This page contains a single entry from the blog posted on September 13, 2010 8:48 AM. The previous post in this blog was You may need a prescription for aspirin -- for tax purposes. The next post in this blog is More bad cop news from Friday afternoon. Many more can be found on the main index page or by looking through the archives.

E-mail, Feeds, 'n' Stuff

Monday, September 13, 2010

Getting Tri-Met's goat(s)

The folks putting out the newsletter Portland Afoot have a humdinger of an issue this month. They call it "The Scapegoat Issue." Alas, its contents are not on line, but in it, the Afoot editors name some names of people to blame for Tri-Met's appalling trashing of its bus service: former Tri-Met general manager (and long-time Goldschmidt lieutenant) Tom Walsh; Mae Yih of Albany, of all people; and the current Tri-Met general manager and pusher of all things light rail, Neil McFarlane.

Most notably, the self-proclaimed "low-car" publication has some highly skeptical things to say about the irresponsible Milwaukie MAX project. They note that's there's an extra $50 million sloshing around in the upcoming Tri-Met ballot measure that could easily be subverted -- that probably will be subverted -- to the Milwaukie boondoggle, instead of restoring recent service cuts to existing lines. "Don't trust your ballot," they warn bluntly. "About 40% of the cash wouldn't be used for the stated purpose."


When the Chris Smith set cries foul on a transit tax and a light-rail project, you know they both stink. Anyway, this issue of Portland Afoot is worth a look, if you can find it around or are willing to pay them to send you one.

Comments (12)

Just yesterday I commented that I can only imagine that they want that $150 million period. Is there an accounting of where these bond monies are actually spent?

Today, this info appears.

Again, when these bonds are approved, how closely are they watched and held accountable to see that the monies spent are for what the bond states?

"how closely are they watched and held accountable to see that the monies spent"

Now that's funny.

There is no such function applied at any level at any time by anyone.

That's the problem. It's chaos, by reckless abandon, with only maintaining momentum as the goal.

Thoughts so.

Time we the citizens keep an eye on this, but I suppose we will have to pay beaucoup bucks to get the info if we can here through the freedom of information act.

More like "money for information act".

Said before, will say again:

TriMet doesn't care about the bus system, it is using this ballot measure as a proxy measure for public support of the bus system.

If it goes down, TriMet will use its failure to basically say "The public doesn't want bus service and is fully supportive of our push to extend light rail everywhere" and will act accordingly.

TriMet has absolutely zero intention of this measure passing. After all, every other major transit agency in America uses federal funding to cover the cost of new buses - the feds will pay 80% of the cost of a new bus. Why is TriMet demanding that citizens renew a tax levy for it, when it could have the money handed to it for free - no ballot measure required?

Mark my words: If this measure fails (and I believe it will), be prepared for a massive cut in bus service, and TriMet will gloat about how the public wants more and more light rail as a result of the measure.

Erik H., good point. And that is the way the Oregonian will probably spin the defeat of the measure to perpetuate the trolley and light rail perpetual industry.

Damn, Erik, I was going to vote "no" on the ballot measure to send Tri-Met a message to stuff it. Now does this mean I have to vote "yes" on the measure to send that message?

Gil, no, you still vote "no". The Oregonian has no relevance. The spinning is getting old, reality is setting in, and the public is slowly "getting it", thanks not to the media and the Oregonian.

Vote no on every g.d. money issue until the pols get a major clue. If they don't get to fund basic services off levies, maybe they will quit squandering monies meant for basic services on pet projects.

I'm voting for the Oregon Historical Foundation, or whatever it's called. It's not that much money and we all could use a little more knowledge of our state's history.

Not me. Let the West Hills people who control it pay for it. Take a few of the thousands they give to the Dan Saltzman types and put it toward something productive.

Belatedly, Jack, thanks for the nod and the nice words. I'd missed this the other day.

To be fair, I've since decided that the phrase should have been "might not be used for the stated purpose," not "wouldn't be used for the stated purpose." TriMet disagrees with our characterization, but I stand by it.

As noted in today's Tribune story and reported by us yesterday, they now say the "first priority" for the ballot issue's extra $50m would be service.

Clicky Web Analytics