When you hear people in Portland city government talking these days about the ludicrous OHSU aerial tram [rim shot], they're quick to tell you how they were lied to by evil people when the whole boondoggle was approved. The precise identity of the evil liar keeps changing -- one day it's Matt Brown, then it's Vic Rhodes, and of course we can all blame it on Neil Goldschmidt, our unique clone of Richard Daley and Roman Polanski, who's probably more responsible for the whole boondoggle than anyone else.
But when you look back to what the neighbors who are going to live under the tram were telling the city four years ago, and even earlier, it's clear that everyone in the picture -- particularly Commissioners Erik Sten and Dan Saltzman, who were around for all the crucial votes and are now up for re-election -- was fully warned.
Cruise on over to this website, which, as of tonight, hasn't been updated since March 2002. Read what the neighbors were screaming about costs and other issues. Here's a good example, but there were many other prescient observations about costs and deception. The neighbors were so right about so many things. But they were dismissed as NIMBYs, and now we've got nearly 20 million bucks already sunk into a black hole that just grows bigger every day.
The city was on full notice of what it was doing. And it was dead wrong. There's still time to pull the plug. Have we learned anything, gentlemen? Or does the Goldschmidt-Katz era live on?