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LMI running jobs and Santa out on a rail!

Chris Platzer


Lat 44-08N

Long 154-50E (Vallejo resident, currently at sea headed for China)


A month ago I heard from a MIRR official that Lennar would be pulling the plug on the railroad on MI come Dec. 31.  I was in denial until it was confirmed in a Vallejo Times Herald article that the very thing was happening. But reading today’s Vallejo Times Herald and hearing that Lennnar wants to run Santa out on a rail was too much.


We elect city council members to represent the interests of our city. In candidate forums we hear them all advocate the same set of ideas:  1) improve our schools; 2) improve public safety; 3) attract more jobs; 4) reduce crime; 5) spend city funds wisely, etc, etc. . . No one would ever get elected to council if they opposed any of these ideas.  What then can they do to bring any single one of these ideas to fruition? Perhaps they could persuade LMI to support rail service on MI.  One sure fire way to jetsam jobs would be to remove rail service from MI. Businesses need to operate in a climate of certainty. For businesses like Alstrom and Earthquake Preparedness Services a reliable transportation and logistics infrastructure is essential for their continued prosperity on MI. The talk about LMI being opposed to rail is beyond the brink. But when you go after Santa, it becomes personal. The owner of MIRR, without asking for funding from the city, wants to equip a train and invite kids to enjoy a holiday ride through Vallejo with Santa. But, alas, the obstacles thrown up to hinder this endeavor are mind boggling.  The freight trains already servicing MI run at extremely low speeds. I imagine MMRR would run the Santa train at the same low speed and not attempt to achieve bullet train speeds. So what is the problem? Well, LMI didn’t have enough time to study the matter. How much time do they need to study the issue? And the city would need to do the same. If past history is any measure, since they are so over worked they would probably hire a consultant to study the proposal. And voila, $100K and a months later   they would present their findings before council. The wheels of city government grind very slowly, about as fast as a passenger car laden with happy kids rolling through town with Santa Claus.

I have often advocated rail service as the driving locomotive for the Vallejo’s economy and light rail passenger service as a model for the region. I spoke to this in front of a meeting of the Waterfront Redevelopment meeting in council. The rebuke I got for suggesting a passenger rail connection along the waterfront and the ferry terminal was met by this response from an assistant city manager:”Vallejo is best served by bus!”.

It is time that we let our city counselors and officials know that enough is enough! Save the rail! And for pete’s sakes, don’t run Santa out on a rail!


Note: All opinions expressed in the "Primal Scream" column are those of the writer and not necessarily those of the Vallejo Independent Bulletin