Wednesday, March 19, 2008

Words of the Uninformed

The Portland City Council, for the first time, recently had a public discussion about the Columbia River Crossing Project, as reported by the Oregonian on Tuesday, March 18. The project has been ongoing for nearly three (3) years now, with Commissioner Sam Adams representing the Council on the CRC Task Forces.

Comments made by at least two of the Commissioners suggest that they are not considerate of either the public process for the CRC, nor the ridiculous traffic congestion experienced by Clark County commuters.

The following is an email I received today about the Portland Commissioners comments, and my response:

Good Morning Mayor, Councilmember and City Manager:

Any thoughts on KATU reporting that Randy Leonard of Portland City Council will not "allow" a new bridge that does not have light rail. So far as I'm hearing from my members they are pretty upset by the appearance that Portland City Council is trying to extent their governing power across the bridge.

Our official position is still that the mode of HCT is not the issue, but the corridors are. At this time my board has not directed me to have our Government Affairs Committee consider a change in that position due to angry comments by our membership, however I do see that as a distinct possibility due to the fact that this is already an emotionally charged issue with property rights implications.


Good Morning (xxxxx) --

Indeed, recent remarks by a few from the south side of the river have sounded inconsiderate...not just of our community, but also of the CRC's Public Process (Draft Environmental Impact Statement).

Commissioner Leonard's suggestion that rails be put into the bridge is either a result of his lack of awareness or simply a disregard for the public process. I'm hoping the prior...a lack of awareness...

More concerning to me is Commissioner Sten's remark, "Let's face it, the bridge serves Vancouver more than Portland."
The expression of such sentiment leads me to believe the either Sten is not in touch with the business community in Portland, or, the business community has yet to speak up on the issue. With some 60k citizens of Clark County crossing the I-5 bridge each morning to work in the Rose City and surrounding suburbs, how does Sten determine that the bridge serves Vancouver more than Portland? Is the Clark County workforce of no value to employers in Portland?

Emotions may be charged, but I'm confident the (xxxxx) leadership will make prudent decisions.
We'll keep working with the "uninformed" in Portland in hopes that they'll come around to an important public process.



Bob Koski said...

According to Mayor Pollard, we all just need to "get used to the idea of those shiny trains" running in and out of Downtown.

I find it curious that Hizzonor would make that kind of recommendation, considering that the DEIS isn't due out until late April or early May, and until it is published, we won't know what is being proposed.

What do you think Tim? Should we all just get used to the idea of Loot rail, no matter what??

Anonymous said...

Hi Tim!

Just read your blog on "Words of the Uninformed" Right on Target! It's not enough for the elected leadership of Portland/Oregon to have an estimated $149.8 million in taxes from a non-voting bloc that has no voice but now they want to govern by proxy. It's like a parent that wants to tell their kids what to do after they've grown up, moved out and are well into their career.