Tuesday, September 17, 2002

Light-rail foes rally at courthouse

        Opponents of a proposed $2.6 billion light rail system and the tax levy on the Nov. 5 ballot that would pay the local share of the construction costs rallied Monday on the steps of the Hamilton County Courthouse, saying they had strong political support for their position.

        Those who spoke had to shout to be heard over other demonstrators at the courthouse who were protesting Hamilton County Prosecutor Mike Allen, seeking to reopen the case involving a former Cincinnati police officer and the death of an African-American man while in custody.

        “We want Cincinnati to continue to be vibrant, and if we funnel all our transportation dollars to this project, that won't happen,” said Stephan Louis, a Pleasant Ridge medical supplies salesman and chairman of the Alternatives to Light Rail Transit campaign, which was holding its official kickoff event.

        The leadership of the campaign includes U.S. Rep. Steve Chabot, R-Westwood, as well as Democratic Hamilton County Auditor Dusty Rhodes and Republican Hamilton County Commissioner John Dowlin.

        Metro, the county's public bus service, is asking Hamilton County voters to approve a half-cent sales tax increase to pay for MetroMoves, its $2.7 billion plan that includes the light rail system.


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- Light-rail foes rally at courthouse
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