What is the future of transportation?
Will it be rail? No, too expensive and inflexible.
Public buses? No, too slow and inconvenient.
So, what will be the future and how can Hillsborough County start preparing for the future now?
A 2014 AECOM Report concluded that Hillsborough lacks sufficient density under federal guidelines to justify the expense of rail or BRT. Tony Seba, a respected futurist, predicts that a combination of electric vehicles and automation will make autonomous, shared electric vehicles the transportation choice of the future. When? Very soon.
It's more important than ever that Hillsborough County manages growth in unincorporated Hillsborough County. Unconstrained development and low impact fees combine to cause traffic congestion, rising public safety costs and over-crowded schools. Let's face it. The board of county commissioners has been putting profits of big developers first for too long.
Our elected public servants need to put the priorities of our families, seniors and small businesses first and that means addressing traffic congestion, while preparing for rapid changes in the way that people will get to and from work.
We should be fixing our roads and invest in adaptive traffic signals that change timing based on actual traffic. In other cities, this technology has reduced idling time at lights by 40%, reduced gasoline consumption and improved local air quality. It's an inexpensive fix at "just" $3 million for 48 traffic signals, won't require any tax increases, and is the type of innovation that can be tested on a small scale to get it right before scaling up. This technology has been proven to improve bus service and car commute times. Elect a proven innovator. #VoteChrisParadies.
At the 2017 Ignite, Chris Paradies presented the "why" of embracing innovation in transportation. See his presentation above. Tony Seba, a futurist, has affirmed Chris' assessment. Watch Tony's presentation below.
Hillsborough County can continue to ignore and resist inevitable change or embrace and plan for these changes.
Maintaining our roads and adopting adaptive traffic signals is a good first step, even if futuristic autonomous vehicles fail to materialize in the next five years. This change reduces traffic congestion and speeds public buses to their destination on time increasing ridership. Chris Paradies opponent, a 16-year career county commissioner, has been leading the charge for a transit tax increase that would be spent on last century rail for almost a decade. It's time for fresh ideas, and Chris Paradies is the innovator that has a plan to fix our traffic congestion problems.
Adaptive traffic control is already reducing congestion in other cities and is supported by the federal government.
Technology that changes lights based on real time traffic data reduces idling at stop lights by 40%. We should be investing in our roads, eliminating choke points and fixing interchanges that have a high propensity for accidents. We need to be disciplined in restraining development outside of the urban core designated in our county's comprehensive plan and respect community plans that seek to keep unincorporated regions rural.
We shouldn't spend half $500 Million or more on BRT or many Billions of dollars on rail, because our county does not have the density to support them, according to the 2014 AECOM engineering report. We should help the transition to more efficient and low cost transportation by resisting the urge to tax ride sharing services like uber and lyft. This discourages consumers from leaving their cars at home. In fact, our county and city governments should be encouraging multiple passenger ride sharing services, which remove cars from our roads.
Why hasn't Hillsborough County embraced innovation rather than going back to failed 20th century transit solutions again and again? Why was our county attempting to ban ride sharing services like uber and lyft?
Adaptive traffic signals improve the lives of ordinary folks that ride HART and drive cars, but it won't provide a windfall to speculative land developers. Will career politicians listen to ordinary folks or powerful, politically-connected speculative land developers that donate hundreds of thousands of dollars to their campaigns?
Want to derail the corrosive influence of big money political donors and theircareer politicians?
Innovation can be disruptive, but change will happen no matter how hard a city or county resists. By resisting innovation favored by consumers, governments cause delays and massive waste. Often, government sides with powerful, entrenched interests against new technologies. Why!?
By embracing innovation, Hillsborough County can become a beacon for innovation and entrepreneurship.
It's time to support innovation expert Chris Paradies, because he has a solution that will stimulate the private sector to fix traffic congestion without new taxes.
Does government have a role in creating jobs? At the county and local level, the answer to the question is: Certainly Yes!
Local government can be an obstacle to job creation.
Unnecessary red tape, delays in providing permitting, imposing excessive fees and fines for failure to comply with Byzantine regulations, and creating a hassle factor discourages job growth.
Local government may embrace business growth.
