Yup... the "C-Tran measure rolled" all right... right over the people of Clark County.
I was looking at the measure map again, yesterday. Those behind this measure effectively cut away any serious resistance to the C-Trans measure with an exacto-knife approach that would have made the Klan blush with envy during the Jim Crow days of Alabama.
So... what has happened here?
A small minority of people in this county, allowed to vote because of the exacto-knife approach, have decided that tens of thousands of us who weren't even allowed to vote have to pay their tax.
Oddly, the phrase "Taxation without representation" comes to mind.
The fly in their C-Tran ointment is that, while we weren't allowed to vote, almost every single location within the county that can charge this tax by virtue of being in the taxing area just happened to contain the vast majority of places we use to shop.
Look at the map. Was there a single Safeway, WalMart or Fred Meyers, for example, where those of us who shop can go to without paying the increased sales tax?
Of course not.
Whenever the will of the people is avoided... Whenever a government agency gets cute, like C-Tran got "cute" here... the natural reaction is resentment.
The fact is that much of the resentment will be expressed by an even greater number of people heading to the other side of the river to shop.
Hopefully, C-Tran and other agencies that want to game the people of Clark County will learn a lesson from all of this. Sadly, I find it unlikely as they continue along their road of ever-higher pinnacles of arrogance such as this one.
And with equal clarity, this precedent will result in an ever-increasing number of efforts on the part of our government to erase opposition to their tax and fee increases where thousands will have to pay without getting the opportunity to vote on the matter... just another example of those in government that hold us in the highest contempt taking us all for granted.
I hope they're proud of it... and I hope they choke on it.
Primary Elections 2005: C-Tran measure rolls
Wednesday, September 21, 2005
By THOMAS RYLL, Columbian staff writer
A slimmed-down sales tax increase to maintain bus service in much of Clark County was the biggest winner Tuesday as voters handed C-Tran a victory by a 2-1 ratio.
The heavy support was a huge turnabout from November, when a sales tax proposal failed after it was rejected by 54 percent of voters countywide. A smaller tax-boost request 2 cents on a $10 purchase instead of November's 3-cent proposal was at least part of the trick Tuesday.
"What a win for Clark County," said a relieved Bill Ganley, C-Tran board chairman and a Battle Ground City Council member. "I think this is a big, big statement about people coming out together in support of something."
Ganley said he initially misheard the yes vote as 57 percent when results were released just after 8 p.m. Tuesday. "I was happy with that, but then somebody said, 'no, 67 percent,' and I said, '67 percent? That's a landslide!'"