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Another Streetcar Vote Next Week

Updated: Wednesday, November 27 2013, 09:49 PM EST
CINCINNATI (Joe Webb) -- A possible swing vote on the Cincinnati streetcar project made it clear Wednesday he wants the project stopped.

The battle over the Cincinnati streetcar will enjoy a 4 day truce over the holidays but the fighting will resume on Monday. 

Mayor-elect John Cranley promises a vote on the 148 million dollar project on the heels of Tuesdays vote by the outgoing city council to keep it on track.

The success or failure of the project may swing on one person's vote.  Local 12's Joe Webb caught up with one of the possible swing votes Wednesday.

Council member-elect, Kevin Flynn, is a long-time supporter of light rail but campaigned against the streetcar project.  With the vote on the new city council looking like it will be 5-4 against the project, Flynn's vote is a deal-breaker or deal-maker.

Some have said he was waffling on his opposition to the project. He cleared up any questions Wednesday.

There have been whispers that Kevin Flynn was re-thinking his opposition to the streetcar project. So Wednesday, he re-stated his position on the loudest microphone in the tri-state. No doubt now how Kevin Flynn will vote.

I oppose the streetcar.

After his radio interview, Flynn took some questions. He expects the issue will come up at his first city council meeting, probably next Monday.

My vote will be to stop the spending, to put that pause into place. If I have to vote Monday up or down on the streetcar, it's down on the streetcar.

Yesterday, in their final meeting, the 6 members of outgoing city council voted to continue streetcar construction; the 6 votes declaring it an emergency.

Mayor-elect John Cranley now, it appears, has five votes on the new council to undo what the old council did. He won't spend the holiday twisting arms.

I know and trust that all council members will vote their conscience, some with us, some against us; but they got elected to do this and they have the right to their opinion.

Meanwhile, work goes on.  Track gets laid, concrete gets poured, and money gets spent.  A 5-4 vote could stop the work but not for 30 days because it wouldn't be deemed an emergency. 

That would also give supporters the right to petition and get the issue on the ballot for a referendum.

Flynn's okay with that if the spending stops. Streetcar supporters believe that if they get the petitions together, the work would continue until it's on the ballot. Flynn says he's okay with a referendum if the work and the spending stops now. He supports taking a pause to evaluate the viability of the project.

A federal transit authority attorney said on Monday that any pause would violate the grant agreement and the city would stand to lose about $44-million in federal money.  It looks like it will be a busy and contentious December at city hall. City council member Charlie Winburn, another possible swing vote, did not return phone calls Wednesday.

Video HEREAnother Streetcar Vote Next Week


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