By embracing business growth, especially growth of innovative businesses, government can help to grow jobs of the future. How? By “finding a way to yes,” removing barriers to business creation and job growth, eliminating unnecessary and counter-productive regulations, limiting government interference with business operations, creating economic development zones for rapid approval of light industrial and commercial development, and providing concierge services for small and disadvantaged businesses that find it most difficult to navigate government bureaucracy and incentive programs (without the aid of lobbyists and paid consultants).
The things that commissioners can do that will provide the biggest bang for the buck won’t cost the taxpayers anything. If county commissioners just befriend small and innovative businesses and open their network to them, they can help grow jobs by providing access to new customers and investors.
One of the most important duties of a county commissioner is to be a good steward of taxpayer dollars.
But what does being a good steward look like?
What’s important to voters? I’ve been out on the streets going door-to-door, meeting voters, and asking them what’s important. Here’s the answer:
What’s important to the people of district 2 is my priority as your future commissioner. I am asking the voters of district 2 to be their public servant and a good steward of the resources they entrust to me.
What is the purpose of economic development?
The purpose of economic development should be to reduce taxes on our families, seniors on fixed incomes and small businesses by establishing a resilient economy that produces services and goods that are sold outside Hillsborough County, creating jobs for people in Hillsborough County, and generating significantly more revenue for the taxpayers than the cost of the initiatives to taxpayers.
That’s a good investment!
Public policy should be directed toward creating great neighborhoods that are prosperous, safe, connected and great places to live.
No. A citizens advisory committee voted unanimously for $3 Billion in savings in the 2017 budget, but these savings were not implemented by the county commissioners. Why?
It didn't fit with the effort of certain career politicians to increase taxes as the only solution for traffic congestion. Career politicians receive hundreds of thousands of dollars from power, politically-connected donors that expect something in return. Often, that means hundreds of Millions of Taxpayer dollars get funneled to favored vendors and special interests.
Public policy should not transfer wealth from the taxpayers to big donors! That's the Problem!
Bad economic development schemes pushed by career county commissioners benefit powerful political donors, but they make the citizens of Hillsborough County poorer. Increasing taxes on our families, seniors and small businesses to give incentives to out-of-state corporations that put our family businesses out of business is wrong!
My opponent in the August Republican primary gave Millions of Taxpayer Dollars to Bass Pro Shops, which benefited his big developer "friends" that donate to his campaigns. He pushed for Millions of Taxpayer Dollars for Film Tampa Bay, which provides incentives for Hollywood moguls to film in Hillsborough County, even after an audit by the Florida legislature showed Taxpayers lose up to 80% of the money spent on film industry subsidies.
My opponent is the sole commissioner pushing for taxpayer financing of the $892 Million RaYBOR cathedral (stadium) that will cost Taxpayers up to $50 Million Dollars every year! That's in addition to the $140 Million Taxpayer Dollars spent on debt service already! That's crazy. What could Hillsborough County could do with nearly $200 Million Dollars every year, if commissioners would stop spending money we don't have? Expert economists and audits have shown that these incentives and subsidies are extraordinarily poor "investments," costing Taxpayers hundreds of Millions!
Taxpayers have paid more than $1.3 million in salary and benefits to this 16-year career county commissioner. Shouldn't he be working for us! Instead, he works hard for his big donors and wastes taxpayer dollars in the process.
So, we lose twice! Unnecessary and wasteful corporate welfare to out-of-state corporations, and a 16-year career county commissioner that has lost touch with ordinary people.
With the talent and money that we have in our region, right now, we could be doing a lot better!
We need servant leaders that understand the unbelievable opportunity that has been presented to our region to become the break-out region in the Southeast for small business creation and growth.
Our county needs to embrace innovation and invite innovative businesses to help the county provide better services at a lower cost to taxpayers.
Innovative businesses create high wage jobs of the future and help reduce the tax burden on our families, seniors and small businesses.
We need a commissioner that will increase impact fees paid by developers to support the roads, sidewalks, and fire stations that are needed due to new development. We need a commissioner that will back up our citizen community plans that call for preserving low density rural areas of unincorporated Hillsborough County that don't have the infrastructure to support higher density development.
Paid By Chris Paradies, Republican, for Hillsborough County Commission District 2