As I have been saying, quite literally for years, the ENTIRE reason to replace the bridge was to get the camel's nose of light rail under the Clark County tent flap, and to do it without asking us.From the excerpt above, this paragraph comes into play:
Now, it seems, no less then the Supreme Court of Oregon agrees.... with me.
The Oregon Supreme Court has succeeded in doing what scores of public meetings, thousands of pages of reports, and endless public relations spin could not: Give us the original rationale behind the proposed $3.5 billion Columbia River Crossing.The irony here cannot be overlooked:
The answer, according to the court: The massive Interstate 5 bridge and freeway project is a “political necessity” to persuade Clark County residents to accept something they previously didn’t want—a MAX light-rail line from Portland to Vancouver. (To read the Feb. 16, 2012 Oregon Supreme Court decision regarding the Columbia River Crossing Project, click here (PDF, 18 pages))
.Project opponents filed a legal challenge to the way Metro, the regional planning agency, granted sweeping land-use approval to the project. The Oregon Supreme Court sided mostly with Metro.
.But Chief Justice Paul De Muniz, writing for the majority, highlighted an inconvenient set of facts for CRC backers..He wrote in the Feb. 16 opinion that most of the project—namely the 10-lane freeway bridge and new interchanges—was put forward to get Clark County to agree to the light-rail line..De Muniz cited statements that Metro made in the land-use process and Metro’s lawyer repeated before his court..“It was politically impossible for the light rail project to proceed without also building new interstate bridges across the Columbia River,” De Muniz wrote..“Or as Metro later summarized it: ‘There is no light rail without the freeway bridge[s] being replaced.’”.
Backers have cited traffic and safety issues as the top reasons to build the CRC. But the court ruling means those and other justifications were created after officials decided to give a sop to Clark County, now worth $2.5 billion.
Just today, the Mayor of Vancouver (And CRC Contractor employee) Tim Leavitt, had a propaganda story printed in the Reflector... as story that now appears to be quite discredited.
But then, Leavitt has never been real big on telling the truth.
There was never any question that replacing an already paid for, perfectly serviceable bridge was driven by anything EXCEPT light rail to the downtown, Vancouver, area; the Oregon Supreme Court now says as much.
He wrote in the Feb. 16 opinion that most of the project—namely the 10-lane freeway bridge and new interchanges—was put forward to get Clark County to agree to the light-rail line.As the liars supporting this scam, in particular, the local rag of a cancer on our community and Leave-it have been looking us in the collective eye and lying about this project, namely, that the commissioners and even the Vancouver city council can't do anything to stop this project... why is it that Clark County HAD TO AGREE TO THE PROJECT?
And if it had to AGREE with the project... how come, suddenly, magically, it can no longer DISagree with the project?
When the observation is made that this rape is inevitable, I've got to wonder: What if that perspective is just pro-light rail garbage?
What if the commissioners were to call the lawyers in and say, "guys, get us out of this. And if you can't, you're fired and we'll get someone in here who can."
So, now that the truth is out that this entire thing is a loot rail rip off that scum like Leave-it are forcing us all to be victims to and of, the question becomes this: why aren't we being allowed to vote on this rip off, particularly since we've voting on, and overwhelmingly rejected this same scam in the past?
Since loot rail is the driver, why not just build some sort of loot rail bridge or tunnel or something and leave the bridge alone?
The answer is simple: The ONLY way they can get this steaming pile built... the ONLY way they can screw us without a vote, is to roll it into replacing the brdige. Build it seperate FROM a bridge replacement and a vote would be required.
The entire fulcrum of this project then, is the carrot attached to the end of the loot rail stick.
TriMet is hundreds of millions of dollars in debt... to the tune of around $1.6 billion resulting from bonding, massive under utilization, massive overpaying of personnel (The average pay and benefits of a TriMet employee is in the $115,000 range) and unbelievably unfunded pension liabilities (Exceeding $900 million on their own) that will HAVE to be covered by someone, that make this scam outfit look like a train wreck, the Crime Trains notwithstanding.
Al Capone would blush.
They determined, given the idiocy and short-sighted/oft-stated desire to ignore the voters that the scum running Vancouver would ignore the people of this community and screw us to get loot rail into Clark County, via Vancouver; TriMet saw an opportunity and took it.
That's just the start, of course. In the future, billions more will be wasted on expanding the system through out Clark County.... that we cannot afford, that no one wants and which will accomplish absolutely nothing once built... except, of course, to sink us much further in debt.
But Trimet needs the money. OUR money.
Tens of millions of dollars generated by the citizens of Clark County will be used to expand facilities.... in Oregon.
Future bonding for projects in.... Oregon... can have their liabilities spread to us, here in ...Washington. So, I get why they did this, and frankly, I can't blame Trimet.
No, this is a failure on the part of local political leadership. They are in office, in part, to protect US, to look out for US; not to allow these scum to have the ability to engage in fiscal rape.
And that brings us to why we're not being allowed a vote on this... and why a separate loot rail system isn't set up so that the I-5 Bridge is left alone.
And that's where the vote comes in.
The I-5 Bridge is an interstate bridge. Under the somewhat bizarre concept that it's a part of the interstate system, we're denied a vote. Of course, as what amounts to a federal bridge, we shouldn't have to pay a dime in tolls, either, but everyone involved, from the two idiots representing us in the US Senate thru the cardboard cutout in Congress on down to Tim "The Liar" Leave-it WANTS tolls... and wants those tolls to be expensive.
The higher, in fact, the better.
Because they believe that if the tolls are high, people will actually use loot rail.
They won't, of course. And loot rail will be the same expensive economic black hole here that it's been everywhere else.
Slime like Leave-it are aware of that.... but Leave-it, who is employed by a CRC contractor, certainly doesn't care.
Because we're denied a vote on replacing the I-5 Bridge, the ONLY way to get loot rail into Vancouver is on the bridge.
ANY other effort to bring loot rail into Vancouver would NOT be considered part of the interstate system and thus, WOULD be subject to a vote... a vote where the results are obvious:
It would again, fail, miserably.
There is absolutely no reason to fail to put this entire issue up in front of ALL of the people of this county. None. And the commissioners SHOULD make this vote a priority as soon as possible.
Advisory, or no. Binding, or no. The people have the right to be heard regardless of the scam these clowns are running.
With the proof that loot rail is driving this $10 billion rip off, everyone in elective office around here should demand a halt to this theft. Those who don't? Well, the question isn't IF they're bought... it's more a question of how much they cost individually.