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Memo to Metro 'gang': Keep out of county

Oh please, enough already.

The editorial opposing 3-401 (“Reject roadblock to county’s future,” Aug. 29) is such a deceitful collection of nearly every farce ever touted by light-rail supporters, it might as well been written by Jim Bernard or Positively Clackamas- the Political Action Committee funded mostly by TriMet’s light-rail contractor and light-rail car manufacturer.

There are also many factual errors, including the claimed new station provisions in the new deal with TriMet. They are not for the Milwaukie station.They are for the Park Avenue Station. None of them are really new improvements at all, and the public safety additions are illusions with no real funding for more safety with a phony pretense the station may someday be a closed system.

Is this board hopelessly naive or worse?

Of course this blowing deceitful smoke at the voters is nothing new. This rail transit and planners’ density agenda relies upon perpetual propaganda.

You say the economic prosperity, future of the county and their role in the region all depend on this boondoggle train project that barely enters the county???? Well, laugh out loud.

Did Mayor Sam Adams or Neil McFarlane help write this?

This editorial is precisely the condescending lecture the government class uses to prohibit public votes and force upon communities what they do not want.

It’s the same anti-public vote sermon aimed at the Lake Oswego opponents of the Streetcar and Foothills, opponents of Metro’s plan for Damascus, opponents of the Park Avenue and McLoughlin plans, opponents of reckless urban-renewal schemes and opponents of the Boring property-rights takings.

The idea that this unwanted and unneeded light-rail link to Portland somehow makes Clackamas County a key player is made-up nonsense.

This transit connection is a wasteful replacement of the existing transit connections, and the obscene unfunded cost rips off funding for essential services and local roads, highways and bridges, while causing TriMet to cut more bus service to pay their share of the project.

This board may genuinely “believe the new light-rail line will bring economic development.” But that is one of the most refuted claims light-rail zealots have made with evidence to the contrary all across the region at every MAX station. The heavily subsidized overcrowded apartment bunkers and chaos found along existing MAX lines is not something desirable and worth duplicating in Milwaukie and Oak Grove. That is not a boost. It is an act of ruining these communities.

It’s offensive to the extreme to claim businesses are attracted to rail-line locations. Have you no authentic awareness of the existing MAX lines at all?

If only a fraction of these deceitful claims were true, the area of the Convention Center/Rose Quarter/Lloyd District with multiple light-rail and streetcar lines would not still need government handouts to spur development. But that is the story everywhere these tracks go. “Gimmie gimmie gimmie” follows the trains with “oh no, it failed” results.

Clackamas County had foolishly agreed—in a flawed and since altered contract—to pay $25 million it could not afford for a project voters would never approve.

The shadow government’s “renegotiated” lower payment with TriMet that is only good if the payment is rushed to TriMet before the public vote is the ultimate lesson for voters.

That alone should outrage most Clackamas County voters and send the county commissioners another huge loss.

Misrepresenting the rail opposition is always in the lecture too.

Opponents don’t say Measure 3-401 is about voting on large infrastructure projects. It’s about voting on outrageous and contentious projects that infuriate the public to the point of having to gather 12,000 signatures in order to vote. In this case the commissioners plan to raid the general fund while their own county projection shows a $4.5 million general fund gap as soon as 2015.

I’ve never heard the argument that light rail is “an ideology” inconsistent with Clackamas County’s beliefs. That’s a twist. It certainly has been cast accurately as the way to ruin neighborhoods with overcrowding, lousy parking and apartment bunkers. Planners call that smart growth and insist it be forced upon our communities without their approval.

3-401 proponents justifiably say the project was jammed down local residents’ throats. The entire process was rigged with stacked committees and tax-funded chicanery to avoid any and all genuine measurement of public will. That’s how the planning racket works.

The heavy-handed government gang of Metro, TriMet, Portland, Milwaukie and Clackamas County have sought to roll over the public everywhere they plan.

Every step of their planning process has included an orchestrated pretense of public approval. The elected leaders conceal nearly all of their intentions while getting elected and end up representing only the small minority, which any public vote will prove.

In this case and with the recent fee and urban-renewal battles, Clackamas County commissioners have plotted against the super majority they were elected to represent.

We know from existing MAX lines that light rail is a costly transit system that cannibalizes bus service, devours road funding and sucks up local tax dollars trying to spur the high-density planner’s fantasies that never arrive.

Voters have every reason to reject the Portland planner’s agenda and look forward to genuine progress for their Clackamas County.

Vote YES on Measure 3-401 and replace Lehan and Damon in November.

Jim Knapp is a chief petitioner for Measure 3-401.



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