Benton Fights C-Tran/TriMet Eminent Domain

by lewwaters

Sen. Don Benton (R. 17) has introduced a new bill, SB 6125 designed to inhibit if not outright block the spurious deal between C-Tran and TriMet that allows TriMet to take Clark County property through eminent domain by C-Tran. Naturally, the CRC scammers are not pleased.

Below is video of the committee hearing the bill received Wednesday, January 22, 2014. Note C-Tran Director Jeff Hamm use of slippery language on C-Tran supports it, not mentioning he has yet to gain favorable citizen support. Also of note, Benton nails him on the time alleged to be saved crossing the river,

Benton is a lot of things and keeps special interest and their supporters upset, but in spite of it all, he stands up for the citizens of Clark County.

That being said, I also have little doubt that should this bill pass in the Senate, as it should, Jim Moeller (D 49) will pull everything he can to kill it and protect the special interests still attempting to circumvent the public will and force taxpayers to fund Portland’s financially troubled light rail into our community.

As we see once again, with another tractor-trailer accident on the Glenn Jackson Bridge this morning, having only two bridges connecting this supposedly “major metropolitan” region is far too little and light rail on the I-5 corridor will solve nothing, other than giving Portland’s TriMet access to Clark County money.

25 Comments to “Benton Fights C-Tran/TriMet Eminent Domain”

  1. This would be fantastic if it passed. When do they vote on it?

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  2. I believe it has another hearing on Jan 27. From there it all depends on the Senate scheduling it out of committee to the floor.

    You can follow its progress at http://apps.leg.wa.gov/billinfo/summary.aspx?bill=6125&year=2013

    Correct link now

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  3. This is one of the reasons I’ll continue to vote for Don Benton for as long as he chooses to represent the 17th. I suppose it’s going to hit the fan now. I expect to see plenty more hateful attacks coming from Brancaccio and friends. They’re going to be working overtime trying to recruit someone to run against him in 2016. The Democrats would try to force Stonier to run against him if she had more than a session and a half under her belt (in 2016 if she wins against Wilson) – just like they coerced Tim Probst into a losing battle with Benton. That didn’t work out too well for them…

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  4. Clark County CTRAN voters rejected light rail on the CRC in 2012, and all Clark County rejected light rail at the ballot box in 2013. CRC scammers, with the help of some legislators, attempt to hide this fact from other legislators, even at legislative hearings. Yes, more bridges where needed most vs. a rebuild of an existing bridge.

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  5. “Clark County CTRAN voters rejected light rail on the CRC in 2012, and all Clark County rejected light rail at the ballot box in 2013”. Wrong, and wrong. First one was a funding mechanism, and the second was an “advisory” vote that was only supported by 25% of the electorate. Neither one was a mandate of the people regarding the I5 bridge project. But you won’t post this because, you know, you aren’t a hypocrite or anything.

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  6. Thanks Lew!

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  7. Awesome, Not only can Don get a huge fine reduced in his position with the county, he has a bunch Dems chomping at the bit! jSweet

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  8. take that Jim M, you self serving A-hole

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  9. A third crossing is needed before the I-5 bridge is replaced. I salute Senator Benton for his principled stand against the CRC with light rail. Trolly cars are the last “transit improvement” that Clark County needs. The population in Clark County is way to dispersed to make trolley cars efficient or to come anywhere near being cost effective. Trolly cars are much slower than driving most of the time. (I regularly drove from San Francisco to my home quicker than the BART trains — and traffic in the SF Bay Area is much more congested than it is here.)

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  10. Actually Greggie old boy, I’m going to let this in, just so people can see what a total idiot you are.

    Why?

    Because, by your reasoning Leavitt and the entire Vancouver City Council don’t have the support of the people either and for the same reason you claim light rail wasn’t rejected.

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  11. Jeff Ham, what a total POS. Here he sits asking by what measure the state has an interest in protecting Private Property rights of Washington citizens in what he calls a local matter, only to then have Senator Kline berate the Freedom foundation testimony of Glenn Morgan, because it is a Federal affair and involves an interstate highway. The argument forwarded by CPOS Hamm being so distasteful to Kline that he cannot bring himself to agree with the C Tran position, and even punctuates his ill regard of the official C Tran Position, by backing up and correcting himself.

    So I ask you, who is out of touch? Even Kline dis’d Hamm.

    IMO, Hamm and the attorney who provided such horrid legal advise need to be fired.

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  12. What I also find funny, how long have we been told this isn’t a local matter, it’s an international bridge and our local opposition shouldn’t determine it?

    But now, it’s a local matter that the legislature has no business being involved in?

    I still believe a criminal investigation is warranted with indictments and imprisonment to follow were need be.

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  13. Greg, I must had missed your comments about how the low turnout wasn’t a large enough sample size to elect Anne McEnerny Ogle,Tim Leavitt,Jack Burkman and Alisha Topper as well as other freeholder candidates such as Temple Lentz,Pat Jolotta,Val Odgen,Jim Moeller,Marc Boldt,Gary Lucas,Ann Rivers,Liz Pike,etc. Futhermore, I believe I miss your comments on the articles on Brian Sontagg,Rodney Tom, and Tim Sheldon being considered no longer democrats by Dwight Pelz. I also must had missed your comments on the C-tran contract that was not read. I missed these comments because said comments do not exist.

