From Louise Woods and Billy Maddalon of E.A.S.T, an east Charlotte advocacy group, in response to Foxx plan may cut streetcar (Dec. 11):
We understand that the citizens of Charlotte must choose between a bare-bones Capital Improvement Plan to keep our AAA bond rating or a bold plan that strategically invests in economically challenged areas of the city. We support the latter proposal because it has the most far-reaching impact on the economic future of Charlotte by assisting these communities by leveraging their strengths and increasing their tax base thus benefiting everyone, north, east, south and west.
While both plans support basic needs, Proposal 2 also funds new transportation infrastructure and extends new economic development possibilities along critical corridors. North-south rail is currently being implemented; however, for the system to function, it must be complete. The east and the west, with two of the highest transit riderships, need accessible rail connecting to the north and south lines. The proposed extension would travel from Elizabeth Square near Central Avenue in the east to just past Johnson C. Smith off Beatties Ford going west.
Using a general source of revenue, such as the CIP, is appropriate for the east-west link because our residents consistently pay for the north-south link through sales taxes, without directly benefiting from it. Additional investment from the city will also better position us for future outside grants when they become available.
We speak proudly from the eastside. We have active and attractive neighborhoods, family-owned and ethnically diverse restaurants and a business-friendly environment. Historically we have been a strong contributor to Charlottes economy and are poised to be so again. But we need a boost to make it happen!
The Citys proposals to counterbalance the negative impact of construction on Independence by providing additional attractions at Bojangles arena and public-private partnerships on Independence are important to re-create viable and connective corridors. The plan to move forward with the east-west rail provides critically needed jobs and economic development potential along Central Avenue.
Neighborhood development initiatives connect schools, businesses and neighborhoods keys to a thriving community. We need this transformative plan and we support, additionally, the bold initiatives recommended for the northeast, west and elsewhere.
Cherry-picking economic development projects for some while excluding others, as some have proposed, would bring further divisiveness rather than creating the unity we all desire. We are willing to invest in Charlotte today.
We choose Proposal 2: an increase of $30 a year per $100,000 valuation, over the bare-bones property tax increase of nearly $20 a year per $100,000 home. This additional $10 a year makes a huge difference in what is returned to the people of Charlotte.
The future of Charlotte depends on what we accomplish together. Tonight, we need the City Council to vote for Proposal 2, helping make all of Charlotte a dynamic, self-sustaining and well-connected world-class city.
Lets restore the hidden jewels in the Queens crown!
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