Dane County Board conservatives seek referendum on RTA

Friday, July 17, 2009

From an article by Matthew DeFour in the Wisconsin State Journal:

A group of conservative Dane County Board members are calling for a Regional Transportation Authority referendum during next spring’s County Board election, something county leaders have already ruled out.

County Board Chairman Scott McDonell and Executive Kathleen Falk have said they don’t anticipate a referendum until November 2010 at the earliest. McDonell expects the County Board to create an RTA, which would then develop a proposal to put before voters. Falk said the county needs a decision from the Federal Transit Administration on its rail application, which won’t happen by the spring.

“We don’t have a full transit plan developed,” McDonell said. “We would want to (hold a referendum) when we’re ready.”
But Sup. Eileen Bruskewitz, of Waunakee, said the referendum needs to happen before an RTA is created so the agency doesn’t have to use property taxes.

“Before we even go down that path, we need to decide if it’s a path we want to take a first step on,” Bruskewitz said.