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  14. Electing people and “advisory” votes are apples and oranges, Jacob. When you ask for an “advisory” vote, you want to know what “most” people would like. I know right wing extremists are not that good at math, but google it if you need to; 25% is not “most”. Washington walked away from the table, which isn’t something you do in a negotiation, if you want to continue to have input. CTran’s board did the best they could to stay in the game and have some input. Benton’s bill is meaningless because it is CTran’s eminent domain that would be used, not TriMet’s. But he is just as clueless as the rest of you.

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  15. This is an excellent of example of Jeff Hamm lying to the public blatantly. Disgusting!

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  16. Uh, Greg, ol boy. You glossed right over your reasoning also must apply to the freeholders as well as Leavitt, Burkman, Topper and McEnerny-Ogle.

    If not, explain how so

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  17. Here is another example of Hamm’s work: https://vimeo.com/84207743

    And a more detailed version: https://vimeo.com/82158818

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  18. Senator Benton was correct in his assessment at this hearing. To begin with, the way this agreement was passed at the C-Tran was against parliamentary procedure. It was reminiscent of the Affordable Health Care act where you had to pass it before you could read it. Only in this case it was never presented to the full board of the C-Tran commission for them to read.

    C-Tran is out of control and their authority to operate in the current manner should be revoked and investigated.

    What is truly needed in Clark County is a carefully thought out third bridge in a fast growing demographically located area such as the 192nd area across to Oregon. By building a third less costly bridge, the public would be served by alleviating some of the congestion on both I5 and I205. There would also be no tolls and federal help would be more readily available.

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  19. Well Greg you have a point, that being that the State of Washington walked away from what was a bad deal from partner negotiating in bad faith. That is having a say in the matter. That is saying “NO!!!”

    By your logic if those who vote are the only ones to count, then their advise is the advise that needs to be heeded. The said overwhelmingly, “NO!!!!”

    We said “NO!!!” to funding the thing (M&O) last year, We again said “NO!!!” to Light Rail on I-5 this year. But I can tell from the squirm in your logic that neither of those answers are what you want to hear because you did not ask for our advise, and like a salesman you are still trying to get to “yes” on a concept for which their is no agreement.

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  20. Greg…

    If you go back and look on the Clark County Elections website, you will find there is never a year where there is 100% voter turnout. What you see is a representation of those of us willing to take the chance and mail in our ballots…those of us who DO seek a fair and balanced government, complete with unfair taxation.

    A rose is a rose, sir. The ballot measure was for funding of light rail and BRT operations and maintenance. Without it, there would be no LRT and BRT. SINCE both were with the intent of TriMet’s attempt to infiltrate Clark County, the voters saw fit to stop this nonsense and said NO, even if it were only 25% of the voters. Whether you like it or not, the voters such as myself who said NO are the MAJORITY representation of Clark County. The Washington State Senate Majority Caucus LISTENED to the voters and also said NO…and now, the FEDS are saying no to Kitzhaber’s folly.

    Learn to accept that which you cannot change and work together with those you are in opposition in order to find a solution. And yes Greg, I would be saying the same thing IF the results had gone in the opposite direction.

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  21. …Complete with unfair taxation out of the picture, that is…

    sorry about that.

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  22. TriMet, more formally known as the Tri-County Metropolitan Transportation District of Oregon, is a public agency that operates mass transit in a region that spans most of the Portland metropolitan area in the U.S. state of Oregon . Created in 1969 by the Oregon legislature , the district replaced five private bus companies that operated in the three counties; Multnomah , Washington , and Clackamas . TriMet started operating a light rail system named MAX in 1986, and opened new lines in 1998 (Westside), 2001 (Airport), 2004 (Interstate Ave.), and 2009 (Clackamas), as well as a commuter rail line in 2009. It also runs the Portland Vintage Trolley on light rail lines in Downtown Portland and operates the City of Portland owned Portland Streetcar .

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  23. TriMet…an OREGON Transportation district who was once driving their buses into Old-town Vancouver and if I recall correctly, pulled out due to lack of funding and the bus mall in downtown Vancouver was dissolved. Currently, TriMet is jostling with funding for their light rail mega-project spanning the Willamette and has even suggested removing certain routes and services in order to continue funding light rail. Clark County residents do not want the threat of reduction of service. We would rather expand on our own existing service WITHOUT TriMet. IF TriMet once again enters our county and attempts Eminent Domain in order to operate their service here in Clark County, it will most definitely adversely affect Clark County commuters and taxpayers, Ms. Waller.

    LET OREGON KEEP THEIR BIGGEST FINANCIAL BLUNDER

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  24. I recall reading that what TriMet is after is the Federal dollars they will gain by becoming an interstate transit agency. I don’t think they expect to realize profit from Clark County as they will operate here at a loss for decades to come.

    Another issue I’ve never heard raised is who would be financially responsible for the inevitible injuries and deaths to commuters and pedestrians when TriMet operated vehicles are in Clark County? TriMet appears to have a pretty poor record of operational safety in Oregon. What will be done to ensure that same laxness towards safety doesn’t occur in Clark County? Of course, C-Tran has had their own issues with safety, but at least with it being a wholly Washington entity, they are constrained by Washington State law.

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  25. All the more reason why we must keep TriMet OUT of Clark County, Craig.

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