Clark County, Let Oregon Know We Oppose ‘Go It Alone’

by lewwaters

Light Rail HellAs we all know, Oregon Governor John Kitzhaber continues to hallucinate under a misguided impression that he can force Clark County Washington taxpayers to pay for his long wanted light rail extension into our community, completely ignoring that voters have rejected it at every step allowed.

After the Washington legislature allowed it to die, Kitzhaber took it upon himself to resurrect the misguided notion with the help of our C-Tran Gang of Five that hastily entered into a contract with Trimet for their light rail, also turning their backs on Clark County voters.

A bill in the Oregon legislature that would authorize Oregon to proceed, setting the collecting of tolls on the already paid for bridge and construct this monstrosity is currently pending before the Oregon Joint Ways and Means Committee, having narrowly passed out of the House Transportation and Economic Development Committee.

In spite of what you may have heard from the likes State Senator Annette Cleveland and Rep. Jim Moeller, opposition to the CRC light rail project north of the Columbia River remains strong and the Oregon legislature needs to hear about it, proponents already having spread their nonsense pretty thick.

To that end, Rep. Liz Pike has sent out a letter also signed by Senator Ann Rivers, Senator Don Benton, Senator John Braun, Senator Curtis King, Representative Ed Orcutt, Representative Charles Ross, Representative Paul Harris, Representative Norm Johnson and Representative Brandon Vick outlining several misgivings contained in the bill.

Among misgivings we read;

• Sets the total cost of the project at $2.9 billion, most of which would be recovered by tolls collected from Southwest Washington residents, and with toll-setting authority provided exclusively by Oregon officials.
• Over-estimates of traffic and revenue forecasts would result in shortfalls to throw this major tollbacked project into financial turmoil, leaving residents in Southwest Washington to foot the bill.
• Creates a non-elected “Mobility Council” made up of Oregon residents to identify impacts and provide input resulting from I-205 diversion as a result of the I-5 bridge replacement project without any input from Washington residents or legislators.
• Authorizes citations by highway cameras and gives Oregon Department of Transportation (ODOT) authority to impound vehicles for failure to pay tolls, with fines ranging from $25 up to $1,000 per infraction.
• Authorizes ODOT or vendors to begin collecting tolls prior to construction.
• Provides broad authority to the Oregon State Treasurer to issue toll-backed revenue bonds sufficient to cover potentially significant cost overruns.

Additionally, we see a recent report issued by economist Joe Cortright addressing the mistaken claims Oregon is looking at for the financial feasibility of the project to proceed.

Clark County, if Oregon goes through with this boondoggle, we’re going to get the royal screwing, thanks to the efforts of our own C-Tran Gang of Five for blindly approving signing a contract granting Oregon’s Trimet eminent domain rights through our C-Tran and obligating us to pay upwards of a $5 Million judgment if we simply refuse to go along with it.

But if they decide to drop the notion, we all benefit and might even build support for a truly beneficial river crossing in the near future.

Contact information for all 26 members of the Oregon Joint Ways and Means Committee is here and I urge you to contact each of them, expressing your reasons they should not approve this measure.

It is time we let the downtown mafia and special interests pulling strings in this town know that we citizens are who counts in this town, not their efforts to fatten their bank accounts on our backs.

Take a stand now and let Oregon know, this boondoggle should be allowed to die, once and for all.

5 Comments to “Clark County, Let Oregon Know We Oppose ‘Go It Alone’”

  1. It’s a fight that we will always have ongoing until we can drive a stake through this monsters heart

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  2. I’m trying to find out why Monica Stonier didn’t sign. I don’t know if it’s because she wasn’t asked or because she declined.

    I also thank you for your efforts Lew. You are a true gift to our community.

    I have written to all members of the Joint Ways and Means Committee and have also written to Rep. Stonier about the issue.

    Do you know if there’s a House companion bill to SB 6125? DonkeyBoy has promised to crush it in the House. We’ll see.

    Like

  3. That I am aware of, it’s just the normal process in the House after passing the Senate.

    http://apps.leg.wa.gov/billinfo/summary.aspx?bill=6125&year=2013

    And yes, Moeller publicly vowed to kill it if it reached the House

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  4. Why does it not surprise me that Rep. Moeller would do whatever he could to keep the monopoly afloat??? No wonder he’s been so quiet up to recent days. He was focusing on his only notable achievement as state representative….that is, to screw over the people of Clark County in any way he possibly could!!!

    Funny how money hinders his thought processes. Can’t he see the problematic transit service in Oregon would only be bringing their headaches to Clark County??? Is he that visually inept???

    Like

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