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Wednesday, January 16, 2008

Tri-Met re-defines "hearing"

This is an event where the public gets to speak its mind, but only to a professional "facilitator" who doesn't work for Tri-Met. Nobody from the agency leadership has the decency to show up and listen.

I remember when the federal goons from Hanford used to come down and do the same thing. It's government at its absolute lowest. Special recognition goes out to all the Goldschmidt boys running the transit pork barrel; they're breaking new ground here locally.

Comments (11)

Governor appointed

TriMet Board of Directors

Richard Van Beveren
Tiffany Sweitzer
George Passadore, Pres.
Sue Van Brocklin
George Richardson
ynn Lehrbach
Robert Williams

It seems clear that Hansen is moving TriMet away from its users and could care less what citizens think. He clearly has all the answers and is more than happy to tell us we don't know what we are talking about. Just wait, soon he'll just say "shut up and listen...this is how I want it done."

It's looking like time for an Impeach Fred movement to start! So, should we start letting the Governor know how much we dislike Hansen?

You might want to call Neil Goldschmidt, who's responsible for both of them.

Tri met doesn't want their dirty little secrets to come out.

One example:

After five years on the job a Tri Met employee gets FULLY PAID HEALTH CARE FOR LIFE.


A portland police and fire style pension system with a similar unfunded liability.

By the way, the people driving those shiny new streetcars that citizen Smith and Sam the Scam are so fond of are Tri Met employees.

That's good work if you can get it.

Small business owners beware. Tri met payroll tax is going up for 2008.

These "Hearings" are likely no different than the ones TriMet had when they were planning the Wilsonville-to-Beaverton rail poute or the ones SCAM ADAMS had regarding the "need" for a road repair tax. In all cases, there already was an agreed upon outcome; and it really didn't matter what people said.

I'm almost ready to vote for Amanda Fritz based solely on the hilarity of her comments to the stenographer (see the Merc link for the full quote).

Another guy, a former police officer, made a great comment that made me re-think the issue. He pointed out that Portland is a drinking town, and that DUI is a real crime, while panhandling and being obnoxious are not nearly as important. Tri-met generally, and fareless square especially,do reduce DUI, I can personally attest, especially among the young and rowdy set. I don't think he was trying to downplay the serious crimes that actually are occurring, but merely reminding people to keep the issue in perspective, and focus more on innovative security approaches rather than throwing the baby out with the bathwater.

I'd be inclined to make the whole system free after 7 and provide substantially more security on the East side. It will be expensive, but it is a visible, basic function of the city, like street repair, education, and parks, that need to be maintained at high levels, not allowed to deteriorate. I wonder if Tri-Met could "facilitate" a citizen group that, either volunteers or in exchange for token compensation (a couple free tickets), provides 4 hour evening shifts of riding the Max in pairs, assisting the security forces. Seems like something that could be low-cost and community focused, but it could also be dangerous, so I'm sure Tri-Met's lawyers would nix it.

Maybe if Tri-Met enforced fares outside of fareless square, we could pay for the security officers needed.

Clearly panhandling on TriMet is just the sort of thing that President Rudolph Giuliani will clean up in a flash.

In resonse to Dave A. I fail to see the similarity in the hearing Sam Adams held. He did the presentation himself and brought most of his trasportation crew. A little different than sending a paid facilitator. As for the question do we "need a road repair tax". Do you think Portland's roads are in steller condition?? If so let me know where you are driving and I will change my routes.

Amanda rocks.

When and where does that Tri-Met board meet? Sounds like a little sunlight needs to shine in there. We need to get citizen observers at all those meetings. Maybe time to make them elected.

There were a couple of Trimet employees at the evening "hearing" but it seemed like they were only there to be pointed out to the public. They were not allowed to speak and certainly not answer questions. The facilitator made it quite clear that the session was only to take comments.
Hansen is determined to do away with Fareless Square entirely -- this is just the first step in doing that -- and he made this the centerpiece of his so-called security proposal. Never mind that there's no reason to think eliminating it will have any good effect on crimes on system, most of which occur well away from Fareless Square. Trimet has claimed before that it would improve security but nothing really happened.

One of the statistics they keep using is that most or "more than half" of the people riding Trimet downtown won't be affected because all those people have passes. As far as I can see, there's no data behind that claim. A bus driver could count how many passes versus tickets or cash, but there's nothing on a MAX train to do that. I ride inside the fareless area every day and there's no one counting me or the people around me. I think Trimet is just throwing out this number to try to make it seem like farelesss square users are insignificant.
There are indeed a lot of people with passes because all Multnomah County employees are given them and I'm sure all Trimet employees ride free anywhere. But that says nothing about downtown residents, tourists, and students who all use the system.
As several people have already mentioned, this has all the earmarks of a done deal with public comment thrown in just for show -- and not done very well.

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