CRC Proponents Ignoring The Will Of The Voters

by lewwaters

Once again, voters in Clark County have spoken on dragging Portland, Oregon’s financially failing light rail into our community by defeating the latest C-Tran Proposition 1 for raising the sales tax to cover the cost of operations & maintenance of the light rail line. Just as before, voters resoundingly rejected it by nearly 20,000 votes.

In spite of claims otherwise by proponents, the vote was well known among voters to be a proxy vote on light rail itself since all promises previously made of letting voters vote on whether or not we even want Portland’s folly have been denied by elected rulers.

One of the first was Vancouver’s Mayor, ‘Teflon’ Tim Leavitt, known for lying through his teeth to win office as upon seeing the results of the election indicated the “result only confirms that voters do not support raising sales tax to pay for light rail.”

Not one deeply rooted in reality, ignoring the vote ‘Teflon’ Tim adds, “I think it’s imperative to continue to move forward,” according to a quote in a Nov. 6 Columbian article. Many denials by proponents were included in my previous post, Voters Slap Down CRC & C-TRAN, But Will It Matter?

By all indications, as expected the votes by the people will not matter as forcing Clark County residents to accept Portland’s deeply indebted light rail move forward as the denials of the meaning of the vote fly.

We see Mike Briggs, who seems to troll the Columbian’s comments to support just about every ‘stick it to the taxpayer’ scheme rulers dream up informing people of just what they did and did not vote for. A Letter to the Editor by a Laura Brumfield takes elected rulers to task for ignoring the will of the people and as expected, Briggs pops in to say, “Laura, you write above, ‘We the people have voted against the current plan and the light-rail plan for a third time,…’. No you did not Ma’am. The last vote was merely a vote for or against a tax increase for the O&M of Light Rail, not Light Rail in total. I do realize that many, just like you, thought you were voting against Light Rail in total– you were not.”

I guess Briggs never heard of a “proxy vote?” Even the Columbian admitted before the election that in spite of what proponents and rulers said, voters would be voicing their view of light rail with the vote in their article, Charged issue: C-Tran tax hike on November ballot with the subtitle, “Voters’ opinion of MAX service could determine fate of tax.”

Even Scott Patterson, C-Tran public affairs director admitted, “People have pretty strong feelings on high-capacity transit — especially light rail.”

That we do, Mr. Patterson, that we do. Evidenced by rejections of previous measures addressing light rail or perceived by voters as a backdoor funding of light rail, including the 2004 Proposition 1 that led to the formation of a gerrymandered sub-district, cutting out half of the voters in Clark County from voicing their views through a vote. Even with that gerrymandered sub-district, voters once again rejected funding for light rail, clearly stating what we have been saying for over 15 years now, we do not want Portland’s financially failing light rail in our community.

Now comes the Oregonian’s Editorial Boars chiming in with their own denial, Playing games over CRC’s light rail line could cloud efforts to win U.S. funding and saying, “The failed tax had nothing to do with building light rail. It was put to Clark County voters against the wishes of those advocating the Columbia River Crossing, among them the Greater Vancouver Chamber of Commerce, to raise about $4.5 million. Slightly more than $3 million of the revenue would have gone to operating and maintaining an $850 million light-rail line the U.S. government intends to build in partnership with Oregon and Washington. The feds simply need evidence that somebody along the way will pay to run the line.” (emphasis added)

I’ll leave it to you to imagine just why those in the best position to make personal gain off of the backs of taxpayers opposed putting the tax increase before voters, but I trust you can figure that one out easily.

But, we see the Oregonian continuing the blatant lie of “the feds intend” or “the feds require” light rail on this project. It was revealed a bald faced lie long ago that the only reason light rail is being pushed is because of Portland’s Metro, seeing agreeing to a new bridge as a means to force their nearly bankrupt light rail on us after we voted it down, revealed in the Willamette Week article The $2.5 Billion Bribe.

Claims by Sen. Don Benton of “This whole (CRC) thing has been a master scam perpetrated on the citizens of Washington by Metro in order to bring light rail into Vancouver” and Congresswoman Herrera Beutler of “the $3.5 billion project will fail if light rail is pushed upon a community that doesn’t want it” are marginalized and ridiculed as “phobic and without evidence.”

