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Madison Mayor Dave Cieslewicz Thinks Train Can Go Forward

November 5, 2010

I have to think Mayor Dave knows what he is talking about.  This project is good for Wisconsin and our future economy.

Governor Jim Doyle has hit the pause button on high speed rail. That’s ok as long as it’s temporary. It might be appropriate for the governor to survey the landscape after Tuesday’s elections and see what the best course of action might be going forward. But there’s no doubt that we should go forward.

I’ve listened closely to Governor-Elect Scott Walker’s statements since his election and his concerns about high speed rail seem to come down to two things. He hopes that somehow the $825 million in federal support to pay for 100% of the construction of the project can be used for roads instead. It can’t. In fact, even the new Republican Chair of the House Transportation Committee is a big supporter of high speed rail and he and the President just aren’t going to let states spend money that is intended for rail on roads. What’s going to happen instead is that states that reject the money will see it spent, and see those jobs created, in another state that does want it.

We know this funding will create thousands of jobs, but our choice now is whether they are created in Florida, Michigan or Wisconsin.

I’ve sent a letter to the Governor-Elect suggesting a meeting between state, federal and local officials. The Beatles were right. We can work it out.

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