Are We About To Get Shafted on LRT Operations & Maintenance Funding?

by lewwaters

It seems to never end when it comes to the Leavitt Cabal ram rodding Light Rail down our throats. From his lies on opposing tolls to using the cities block veto to ensure what he is demanded to do by forces unknown, to ignoring any input whatsoever from concerned citizens who will be stuck paying for this boondoggle, Leavitt has been spearheading the effort to shove this mess off on us in Clark County while denying us a vote to even ascertain if we want it!

We saw how he manipulated us out of our vote for operations and maintenance of light rail last year and we see the hem hawing now as it is sought to find a way to stick citizens with the bill without letting us speak by vote on it.

We now see at the very bottom of the Monday June 11, 2012 City Council Agenda, item 9 Revenue Options Assessment for Columbia River Crossing Light Rail Operations and Maintenance Expenses (Washington Segment) that some after the consent agenda.

As you read, staff will present a proposal to fund Light Rail operations & maintenance tomorrow evening and the city council will vote on taking it to the C-Tran board. I am unable to find an advance copy of the resolution that I assume council members have been given.

If you notice, there is a “Public Hearing” scheduled just before council will vote on it, but what good is a public hearing that is not made known to the public other than at the bottom of the council agenda and a resolution we may speak about that isn’t prominently made available for us for prior review?

And what if my assumption of council having advance copies is mistaken? Will they have ample time to study and not just blindly vote on what Leavitt and his handlers demand be passed?

If the resolution is available to the public, I am unable to find it. The pdf linked in the agenda is little more than a repeat of what is contained in the agenda. It does show a resolution was attached, but where is it available for public review, since they will be holding a “Public” Hearing?

I guess “Public” Hearings doesn’t mean the public should be made aware of what Leavitt and his cabal are up to. They meet the “requirement” and we should just sit down, shut up and do as we are instructed by the ruling class downtown.

We’ve been promised a vote on whatever source of funding Light Rail operations & maintenance C-Tran approves of, but how many times now have we been denied votes in any manner associated with Portland’s financially failing Light Rail?

And Leavitt? We know he doesn’t have an ounce of integrity left in his soul.

Sometimes, I think tar & feathers would be too good.

UPDATE: The Columbian posted notice shortly before 8 PM with a little more information, very little. But, still no link to the actual draft resolution we are going to have a “public” hearing on.

6 Comments to “Are We About To Get Shafted on LRT Operations & Maintenance Funding?”

  1. Lew, I visited wth a City Council member on Friday, late, and it wasn’t in their Thursday packet.

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  2. But, they fulfill the legal requirement for a public hearing. We just aren’t entitled to have access to what we may speak on.

    All I see is more and more corruption surrounding this.

    And, why push for funding now when they don’t even have a workable bridge design that will satisfy the Coast Guard and FAA?

    They cannot obtain permits, but have no problem taking steps to dig deeper into our pockets.

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  3. This is insane! I cannot believe that this is considered reasonable course of action.
    Now there is no way I can go to the other meeting I was supposed to go to.
    No way after last weeks disgraceful displacement of Jeanne Stewart that I can sit this one out in some other venue.
    We all need to show up!

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  4. This is the classic way the City of Vancouver has operated for years Lew. They have done things like this repeatedly, and under Royce Pollard it happened all the time.

    But what we see here is a thinly veiled way to have Vancouver City Council decide what “the will of the council” is, so they can carry that decision over to C-Tran and push it there with the supposed power they have with their “block veto”. Once again, this is about determining the will of the City Council, which has absolutely nothing to do with the will of the people of the City of Vancouver. This is how Mayor Progressive and Larry Smith manufacture excuses to justify throwing Jeanne Stewart off of any board to do with transportation. If Bill Turlay doesn’t all into line they will do the same thing to him and use his failure to vote the will of the Council as justification.

    The questions I have are many. The biggest one is just which employers do they think they are going to saddle with this new tax?? Do they really think that all of Clark County’s employers inside of C-Tran’s service area are going to sit still for this?? They are already forced to pay one of the highest minimum wages in the Country, and saddling them with another tax is not even a reasonable discussion to have.

    The other thing to note here, is the price. The last time I saw a number floated on this it was $1 a head for each employee, and that is probably how it will be presented to the voters for approval. But that is the proverbial “camel’s nose under the tent” and once the voters agree to create that head tax, the sky is the limit from there, because the voters will not be asked to approve any future tax hikes.

    Right now employers in Multnomah, Washington and Clackamas Counties pay Trimet $7.018 per $1000 of payroll. It is not a head tax per se, but it might as well be since it taxes all payroll paid by an employer. That rate stayed pretty well static at $6.85 for decades and only recently has it begun to climb significantly. Although I am unsure of the exact mechanism by which that rate gets increased, it does not require a public vote to do it. That is the inherent danger to Clark County businesses down the road.

    My biggest fear of this whole thing is allowing the City to create these new taxes without any guarantees about what changes will be made to them down the road. If the City makes obligations it cannot pay then the residents of the City, the homeowners and business owners are the ultimate guarantors, because they can be assessed by special levy to make up the money to pay for whatever the City obligated them for. Down the road either the tax gets raised or the assessments do, but in the end it is the taxpayer who gets i in the end no matter what.

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  5. According to the RCW 81.104..(which they cite in their “working draft”of CRC-LRT operations and Maintenance. . In section 1 it indicates that it has to be approved by the majority of persons voting. Lynda Wilson

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  6. Well! This whole issue went to hell in a handbasket last night, didn’t it?? City Council is right back where they started from with putting a sales tax issue on the ballot, and all of this dancing around alternate ideas appears to be over. Today’s C-Tran board meeting ought to be highly entertaining……

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