Chesterton Tribune

Put South Shore plan to a vote

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Voice of the People

It is interesting to note that those who are so supportive of the South Shore expansion project often bring up the great-paying jobs to be found in the Chicago area. The one very obvious and important fact they fail to mention is that more and more of the people from that area are moving into Lake and Porter counties. Apparently, the blood-sucking politicians in Illinois are bleeding them dry, so that even with their lucrative jobs they cannot afford to live in such an elite state and opt to lower themselves to live with us peons in Indiana, at least until our politicians develop the same mindset and begin to bleed us dry (I believe this is already occurring).

Not a day goes by when you won’t hear about Illinois politicians proposing tax increases. Much of this “necessary” additional money is proposed for the benefit of mass transit, which never seems to be self-sustaining.

Raise the fares for those who actually use the system? Goodness no! We must force taxpayers across the spectrum to cough up the money to keep the buses and trains running for the minority who actually use these services!

My latest edition of the “South Shore Expansion Pravda” has a glowing recommendation from a female environmentalist touting the advantages (mainly less pollution from vehicles) of mass transit for our area. Personally, I don’t see it. Residents needing to get to locations other than those along a proposed rail line will certainly resort to the use of autos to get where they need to go. With all the additional population being drawn here for the reason mentioned in the first paragraph, I am missing the logic relating to the reduction in pollution this expansion would create.

It is also a bit of a stretch to believe that the jobs selling lattes and sandwiches along this rail line will provide the income and benefits required to provide a good life for Indiana families.

The construction jobs at the inception of the expanded line might pay well, but they will be far from permanent. As has been documented over and over, there is little to no commerce being done along the current South Shore line through our region. In Illinois, exclusive shops are located within a number of the Metra stations, with varying degrees of success, depending on the affluence of the surrounding communities.

The best way to assist families in Indiana is to provide the best possible education to our children. A well-educated workforce will attract high-paying jobs and these jobs will afford a better lifestyle to our residents.

You can look anywhere in the country to view this cause-effect relationship. Our elected officials need to stop forcing agendas that will do nothing but enrich themselves and their cronies. If an expanded South Shore Line is such a panacea, put it to a vote of your constituents!

Cathy Seely