We discovered that State Representative Jamie Callender’s amendment to the State’s Transportation Bill [H.B. 62] did get included during the period of reconciliation between the House of Representative’s version and Senate’s version of the bill.
Here is the amendment as provided to us by Representative Callender’s office:
HB 62 Amendment by Callender
So what does the Callender amendment establish? It allows for all counties in the State to establish a county transit system, and to use senior levy funds for transportation services that can then be used as leverage to receive Federal matching funds. (Even though the voters may not have voted to use senior levy funds for transportation)
Commissioner Ron Young has supported this amendment and worked with Representative Callender and Mr. Terry Thomas of the Community Bus Service to get the amendment included in the H.B. 62. Here is a prior article on this subject:
LFC asked the Commissioners at today’s meeting if the passage of this amendment means that we trying to replace LakeTran or to privatize them?
Commissioner Young stated that this amendment will help all counties. LFC mentioned that it cannot help Lake County since we already have a regional transit system, and a county cannot have both types of transit systems. With the nod of his head, Commissioner Cirino concurred. Cirino stated that there was no intent to replace LakeTran. Commissioner Young said that there may be some way that we could have both systems work together. It was then said that LakeTran would be the controlling entity.
Take note of page 3 last paragraph of the Amendment: “Authorizes the Superintendent of Public Instruction to contract with any county transit system or regional transit authority to provide pupil transportation services.”
(LFC Comments: Something is brewing….”the old adage where there is smoke there is fire” applies here. Community Bus Service is dominant in Trumbull County, and appears to want to expand. They currently provide bus services for two of our Lake County schools. It is going to be interesting to see how everyone finesses this within the Ohio Revised Code. Perhaps all school transportation is to be provided using Community Bus Service under the auspices of the watchful eye of LakeTran’s management. Commissioners transfer some senior levy funds to CBS, so they can get matching federal funds, and school superintendents are “happy campers” because school transportation is now cheaper. Everyone wins!!!!
Note to LakeTran…..ever hear of the story about the trojan horse? Your decision to place .25% sales tax levy on the ballot to generate $9 million additional revenue, representing a 100% increase in sales tax revenue, may cause the voters to turn you. What if your opinion poll stating that the voters will support the large increase in the sales tax is wrong? You will no longer have the public on your side and CBS can step in as the cheaper alternative……Perhaps more competition is the answer after all is said and done, but developing business models based on federal funding is another reason we are $22 trillion in debt at the federal level.]