They further add, “After weighing several project alternatives, the Vancouver City Council four years ago endorsed the CRC as configured. And there have been no substantive, Vancouver-based light-rail protests in several years of CRC public sessions and hearings to remedy one of the region’s key economic and quality-of-life challenges: replacing an I-5 bridge whose slowdowns and danger constrict the flow of freight and commuters.”

First off, again it is a lie that there has been no “substantive, Vancouver-based light-rail protests.” No, we haven’t rioted, set any buses on fire or engaged in the mayhem seen last year around the country with the Occupy Wall Street crowd, but our voices have been loud and constant, evidenced again by Mayor ‘Teflon’ Tim Leavitt’s effort to silence critics speaking before Vancouver City Council.

They also, perhaps unwittingly point to another reason the project continues to face much public opposition, nobody asks those of us who will be stuck for generations into the future paying for this boondoggle.

Like above, I’ll let you imagine why the powers that be, the elected rulers continue to deny and block any effort to let the people vote, they know full well we do not want it!

The Oregonian also joins in the plaintive cry of “the legislatures of Oregon and Washington must in 2013 commit to their doable shares of the funding,” unaware, or more likely ignoring that both states still face severe funding problems, Washington alone facing over a $2 Billion budget gap again with no means in site to raise more revenue without further bankrupting taxpayers.

I can’t help but notice that the voice of the voters is embraced by these Neo-Coms on both sides of the Columbia River when it comes to votes on Homosexual Marriage or legalizing Marijuana.

But when it comes to respecting the voice of the people in regards to this boondoggle, the Neo-Coms do everything in their power to ignore and do end runs around us.

I am left to ponder, just what vested interest does the media outlets have in the project?

11 Comments to “CRC Proponents Ignoring The Will Of The Voters”

  1. Nice piece and well said…

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  2. So Lew, you are not suggesting that the paper copies of the Big “O” and Little “c” placed meticulously on the desks of each of the supervisory personnel with enough apple shine to merit a desk, is in any way dependent on the Big “O” and little “c” promotion of the genuine article?

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  3. Trolley cars work best in high concentration housing areas and business focused tightly in a “central business district.” Successful light and heavy rail systems are all located in metro areas with tight concentration of both housing and business. New York and Chicago have relatively successful (if expensive) rail systems, the San Francisco Bay Area has BART (semi-successful) and the S.F. Muni which operates a successful, but relatively less well known trolley system in the compact 49 square mile city.

    The political fashion of “light rail” (a name used to distance the concept from the trolley cars that most cities removed before WWII) has captured the academic “city planners” who wish to impose a “sustainable” lifestyle described under the United Nations’ Agenda 21 policies. This vision presumes that people can be forced into tightly compacted housing units (averaging less than 600 sq ft) at very high densities — 4000 to 6000 people per acre. (While it is obvious that the home-buying/renting market seeks more space and much less density.)

    Since this vision, taught to “city planners” all through their far-left politically dominated higher education is nearly uniformly held by the managers and staff hired by cities throughout the country, it is no surprise that the trolley car fetish seems to continually get promoted by local government officials, who hear nothing but praise from the planning staff for such boondoggles. Add in the crony capitalist parasites (who aren’t capitalists at all, but are rather better known as “rent-seekers”), and there is immense pressure to continue relentlessly toward installing trolley cars wherever a populace shows any hesitation in killing these programs at the outset.

    As a newcomer, observing the Vancouver/Clark County area, I see a widely dispersed population with only a few, tiny pockets of medium density development in the incorporated cities. (The cities may have a few developments that approach “high density” — but these are actually rather few and do not materially increase the average density of the most highly developed areas.) Indeed, Clark County, as a whole, seems to be substantially developed in an ultra-low density fashion, with substantial areas limited to 1, 5, and 20 acre parcels per housing unit. The “growth” areas feature low-medium density housing developments that run from 4 or 5 houses per acre down to 1 house per acre. None of this housing is conducive to a successful trolley system. Further, Clark County planning does not seem to suggest any desire to increase housing density in the near to medium term. For example, the Discovery/Fairgrounds Sub-area Plan, recently discussed at a planning commission meeting on 11/15 shows a continuation of this type of development throughout the plan area (with a “central commercial core” to be developed).

