To the editor:

Regarding the April 16 letter saying not to cancel the Northstar, the writer makes it obvious he is not a Republican. His letter was responding to a news article in the April 9 issue, which attempted to present facts related to an effort to defund and eliminate the Northstar line. The letter writer supports Rep. Erin Koegel’s view that Minnesota taxpayers should continue to subsidize this money-losing Northstar black hole. The letter writer wants to spend even more money to expand the Northstar to St. Cloud by again fleecing Minnesota taxpayers.

When Dan Erhart served as County Board chair, and was the primary advocate for starting the Northstar, he held a public information meeting to gain support for another boondoggle, namely a passenger train from Anoka to Duluth. At this meeting he said the Northstar would never pay for itself, but the train to Duluth would pay for itself!? Incidentally non-Republicans like Koegel are also pushing legislation to fund this impending $500 million disaster. We in the northern suburbs and in rural Minnesota are leery of dreams of politicians from Ramsey and Hennepin counties.

Most of us will seldom if ever use the Northstar; yet our real estate taxes include a fee for a “Regional Rail Authority.” Today every time someone boards the Northstar, taxpayers pay nearly $100 to offset the lack of passenger usage. The letter writer and people like Koegel should recognize that the Northstar experiment was poorly thought out, still will never pay for itself, and was a silly attempt to force people to use trains when they prefer the privacy, safety and freedom of their cars. Had Minnesota used the tens of millions of dollars to improve Highway 65 and Highway 10, Minnesota commuters would not be wasting time and money due to more idling and braking. I also wish to remind Koegel of the many unnecessary traffic accidents and pedestrian deaths that occurred because politicians misused transit funds to build this Northstar pipe dream.

Wake up! Stop dreaming! We must handle tax dollars more effectively.

Jerry Petron


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