Anti-light rail group calls out 'misleading' campaign signs

13News Now Eric Kane has the story

VIRGINIA BEACH, Va. (WVEC) -- Opponents of extending the Tide to Town Center are calling out supporters for promising more than a voter referendum would deliver.

A sign posted along Rosemont Road says "Vote Yes! Light Rail." Underneath the bold letters the sign reasons "Connect the Oceanfront, ODU, Airport & Naval Base."

The referendum asks voters whether the city should spend tax money to extend light rail from Newtown Road in Norfolk to Town Center, nowhere else.

"It's a misrepresentation of the facts," said John Atkinson, who helped craft the referendum along with his group No Light Rail VB. "This referendum is for 243 million dollars for 3.2 miles from Newtown Road to Town Center. That's all."

The sign was paid for by Light Rail Now, Inc., which is also sponsoring a slew of TV ads. The on-air proportionals include testimonials from the president of ODU, a city councilman, and a military advocate, who all praise improvements to the Tide.

Joash Schulman of VB Connex, said the ad campaign represents the vision for a regional light rail system that can only grow by heading to Virignia Beach.
 
"The fact is if we don't vote yes on november 8th we don't get to those other places and Virginia Beach is not part of that conversation," said Schulman.

A recent 13News Now/Virginian-Pilot/CNU poll found support and opposition to the referendum was at a statistical tie.

However, Atkinson admitted he was "nervous," and acknowledge his shoe-string campaign could be losing momentum.

"We need money, we don't have it," Atkinson said. "They have it and they're spending it."


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