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Rail vote perpetrated by farcical statements

Jim Knapp’s “Memo to the Metro gang” is so convoluted that it defies description. Let me point out a few things I find ridiculous. In the first paragraph he assails the Clackamas Review’s editorial (“Reject roadblock to county’s future,” Aug. 29) as a “deceitful collection of farces.”

Then he suggested that Positively Clackamas (the PAC opposed to initiative 3-401) might have written it, and that Positively Clackamas was “mostly funded by TriMet’s light-rail contractor and manufacturer.” Where is the evidence to support either statement? Regarding funding, show the voters the transaction detail on the Orestar site to which you refer. And if you are going to bring up donors, explain to the voters why the PAC “Oregon Rail Vote” accepted a contribution in the amount of $15,000 from Loren E. Parks, a current resident of Nevada who has admitted having been sued multiple times for less than upstanding personal and professional behavior here in Oregon?

One example of how convoluted this harangue is the assertion that “overcrowded apartment bunkers” are found along existing MAX lines, or as we “light-rail zealots” like to call it “high-density housing.” An example debunking that assertion would be Orenco Station, a neighborhood of the city of Hillsboro. It is a “planned urban town center that was designed as a pedestrian friendly, high-density community built in conjunction with TriMet’s Westside light rail.” Then, in a subsequent paragraph he says “MAX lines suck up local tax dollars trying to spur high-density planners fantasies that never arrive.” Which is it? Do MAX lines spur high-density housing or not? The answer is they sometimes do, and Orenco Station is a great example of a high-density, mixed-use development that is a complement to the suburban/rural landscape between Beaverton and Hillsboro.

I rode the Hillsboro to Portland Max for three years a minimum of 50 times a year from 2001 thru 2003. I saw high-density and single-family communities (like Orenco Station) grow up and/or expand along that line. Voters should call the mayors of Hillsboro (Mr. Willey) and Beaverton (Mr. Doyle) and ask them how accurate Mr. Knapp’s assessments are. During that time riding the MAX I talked to dozens of people who lived in Gresham and east Portland that had good high paying career jobs at Nike and Intel sites in Washington County with work sites convenient to the various MAX line stations. They all said if it were not for MAX they would have had to move or quit their jobs because the commute by bus, car or carpool was out of the question in terms of time or cost.

Mr. Knapp, you have recently sought court relief to halt the sale of bonds by Clackamas County to pay TriMet the agreed share of the revised IGA. At commission meetings various supporters of 3-401, have asked time after time why the commissioners could not wait to vote on that obligation to TriMet until after the Sept. 18 vote. My question to you is why didn’t you withdraw the petition back in August and save us taxpayers $125,000 until you and Mr. Winters could get it right? At that time, in light of the pointed opinion of James Westwood of the law firm of Stoel Rives (a nationally recognized state and federal constitutional scholar) citing specifics that the petition was flawed to the point of being unconstitutional, withdrawing the petition would have been the responsible action. Mr. Winters comments to the Editorial Board stating in effect that if there were flaws in the petition, they could be fixed by the county at a later date. Mr. Winters should have had the entire petition vetted by someone with Mr. Westwood’s expertise before the measure was presented to voters.

Mr. Knapp’s “Soapbox” letter with all its vitriol and condescending half truths and untruths is hypocrisy, not democracy and in my opinion is unconscionable. He is shackled with a single point of view. He is a true solipsist, who believes everyone in Clackamas County does or should think like him. That of course is nonsense.

Vote for Jamie Damon and Charlotte Lehan and vote no on 3-401.

Charles Berglund is a resident of Oak Grove.




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