For more than a decade, Bellaire and West University have been well represented on the board of the Metro board, with three former mayors — Burt Ballanfant and Bob Fry of West University and Cindy Siegel of Bellaire having held seats representing the so-called Multi-Cities.
With the agency asking voters to approve a $3.5 billion bond measure today (Nov. 5), we turned to Siegel, who left her seat on the Metro board earlier this year to run for Congress, and Fry, who succeeded her, for their opinions on how voters should cast their ballots.
Bob Fry, West University Place
Current Metro board member representing Multi-Cities
Former mayor of West U
Our region is projected to grow in population by as much as 50 percent between now and 2040. Anyone on our streets and highways today knows we are already currently behind in addressing the area’s transportation needs, let alone preparing for that much growth. Public transportation is a major component in any attempt to address congestion. The MetroNext plan is well thought out to maximize available resources from federal, state and local sources. Bonding approval is essential if we are to meet the region’s future needs without raising taxes.
For taxpayers in West University and Bellaire, there’s another compelling feature: Continuing the arrangement to return 25 percent of our Metro sales tax contributions back to our cities to support our own mobility projects, such as street and drainage improvements, traffic and street lights, sidewalks and trails.
I urge voters to vote FOR the bond referendum.
Cindy Siegel, Bellaire
Form Metro board member representing Multi-Cities
Former mayor of Bellaire
As a former conservative member of the Metro board, I agree with former Chairman Gilbert Garcia in his opposition to the Metro Bond initiative.
Although there are parts of the plan that I support — like moving the downtown Bellaire Transit Center further west and continuing the general mobility payments back to the small cities for street improvements — I have serious concerns about some of the other parts of the bond referendum.
The lack of transparency, rail to Hobby and the possibility of a Rapid Bus Transit lane down the middle of Gessner are all deal breakers for me.
I urge voters…to go to the polls in November and vote against this bond.