Sunday, May 22, 2016

Pinellas County Commissioner Janet Long and the Bay area transportation problem

County Commissioner Janet Long has put her finger squarely on the real problem thwarting a solution to Bay area transportation problems.


St. Petersburg, Fl
Opinion by: E. Eugene Webb PhD
Author: In Search of Robin
  
Long set up the problem in her Tampa Bay Times op-ed piece: Tampa Bay needs one powerful voice on transportation.

In her op-ed piece Long states, "It is past time to bring our region under one Tampa Bay regional transit authority that develops a collaborative and collective message and delivers a range of services to all people regardless of which side of the bay they work or live. The time is now for planning agencies to collaborate on mobility solutions and to discuss the advantages of merging organizations to achieve real partnerships across municipal and county lines. The parochial and independent nature of some of these collaborative agencies has contributed in great part to our struggles as a region when it comes to transportation."

If you read my Blog at all, you know I have often been critical of Long for her actions on the PSTA Board.

From Bay Post Internet:



It is also important to note that Ms. Long is up for reelection, and she now has a challenger, Martin Hughes, as reported by Ann Lindberg in saintpetersblog: Pinellas Commissioner Janet Long draws challenger

There are some good ideas in Ms Long's op-ed piece but the question really is where she has been for the past few years. Most of these agencies that have muddled up the Bay area transportation problem have been around for decades.

See my comments in Bay Post Internet piece: Go Hillsborough.

Bring this group of dysfunctional agencies, many of them populated by "elected" officials would be like herding cats. Long stated in the op-ed, "The parochial and independent nature of some of these collaborative agencies has contributed in great part to our struggles as a region when it comes to transportation."

In my observation of Ms. Long's political practice, I noted that she was usually pretty good at defining the problem just not really accomplished at following up.

It will be interesting to see what the challenger for the Pinellas County Commission District #1 Martin Hughes has to say about public transportation, the Rays stadium and a host of other issues.

It would also be interesting to see how Ms. Long proposes to dethrone the entrenched power players, elected and special interests that have managed to burrow their way into positions of authority in TBARTA, the MPOs, the HART and PSTA Boards along with a host of other committees, groups and big campaign donors.

An op-ed with some detail would be deeply appreciated.

E-mail Doc at mail to: dr.gwebb@yahoo.com or send me a Facebook (Gene Webb) Friend request. Please comment below, and be sure to share on Facebook. See Doc's Photo Gallery at Bay Post Photos.

Disclosures:
Contributor: Bob Gualtieri for Pinellas County Sheriff
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