extension will cost city
By Jeff Gallatin
Published Feb. 23, 2005
If the city
wants another contract extension for the North Olmsted Municipal
Bus Line it's going to have to leave a lot of quarters in the Regional
Transit Authority's fare box.
Jim Dubelko, a member of the city negotiating team, quoted RTA officials
as saying it would cost North Olmsted $500,000 to get another three-month
contract extension while they talk about the NOMBL agreement with
the larger agency. If there is no extension, RTA officials have
told the North Olmsted team it wants a decision from the city by
March 1 about whether the city will agree to RTA taking over NOMBL
operations. Otherwise, Dubelko said RTA officials have indicated
they will assume that North Olmsted officials are not interested
in an agreement that would provide jobs for NOMBL's employees and
RTA will advertise for workers to fill those positions.
RTA officials said another extension would cost it money to continue
operating under the old agreement with NOMBL, so it said the city
should pay for it since North Olmsted is seeking the extension.
Rep. Dennis Kucinich, along with County Commissioner Jimmy Dimora
and the Cuyahoga County Mayors and City Managers Association have
backed requests for another three month-extension. The current three-month
extension, which ends at the end of March, was approved by RTA and
North Olmsted in December shortly before the last five-year agreement
expired Dec. 31.
RTA has set some hard deadlines.
they want answers about the negotiations or if they agree to an
extension, we're going to have to Because of the RTA March 1 deadline,
North Olmsted City Council has introduced legislation that would
approve RTA taking over the NOMBL operations. It was scheduled to
be discussed in committee last night. In addition to North Olmsted
city officials, RTA General Manager Joe Calabrese was invited. Officials
from Kucinich's office were also made aware of the meeting.
press secretary Doug Gordon said RTA is still not negotiating fairly
with North Olmsted or Maple Heights in those two cities quests to
maintain independent municipal bus lines.
"It's a slap
in the face to the congressman's call for good-faith negotiations
between RTA and the cities," Gordon said.
He said RTA's
setting a deadline of March 1 for North Olmsted to respond is also
out of line.
"It's an artificial
deadline set by RTA," Gordon said. "They are still not negotiating
in good faith."
the negotiations have been going well.
are continuing. There's another session next week and I know that
both sides are still talking about issues," Calabrese said.
He said if
the city opted for the $500,000 option, it would not be requiring
the city to pay RTA any actual funds. Instead, it would come out
of funds RTA is making available to North Olmsted as part of a potential
agreement, which would help the city cope with the loss of NOMBL
from its budget. Calabrese has indicated previously that RTA would
provide some compensation to the city to help its budget cope with
the loss of NOMBL.
it would have a financial impact on the city," Calabrese said.
officials have said the loss of NOMBL would have a big impact on
the budget, estimating the blow to the general fund at $300,000
president of the NOMBL employees union, spoke again to city council
Feb. 15. He again said the workers need council's support while
emphasizing the need for all parts of NOMBL and the city to work