people, 10 people in a bus that costs
over $500,000. So, we need to fill up
the buses, which would get cars o; the
road and make this county more livable.
But if we make it free and people still
aren’t going to use the buses, we need to
rethink our transportation plan, because
there are 12-to-15-passenger vehicles
that cost $70,000 that we could be utilizing. I like the idea of bus rapid transit,
but it requires a dedicated lane. I would
like to see us make some traction on getting folks out of their cars and onto the
buses before we started building new
roadways. Transportation is changing
rapidly with driverless vehicles, and I
would caution us from spending billions
of dollars on new roadways while these
new technologies are being adopted.
In addition to improving its attitude
toward business, do you feel the
county has become overly regulatory
in terms of rank-and-file citizens?
Yes. In many instances we’ve overstepped, and the law of unintended
consequences has played out. I think
the bag tax is a good example. We
haven’t seen the actual usage of bags
decline; the revenue from the tax has
been pretty consistent for the last three
years. ;e other unintended consequence is the administrative burden
on small businesses. If you’re a grocery
store, you get into the routine of issuing these bags. But if you’re running a
beauty parlor, and maybe you’re only
issuing three or four bags a day, you’ve
got to track that and pay it. So you
might be spending more money on the
stamp than on the actual tax.
It hasn’t had the desired impact we
were hoping it would. I would propose
that we ban plastic bags. I have been to
our up-county incinerator in Dickerson:
18 percent of what we were burning up
there was plastics that could be recycled.
As a county, there’s a level of pride that
we’re the best and the most environmentally conscious. But yet, there are some
things we are not leading the country on,
and we need to step it up.
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