Gilbert Vice Mayor Aimee Yentes channels concerns of residents when she says she doesn't believe that a rail is not planned. Video in the article.
Watching the Gilbert council meeting and the preceding study session on 23 Aug 2022, any reasonable person, knowing how government works, would come away with the impression that some kind of rail is coming to Gilbert and that the planners are trying to hide this from the public.
While Mayor Brigitte Peterson says that she is against light rail and no plans for a light rail were ever discussed for Gilbert, council member Scott Anderson says that the council needs to hear from the public about a commuter rail. Anderson voiced displeasure at the plebes - ahem, citizens in attendance - because they are not listening to what he's saying. Maybe that's because they believe Anderson isn't being entirely truthful?
Council member Kathy Tilque expressed her frustration that, as Mayor Peterson called it, misinformation has led to a situation were people are needlessly upset about a rail that isn't planned at all, and would, if at all, only come to Gilbert in the distant future, or maybe earlier, if properties near planned rail lines can be seized sooner (sarcasm). Earlier in the study session plans for rail connections and transit hubs were openly discussed and Vice Mayor Aimee Yentes cited numerous documents that appear to indicate a path toward a goal as part of an agenda to bring some sort of rail to Gilbert.
Video Snippets of the Aug 23 Study Session
A light rail is a rail that runs on tracks that are built on city streets. Light rail has been a disaster virtually everywhere it's been implemented. It impedes traffic and is ridden, often, by homeless people and criminals. Law abiding citizens typically avoid light rail. Light rail takes up far more space on the road than the limited traffic that it replaces. Construction leads to more cost and pollution than the few cars that it may replace.
Commuter rails run on existing rail lines, or on newly built, proper rail lines. There are only very few examples of a commuter rail running profitably. Japan, which is highly dense, is one of them. A large number of potential passengers live close to commuter rail stations and can hence access them easily. In fact the construction of commuter rail stations in turn encourages the construction of high density housing.
In low density, suburban communities a commuter rail is pointless because it takes people too long to get from their homes or offices to the station to board the train. Only government force in the shape of taxation of cars, artificial road traffic impediments, expensive tolls and other government created hindrances to private automobile traffic can induce significant numbers of people to opt for a commuter rail. Gilbert residents are rightly suspicious of either light or commuter rail as such plans indicate a desire by planners to transform medium to low density communities into high density inner city blight.
Vice Mayor Aimee Yentes, in many many words, essentially said that council members who deny that light or commuter rail will come to Gilbert are lying. Yentes described their antics as doublespeak, a term she attributed to the pivotal book 1984, by George Orwell. In fact 1984 uses the terms newspeak and doublethink, but Yentes is essentially correct in that some council members gave the distinct impression that they clearly plan some kind of rail to exist in Gilbert, while hiding this behind claims of misinformation, disrespect and Listen to what we're saying.
It was distressing to see Yentes - who is clearly very bright and cares about Gilbert - interrupt herself because people supported her by clapping. When you have people in government who apparently want to turn your beautiful city into an inner city blight inhabited by homeless people and criminals because of climate change and equity, decorum can wait. It's not like citizens are storming the stage.
It was heartening to hear citizens nevertheless repeatedly voice their displeasure with the antics of some council members. Scott Anderson stood out as a seemingly typical example of an arrogant, aloof bureaucrat annoyed by the plebes who dare question him. Anderson has been working for the town of Gilbert from 1998 until 2013. Kathy Tilque is not far behind. She served in a somewhat similar role as Anderson, having been in the Chamber of Commerce for around 30 years. The Chamber of Commerce has long turned woke and has had a tremendously negative impact on rising illegal immigration in the US.
Generally the Republican Party is ill advised to promote such people into political leadership positions because typically they end up pursuing policies of the left that in the long run lead to a take over of a community by the left by bringing in voters for the left while chasing away voters of the right.