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Milwaukie light rail commitment based on quicksand of lies

To the Editor:

Anyone worried about the county's reputation if they "defaulted" has only to look at TriMet's believability factor regarding federal money for the Milwaukie light rail project. They knew in October of 2008 they were only getting 50 percent of the project in federal money, not the 60 percent they were telling the entire region. They waited until July of 2010 to let us in on that dirty little secret, all the time dealing with Clackamas County for $25 million and Milwaukie for $5 million. It only took them 21 months to spit out the truth, and then only because they had to. Tri-Met General Manager Neil McFarlane's comment to the Milwaukie City Council on this matter was, " We just had a little hiccup in our financing." Well, golly, Neil. Is their stance even legal, much less ethical, when their request is based on such a quicksand of lies? Why is it that everyone is held accountable except TriMet and Metro?

Even one of our own Milwaukie councilors is quoted as urging the commission to give the $25 million to TriMet, saying, "Don't force them to build it on the cheap." I wonder what he thinks they're doing now by cutting the park and ride at Park Avenue and forcing the parking into our neighborhoods?

It is obvious that TriMet, Milwaukie and Clackamas County are convinced they can never win a light rail vote, so they are fighting in every way they possibly can to keep the people from having their say.

Another statement tossed around by the rail advocates is, "It's too far along in development to stop it now." If the world were being threatened by an imminent, cataclysmic collision with a meteor the size of Los Angeles, wouldn't we implore our leaders to do everything in their power to stop it? Relatively speaking, this situation is just about what Clackamas County and Milwaukie are facing, only we're going to be a lot worse off.

Envision the future with light rail extended to Oregon City along the McLoughlin corridor, add low-cost housing all the way and presto! Rockwood South!

Ed Zumwalt

Milwaukie