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Sorry, but can anyone spare a car?

Sakurako Hino

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Ahead of time, thanks for letting me get this issue off my chest. It has to deal with something going on in my city. So please bear with me for a moment.

This is pretty much meant for the Twin Cities members of this forum, but if you think this is raw and feel our pain, I'm more than willing to hear opinions on this.

You see, we're currently under a Bus Strike in the Twin Cities. Many people are feeling this. They say it hasn't effected traffic, but it has. I see it in the streets and on the freeways. Traffic has gotten worse.

What is even more painful are the elderly who cannot afford a taxi to get to a doctor's appointment. Or the Disabled, who cannot get around, even to the local supermarket. The single mother taking care of her children, who cannot get to work because she does not have a car, and doesn't qualify for any help, nor can get anyone to carpool her to work.

This problem falls squarely on the state government which operates the Metropolitan Council, which operates Metro Transit.

A State Government led by Governor Pawlenty who has moved funds (quite stealthily I might add), to "fast track" many road projects that will not help traffic in the future. Not to mention 300 million dollars has been put into a road project (the 62 crosstown freeway) that will destroy many good homes in a region that needs housing, and many more businesses along this route.

Not to mention many of the other "projects" that Pawlenty "fast tracked" are in areas that several of his friends proposed.

The money being wasted in these projects could be better put to use in funding a larger, more robust public transit system, that can properly pay and take care of it's drivers, and reduce fares to encourage increased ridership.

Now what is getting me more, is that Pawlenty is ignoring this crisis that is under his nose, and is playing around with issues that do not affect the public at this time, and is more worried about politics that performance.

So I ask those living in the Twin Cities, that are indeed feeling the crunch, to tell their representatives and even the Governor himself to get this fixed now or they will find themselves out of a job. Just like many are probably dealing with right now because they got fired because they were unable to get to work.

This just plain bites.

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Wow. That is so unbelievably wrong.

I'm not in the Twin Cities area, but as an architecture/urban planning student I find it pretty appalling (I'd say surprising, but it really isn't) that the Governor in your parts is deliberately worsening at least a couple of major problems his city needs to deal with.

You have my sympathies and moral support.

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Politicians get re-elected by supporting those who put them in office. That goes back to Roman times, if not earlier.

Democracy works when we act democratic.

Are you registered to vote?

Did you vote in the last election?

Would you help other disadvantaged people register, and come election time, help them get to the polls?

Don't just take it, strike back. The government should be for the people, but only is, if it is also by the people.

Don't get run over by the "fast track", strike back. Vote those bastards out, and let them know it is because they thought they could screw you over, and were obviously wrong.

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Yep, I do vote. Our precinct has excellent turnout.

The problem is, we put that fool in office because we thought he'd balance our budgets without taxes, and make his monitary purse tightening in a smart way.

Obviously he hasn't, and is only another oddball we gotta toss on his keister.

Quite frankly (braces for laughs) I liked Jesse Ventura more as our governor than Tim Pawlenty.

Ventura had the balls to know that we need public transit in order for the Twin Cities to grow. He had foresight that no one gives him credit for.

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  • 2 weeks later...

Yeah, and I'll tell ya one thing, Ventura liked Public Transit. Everything else got kerjiggered, but Public Transit was getting fast-tracked.

In his administration, he set up the Hiawatha-Line light rail, and was planning more to come. Unfortuantely "Timmah" Pawlenty switched to giving his pets over at MNDoT all the money, and left Metro Transit footing the bill for rising healthcare costs and trying to cover for rising fuel prices.

And still, no middle ground has been found.

I just wish the former head of the Metropolitan Council was still there. He understood the union's position, and he would have settled even before the last contract ended.

The new head of the MC is a fool, and is a greedy SoB.

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Well, we're either 3 days away from having the busses running again, or more torture as the strike lingers.

Monday at 5:30 in the morning (wow.) Both sides came to a middle ground and agreed on a tentative agreement. But, there are a few things that frost yours truely.

1: Timmah Pawlenty claiming to be the hero in bringing both sides together. It Took Arne Carlson back in 94 or 95 (can't really remember) only 19 to 21 days to settle this. It took Timmah 41 (and will keep counting if the union doesn't agree to the terms of the tentative contract.)

2: The media is trying to wreck this. They are trying to find any minute detail they can overblow to scandalize either side. (By mentioning that most high-ups at metro Transit make $30k a year, then turn around and say that Metro Transit Drivers make $21.50 an hour.) They were responsible for the first negotiations, around Day 21 of the strike, of falling apart.

All in all, this has been a sordid story of curcumstance running over the common man.

Right now, they're trying to streamline the process of the vote to see if that they can get the busses running (if approved) by Saturday at the Earliest. The Union's board of directors has approved it for vote by the general union membership, but they cannot reccomend it (by bylaw.)

IT seems things are going good, but any factor could derail this and force everyone back to square one again.

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The media is trying to wreck this. They are trying to find any minute detail they can overblow to scandalize either side. (By mentioning that most high-ups at metro Transit make $30k a year, then turn around and say that Metro Transit Drivers make $21.50 an hour.)[/QB]
$30K a year = $30,000 a year.
$21.50 an hour X 2000 hours / year = $43,000 a year.
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Yeah, $30K isn't a good living by accounts down here. Now, if they are saying that the average salary of administrative personnel is $30K, then someone may be making a tidy bit of money, at the top. Admin. Assistants get paid diddly.

Endeavor, hire yourself some DeVries Elites to handle your problem. Our fees are reasonable, and our methods, discreet.

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Okay, okay, there is something that needs clearing up. Although the Transit Workers make 21.50 an hour, most of that is eaten up by their benefits, like Health, Dental, and their 401k. Then there's taxes.

So their take-home is probably smaller than their gross.

As for that $30,000 example, that was based off of one number I could see. I really wish taht the media around here would release their information so we can decide wether it's bogus or not!!!


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This is starting to get like a soap opera.

Because of some bureaucratic error, the contract didn't hit the table for a vote today, and so is delayed untill tomorrow. But, because of this, alot of the union is howling to the media that the Metropolitan Council and the Governor is playing games.

Ahem, monkey see, monkey do? Someone's sabotaging this, and I'd like to know who.

Wouldn't be surprised if it's Pawlenty or the Council. Pawlenty wants to crush transit under a paver, and the Council has some... sore spots with the union.

Either or, this is Day 42, and more riders dissapear every day. While more lose their jobs because they can't get to work.

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