October 05, 2005 - The Public Transit Accountability Project will not appeal last month's Circuit Court decision that ruled the St. Louis County Charter does not permit the group's referendum on the $150 million bond authorization by the County Council for the Metro transit agency.
"We think it was a bad decision that infringes on the people's right to petition their government and have their voices heard," Tom Sullivan, spokesman for the group, stated in a news release.
But he said there was no sense in holding up Metro's bond sale after the decision effectively put an end to the petition drive.
"Metro will now be free to squander another $150 million of tax dollars on the area's biggest boondoggle — the Metro-Link cross-county extension," Sullivan stated.
The eight-mile line will run from Metro's Forest Park station to Shrewsbury.
The funds are needed by Metro to pay for the overrun on the MetroLink extension. It currently is estimated to cost $676 million, with the overrun being about $132 million. The total cost for the project is about $1.1 billion, with financing costs included.
The County Council approved the $150 million bond authorization for Metro on Aug. 30.
The citizens' group then collected more than 500 signatures on a referendum to delay the ordinance from going into effect for 40 days. It needed to collect 27,000 more signatures in the 40 days to put the proposal on the ballot.
Metro then filed a lawsuit claiming the ordinance was not subject to a referendum. A Sept. 22 decision by a St. Louis County Circuit Court concurred. The citizens' group then had 30 days to decide whether to appeal the ruling.