry. 

I can’t afford to hire a consultant to review the response to the ACOE, but I can easily see that there are blatant, ridiculous claims made to justify this project, not the least of which are the ridership numbers.  I will be sending my own comments to the agency and I’ll be copying the FL DOT as well…someone else you seem to have overlooked in this years long battle and whom, by statute, is supposed to be doing the following:

Coordinate and facilitate the relocation of railroads from congested urban areas to non urban areas when relocation has been determined feasible and desirable from the standpoint of safety, operational efficiency, and economics."

Just another humble reader,

Susan Meheil