Written by PETER KUEBECK Sentinel Staff Writer
Friday, 15 March 2013 10:13
PERRYSBURG - The name may be different, but the aim's the same.
|Jack Hoeflinger, chairman of the Go Perrysburg Committee, is seen signing letters of support in his home in Perrysburg, Ohio. (Photo: Enoch Wu/Sentinel-Tribune)
Go Perrysburg - formerly Perrysburg 4 Transit - has changed its name and revamped its website, but organizers are continuing their fight to bring public transportation back to Perrysburg.
"I tell you what, we've got a lot going on right now," said Jack Hoeflinger, the campaign chairman for the non-partisan group. Hoeflinger assumed the post after previous chairman Tom Mackin left to concentrate on his campaign for the judgeship of Perrysburg Municipal Court.
The group is working to garner support for a five-year, 0.8-mill transit levy which would raise just under $460,000 per year to bring transportation - including call-a-ride, ADA paratransit, and a limited commuter service - back to the city. According to Go Perrysburg, the new levy would cost the owner of a $200,000 home about $4 per month.
There are more than 30 people involved in the group, which has divided into a number of committees and has been raising money for their printed materials.
A 1.45-mill transit levy failed on the November ballot last year, scotching a burgeoning transportation system in the city. Confusion amongst residents about the service has been blamed as one cause.
However, Hoeflinger noted that the resolve of the group never wavered.
"To be honest with you, I didn't see anybody with their head hanging down, doom and gloom or anything. Sure, there was some disappointment."
"Rather than that," he continued, "we looked back at what can we do the next time to go to do a better job? And a lot of that was to get the message out."
Among Go Perrysburg's upcoming efforts will be a phone bank on Sunday from 3 to 7 p.m. On March 23, volunteers will be going door-to-door to spread the word.
The group has also been moving on the policy end of the effort. Their slate of recommendations for the transit service's operations, if the levy is successful, was approved as a starting point.
Hoeflinger said one of the group's major tasks is to ensure voters don't balk at the thought of a new tax on the ballot. He noted that, now, residents are no longer seeing a charge for TARTA service on their property tax bills. TARTA left the city in September, but residents had been taxed for the service since the 1970s.
"Now, if they look at the tax bills for the last month or two, or two months, they see a big zero down there."
"They're going to see a new tax on the new levy. We want to make people realize that they aren't paying tax now for public transportation."
"I think we feel pretty positive about it," said Hoeflinger. "I think we're sending the right message out."