King City council united in opposing light rail measure
All seven urge voters to turn down measure in Sept. 18 special election
Mayor Ron Shay
During the recent campaign in King City to get a measure concerning rail transit to the area on the September ballot, I have suggested to people that they could voice their views on this subject by attending a City Council meeting and directly expressing their comments to the city officials they elected.
Unfortunately, the only person we heard from was the individual circulating the petition, which if passed, will completely forbid the city from contributing ANY input concerning rail transit to the King City area.
There are valid arguments on both sides regarding light rail into an area. Several of the points being put forth against the rail smack of classic propaganda techniques. I have heard that light rail breeds crime but have seen no data verifying this. It has been said that extra buses on the highway could carry the extra load. However, they would not lighten the traffic nor cut down on greenhouse gases that we get in the city.
I have also heard it said that it would be difficult for us "old folks" to get to the rail station! How much more difficult can it be than to get to the current bus stop?
But enough of that. I would hope that the measure that was put on the September ballot will be defeated so there will be an opportunity to have open discussions of the idea of light rail, the financing and other pros and cons backed by factual information. If the bill passes, the city will be forbidden to present any information either for or against any proposal.
You elected your City Council. At every City Council meeting there is opportunity for your input. Passage of this measure will stop the city from responding to your requests for information. I would hope you do not pass this measure and tie the hands of your city staff to provide factual information.
Councilor Suzan Turley
This initiative has the potential to cripple King City's decision-making process. It is imperative our city be involved in any discussions about transportation issues affecting the residents of King City, now and in the future.
I highly encourage King City residents to participate in City Council meetings and let their concerns be voiced.
Councilor Malka Sekey
I am a proud naturalized citizen of this amazing country. I hold in awe its democratic principles.
The so called "light rail petition" undermines these principles by severely limiting our city's ability to freely inform its citizens and to participate in any planning of transportation issues and need that may affect them in the future.
This measure is being promoted and funded by outside interests whose agendas are not for the benefit of our citizens. Thus, the needs of our citizens are being sacrificed and disregarded in unacceptable ways.
In a democracy, free discussions and exchange of information are always valued. Attempts at restrictions of this kind speak for themselves.
This is not about light rail. This is about you NOT having the right to have discussions about light rail.
I hope King City residents will see this measure for what it is and vote a resounding NO.
Councilor David Newham
This ballet measure is one of those initiatives that is a wolf disguised in sheep's clothing. It does not mean what it says. You will lose your right to vote on light rail transportation issues if you approve this measure.
I understand everyone's concern about the problems of light rail; however, not participating in future planning is not a solution to those problems. Citizen involvement is a solution. Don't be hoodwinked by outside forces that attempt to be anonymous and are not on the up and up about their motives.
Vote NO on this ballet measure.
Councilor Ken Gibson
I am a city councilor first and foremost to serve King City with the highest degree of concern regarding what is best for our community. The light rail initiative would require voter approval simply to allow the City Council to utilize any city resources to gather information to determine the impact or benefit of a light rail-type proposal.
That is, if King City voters approve the light rail measure, the result would prevent the council from using city resources even to study a proposal without first getting voter approval.
Please allow us to continue to represent King City residents by using all available resources to determine the impact or benefit of all current and future proposals by voting no on this measure.
Councilor Bill Boyle
I would encourage anyone voting on this petition to call City Hall or one of your councilors to get all the information you may need to make an informed decision. This petition does not stop Metro from putting a light rail line along Pacific Highway, but it does prevent or make it extremely difficult for the city to be involved in any future discussion.
This will prohibit all staff and city resources from providing data to the council. If we are involved in any discussion, we may not have all the facts if and when it becomes a real project. We may lose out on an opportunity to get a feature that benefits us and instead let someone else decide everything for us.
Feel free to contact me at 503-351-8597.
Councilor Dick Winn
I cannot adequately express my frustration and disappointment regarding this appalling intrusion into the conduct of governance of King City by this initiative, specific to light rail, by people in another county and state! This initiative is not about light rail but about the ability of the City Council of King City and the King City staff to fulfill their obligations and responsibility to the citizens of King City. The wording of this initiative forbids use of staff time (city resources) regarding any research or discussion of light rail.
A general election is required every time there is to be a mere discussion! This is nonsense! There may or may not be benefits to King City concerning light rail but we cannot even participate in the discussion.
This measure originated in Clackamas County, we understand. This is Washington County and King City. I'm also appalled at the attitude of these mean-spirited people to falsely inform voters in King City to sign their petition and to purposely time their effort to require King City to spend money on a September election instead of allowing the measure to be placed on the ballot in the general election in November.
This has cost the city and its tax-paying citizens much more than the $3,300 quoted by the petitioner at a council meeting. In fact, it is approaching $8,000. When advised of this unnecessary burden to our city, the representative of this Clackamas County effort, who happens to reside in King City, I also understand, said that they didn't care! Well, we do!!
This initiative is wrong in every regard. The City Council of King City needs to participate in the discussions regarding the Southwest Transportation Corridor, whatever they lead to, to prevent features that might be detrimental and to promote any benefits that might be available. There will be several options on the table; light rail is only one. It remains to be seen which option will be the best for all cities, including King City, for sure.
The information given to King City residents to entice them to sign the petition is misleading at the least - I was one of the residents who was told these nonsensical things, and I said no to signing the petition, of course.
Before any actions by the King City council, the residents are advised and consulted and asked for their input to assure full discussions of the benefits and objections. This is the way of governance in our country with elected representation to govern - in our case, as unpaid volunteers.
Please, King City voters, vote NO on this misguided initiative. Thank you.