This letter to Gov. Pawlenty was sent to Access Press for inclusion in our “Letters to the Editor” section.
Dear Mr Pawlenty –
I am writing regarding the current Transit Bus Strike in the 7 county Metro area. I am a Single taxpayer. I work fulltime in the Mortgage Industry and last year my income was over 30K. I do not have children and I do not own my own home. I do not drive (by my choice) because of medication I take that may cause me to be dizzy or sleepy. Ethically I do not believe it would be responsible on my part to drive. I have a disability (Cerebral Palsy) which while it impacts my life, I do just fine when the Transit system is working and before the current cuts that your administration orchestrated in 2003. I am eligible for Metro Mobility but do not use it as I believe that program is underfunded and fragile in its ability to serve the disabled community.
As a Minnesota Taxpaper… (in a high bracket), I support the uses of taxes for services I do not use, ie schools, or highways and roads not used by Public Transportation. I support the use of public money used for stadiums, parks,womens programs, homeless, drug rehab programs etc which make Minnesota one of the best places in the US to live. In return I do not believe it is not unreasonable that you, the Taxpayers league or others in public office in Minnesota fund and support services which you may not use but are needed for the quality of life in Minnesota, ie Transit.
The impact on the quality of life of not having bus service is as follows… brokering rides with 5-6 of my fellow team members from work, depending on work and social schedules. At times walking 3/4 quarters of a mile to catch one of the buses not on strike to downtown and then a $5.00 cab ride from downtown to work. Using PTO days for days when nothing can be arranged. Arrangements with friends who drive for a trip to the grocery store. In the evenings or weekends being llandlocked and isolated from normal activities such as church and other social activities.
I would hope, Mr Pawlenty that you would examine your own position on Transit and look see that it is one of the services provided by the state through taxes that makes Minnesota a great place to live.
Sharon M. Peterson