rhetorical flourishes

Thanks for the comment. On the Facebook version of this, you also state, "As best I can tell, the [proposed Ann Arbor] resolution doesn't misrepresent any facts in its recitations in the 'whereas' clauses."

Not to deny my own "flourishes", but here's a few things I consider misrepresentations of fact in the resolution:

* The resolution states the RTA as having "no relationship with FTA officials". This is perhaps technically true, the legal entity having not yet convened, it can't have a formal relationship. We could say exactly the same about the 196 that was under discussion: it would have been a new entity with no track record and no relationship with the FTA. In that case as in this, though, the players are known--and especially well so to the FTA. The RTA has had close involvement from the FTA's director, planning, and funding staff throughout its development, and the specific, explicit, money-where-his-mouth-is championship of the US DOT Secretary himself. So no track record or relationship in a legal standpoint, but by no means an unknown face--perhaps even a tighter relationship with FTA than AATA itself has.

* "Whereas, Washtenaw County funding will support transportation service outside of our county disproportionate to what it receives" is unsupported speculation at best. My own math around the proposed regional rapid transit network estimates that Washtenaw County will need to be a donee in the RTA, receiving back probably 125% of the funding that the RTA raises here. (I'm estimating each mile of the proposed network at equal construction cost, except that suggested to run on freeway, and equal operating cost, to get a per-county share of cost, and comparing that to per-county share of total registered vehicles.) You can certainly hypothesize scenarios in which Washtenaw is a donor, but you can't state it as a known fact.

* "Whereas, SB 909 limits the transit options available to SE Michigan and does not acknowledge the readiness to further commuter rail service." Untrue. In fact, we still have at our disposal every single option we had before SB909 (and those have been doing such a good job of bringing us rail!), plus a new one in the form of the RTA. The RTA does not in any way prevent anyone from continuing to pursue other pathways to rail, and could even pass through funds to AATA (or another agency) that we could then use to develop the rail system. So 909 disctinctly and in reality broadens options for developing transit.

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