As a teacher and an Allen County resident, I am supporting our Allen County RTA and their honest attempt to sustain needed services here.
What I know about our county is that we have always taken care of our own. I have students who rely on the RTA to get them to school every day. There can be no debate that our residents and neighbors need public transportation. The role of “public” transportation in any community is to ensure that all persons have access to reliable, safe transit to get to where ever they need to go — work, medical appointments, school, shopping, etc.
What most people do not understand is the complicated funding mechanisms for all transit systems in our country. This is not about efficient management. It is about operating a non-profit organization that relies on federal and state grants which require matching local funds.
There will always be naysayers who scream about any tax regardless of how small. And this sales tax levy is very small – one penny on a $10 purchase. But, what I find interesting is that if we do not find a local funding source, and our RTA continues to lose grant money because they cannot meet the 50 percent matching requirements, other communities will get those federal and state funds (our tax money). I prefer an investment in our own community, one that brings back more of my tax dollars to Allen County and ensures safe, reliable transportation for my students.
I urge all voters to say yes to our Allen County RTA on May 7th. Let’s continue to take care of our own.
Michelle Shoemaker, Delphos