    What this means is that trolley cars are unlikely to be financially or physically appropriate to the area. Where public transit is required, the flexibility of motor coaches (i.e. busses) is far superior to expensive to operate and maintain, inflexible trolley cars.

    Furthermore, the “light rail” proponents completely ignore the quickly developing “self-driving automobile” technology — a technology that Google has recently received approval for on road use from Nevada and California (even though no manufacturer is yet offering such a vehicle for sale). Once a sufficient number of such vehicles are on the road, the existing highway system capacity can be doubled with no loss of safety. Such vehicles are financed by individual owners using existing roadways — and do not require any additional _public_ expense that is not already inherent in the road and highway budget. Indeed, since the automation will increase existing road capacity, it will reduce the need for highway capacity expansion, allowing more funding of maintenance and safety improvements.

    The value and practicality of trolley cars is far from proven and only fulfills a particular utopian view of the left. I salute the Vancouver/Clark County voters in recognizing this.

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  4. “Friend,” you’re preaching to the choir.

    Most Vancouverites have no idea of the disdain and outright contempt Portlanders feel for our community. It’s a poisonous relationship marked by animosity, spite & perversity, and doesn’t allow for any kind of real communication. (In fact, it’s like the Conservative v. Liberal debates on this board.) Until Portland raises the Light Rail barrier, the ONLY thing we can do is keep electing anti-LR folks – which I don’t like because they’re Republican… But what’s ya gonna do?

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  5. Martin, I think most Vancouverites know how Peetowners view Vantuckyites.Piss on Peetowners.Let them wallow in their own damned Ghetto. The real problem is WHY the Vantucky elites and the Elected Sonsabitches & stupid bastards over here want to make Vantucky into just another “neighborhood” of Peetown. that’s gotta be CLASSIC STUPIDITY. why DO THE morons HATE VANTUCKY HAVING IT’S OWN IDENTITY??

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  6. Jack, there’s the union folks who only care about high-paying union jobs no matter what the price (think “Hostess”), and there’s the downtown development folks who’re going make book on the gigs, and there are wannabe-Portlanders who don’t drive, and there are simply folks who sign up for a cause or take the other side of any argument. I don’t think the numbers are large. Unfortunately, there’s no one at the State level covering Vancouver’s back?

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  7. Equating unions with “Hostess” is a good idea , Martin.It shows what unions are really all about.we live in “Kangaroo county, Martin. for damn sure there’s nobody at the state level covering our butts. The state morons can’t even cover their own butts.

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  8. David is holding the trump card with the HCT Act. He has already asked Bill Baron for a legal interpretation of its applicability to CTran and the CRC. See All Politics is Local. This will bring the whole house of cards down.

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  9. Robert – I have two new concerns. One is Jim Moeller will find a way to create some new “magical” formula to help Paula Hammond avoid the building the CRC Project. Do you really think the state of Washington needs Clark County to “approve” this project. Even though the county commissioners might have a veto power on the C-tran board, there is about four months they might scheme up a solution to cut out the commissioners?

    What happens if they just move that sub-district to just downtown vancouver and let them to allow it to move forward. What if the city decides they have had enough and just forms a city only and urban growth boundary area transit system to make sure this project moves forward?

    What if the state says, no we are going to build this and stops taking public input on it? Look at the limited CRC Joint Oversight Committee meeting who only I believe ONE session of public comment? Though I should say, people could submit written comments… Or contact the CRC office with their feelings?

    I have some other ideas. But I think I want to see how you and other think.

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  10. I should stand correct and say my comment and original line should say, “..One is Jim Moeller will find a way to create some new “magical” formula to help Paula Hammond avoid the interference and blockage to building the CRC Project….”

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  11. Years ago I spent some time in a city whose directorship had forced the construction of massive amounts high-density housing, light-rail (trolleys) and associated concrete bunkers throughout the entire city and close-in suburbs. That city was East Berlin. It was very unpleasant and I was happy to leave.

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