seeking help from others in NOMBL fight
By Jeff Gallatin
Published Jan. 19, 2005
T. Musial has sent out an SOS to other municipal, state, federal
and business officials in an effort to keep the North Olmsted Municipal
Bus Line (NOMBL) from being absorbed into the Regional Transit Authority.
week sent a list of more than 20 officials and government groups
information outlining why NOMBL should retain its independence and
asking those officials to provide support to that effort.
appropriate because NOMBL serves more than just North Olmsted,"
Musial said. "It serves Westshore communities and also provides
transportation to downtown Cleveland. Most of these officials have
constituents in those communities or work with or for entities which
Both RTA and
North Olmsted have passed legislation extending negotiations on
a new pact until March 1. The last five-year contract between the
two expired Dec. 31, with RTA officials saying that North Olmsted
and Maple Heights would have to find the funds necessary for the
two to continue to operate their municipal bus lines without being
absorbed by RTA this year. RTA officials have said they need to
know in mid-February how to plan the agency budget, either with
the two communities continuing to operate as they are or absorbing
their services into RTA.
In his mailing,
Musial encloses a letter to the editor that he sent to several Cleveland
area publications (including West Life) saying why NOMBL should
not be absorbed, as currently proposed by RTA officials.
"It is profoundly
obvious that from any viewing angle that it is in the best interest
of Cuyahoga County, RTA, along with North Olmsted and its surrounding
suburbs for NOMBL to retain its independence," Musial said in the
letter. "As a matter of fact, other items of pertinent information
(not included) add significant weight to such a logical conclusion."
the other items include questioning whether RTA really could save
more than $3 million annually by absorbing NOMBL and the Maple Heights
municipal bus line, which are the last two independent lines in
(the NOMBL general manager) has been working numbers and he's come
up with a figure more like a little over $1 million in North Olmsted,
and Tom is outstanding with those type of numbers," Musial said.
"Even considering that, you've got to consider the economic impact
losing NOMBL would have on the North Olmsted and Maple Heights budget
figures in salaries tax, pensions and medical plans. You have to
consider the negative impact that would have on a city."
he's already gotten a couple of preliminary replies, although he
declined to cite who from.
that they weren't aware of some of the information or what was going
on with the situation," Musial said. "That's interesting, too, because
I think they need to hear both sides of an issue and not just what
RTA might have told them."
He said officials
also should consider the several million dollars in sales tax revenue
North Olmsted pours into the RTA coffers annually.
"If we're putting
in those type numbers, shouldn't we have some say in the services
or where the funds might be utilized?" Musial said. "If it's a regional
agency, then RTA should make sure it provides for people throughout
the region and not just Cleveland and downtown services."
he's continuing to work with Rep. Dennis Kucinich and his staff
on finding ways to keep NOMBL from being absorbed by RTA. Officials
at Kucinich's office said the congressman is still seeking solutions
to the situation.
chairman of city council's streets and transportation committee,
said the city is working hard.
"I know the
administration and the congressman's office has been working hard
on the issue and we certainly appreciate that," Nashar said. "Council
also wants NOMBL to continue, and we will do whatever we can as
well to have it continue as a city operation and not just be taken
over by RTA."