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Monday, February 6, 2012

Bruce Warner to head Tri-Met board?

Our spies tell us that Bruce Warner (left), chief executive of the Portland Development Commission under Mayor Tom Potter, is about to be nominated by our retread governor to be the new president of the board of Tri-Met. The linkage is perfect -- it illustrates so clearly that Tri-Met is all about apartments. That's what Warner was about at the PDC, and that's what he'll be about on the transit board. Streetcars, trains, and condo bunkers for all -- now, ain't that the Portland Way? Oh, and your bus has been cancelled.

Also going on the Tri-Met board, we're told, is Travis Stovall (right) from Gresham. Stovall is identified as president of the Gresham Chamber of Commerce and the director of something called the East Metro Economic Alliance. He has a business and financial consulting business.

Riding off into the sunset are board president Rick Van Beveren, who owns a restaurant in Hillsboro; and board member Lynn Lehrbach, a retired union guy. They leave the agency careening wildly toward bankruptcy, and will be forever remembered as presiding over the debacle known as the WES train. That may be one of the worst transportation investments in history, anywhere on the planet. That's not to say it can't be topped by whatever Warner and Stovall cook up.

First question for the new board members: Are you really going to sue the City of Milwaukie or Clackamas County if they don't pay toward the Milwaukie Mystery Train?

Comments (17)


On what basis?

There is nearly zero chance of any lawsuit. But it serves as an excuse for commissioners to not act on behalf of their county residents and simply tell TriMet they have no money or public support.

Who thinks TriMet would insist the county pilfer their essential services general fund to pay for a low priority boondoggle the public does not want?

As for these appointees they are Kitzhaber adviser Lynn Peterson's selections to keep the TriMet board rigged.

This is the primary problem with allowing Kitzhaber another term. He is part of the problem, not the solution when it comes to issues such as TriMet, Metro, urban renewal, etc.

That's what I get for voting for the crony Kitzhaber.

Sometimes I find myself wishing that the republicans would just DEMOLISH EVERYTHING and be done with this BS!

Just another example of Kitzhaber being beholden and bought out by corporate interests over the needs of citizens.

The Democrats complain that only the Republicans do it, but when it comes to TriMet and transit in Portland, the Democrats have the process down so tight that it makes the Republicans look like saints. Don't dare trash light rail, or you will be shouted down and ridiculed until you are irrelevant for anything. If you ride a bus, too bad so sad for you, you are officially a second class citizen.

The removal by Kitz of Lynn Lehrbach represents kind of a first for the Tri-Met board, as historically the board has included at least one labor-oriented position.

It almost looks as though the union stranglehold on Democrats is beginning to weaken.

Gotta love the latest Tri-Met Whoops/Fiasco

and the final WTF? paragraph:
"Even if the Legislature rejects it, McFarlane said he won't ease up on fare enforcement. In fact, he hopes to hire more inspectors this year. 'The real goal of the program,' he said, 'is to increase fare compliance and improve revenue.' "

... but when it comes to TriMet and transit in Portland, the Democrats have the process down so tight that it makes the Republicans look like saints.

What isn't nailed down so tight?
I call it a choke-hold. This isn’t about D or R by making this statement. Doesn’t matter which party, in my view a lock step on a community is not good and needs to be changed, so that the people who won’t go lock step can be freed in knowing that their input does matter and can move forward to a process of some measure of integrity and democracy.

The so called "fare enforcement" was never actually about fares IMO.
It was about inserting the police state onto transit and fining as many citizens as possible in order to keep revenue streams flowing for the government cronies.

It's the same reason we have police all over Beaverton eagerly pulling over every schlep that does some little thing wrong.

If it was really about fares they would have simplified it before sicking the wolves on an unsuspecting and stupid public.

The TriMet board, ideally, should be an elected body selected by the voters within the district. Sounds like a job for a ballot measure. And judging by the success thus far of the Clackistani rebellion, I think the climate here is shifting that direction that we can use the initiative system to wage war against this boondoggle-creating regime.

I think Kitz has kind of aggravated some of the unions--at least the teacher's unions--so it seems he's putting all his eggs in the eco-feudalist developer cabal. Looks a little different on paper, but it's pretty much going to get the same undesirable result.

The other day, I saw a whole SWAT team board the MAX at the Hollywood stop. It looked like some sort of training operation.

Agree with AL M that instead having a reasonable fare inspection program, they have created another step in the police state apparatus.

A cynical person would think that maybe they let things get out of hand and then "came to the rescue" - problem, reaction, solution (NWO)

Sorry Soon to be Dr. Alex, the government has no business running transit. What is now a closed market should be opened to public participation, be it corporate or mom and pop part timers.

Just imagine if we had an appointed board to decide what kinds of food we get. Think about that for a moment.

GREAT idea Evergreen! You think we have enough condo bunkers now? How are those free market transit companies going to drive revenue? By supporting and lobbying for high density development! It's easier to have someone else build your market for you, than by having to create a sound business model.

WES is a terrible bad transit investment, yet not quite to the scale of Mirabel Airport:


If CA high-speed rail somehow starts building from Fresno to Bakersfield, then that may take the cake.

Warner did such a bang-up job of steamrollering over the will of the people when at ODOT that Vic Atiyeh wrote him and their board cronies a strong nastygram back in '94.

Lots to look forward to. I'm sure Kitz will stick up for us.

The issue of privatization vs. publicly operated transit is an interesting question, but made more interesting when one compares it to the rallying call of the "new urbanists"/light rail supporters that decry that those who need transit should choose to live where light rail/streetcar is available; those who live in areas poorly served by bus (or will lose their bus) "chose" to live there and need to accept it.

Many of the "new urbanists"/pro-rail folks are also those that support strong government controls on development and zoning, and often support government control of utility and transportation services. Governments, by nature, tend to be inefficient in order to serve as many people as possible (hence, the poorly utilized bus routes to Estacada and Boring). Government has an obligation to serve all of its citizens fairly and equally, and not to pick and choose who it wants to serve.

Private businesses, however, have no obligation other than to not discriminate against people who meet certain protected status criteria (and even then, the discrimination protection doesn't always extend to simply a business activity.) So a private business would take one look at the bus lines to Boring or Estacada and say "no, thanks".

The folks who like all that government-funded downtown development need to make a decision - if they support a government backed transit system, they have to realize that it will have to serve people despite the matter of convenience or cost. (Like Amtrak, serving 46 out of 50 states, often with just one train a day - the other four states get a little bit of federal funding to make up for the lack of Amtrak service, and Idaho just gets screwed over). If it wants a transit system that, like their beloved urban developments, favor those that "choose" to live in the urban center, then government is not the right person for the job.

Back in the days, streetcar lines weren't built and operated by government agencies - they were built by developers (to promote the development), and then often sold to electric utilities (to promote the use and extension of electric service). Governments didn't start to get involved with public transit until the 1950s in the very beginning, but in particular the 1960s-1970s. The developers had already developed out and there was no need for them to keep the system, and the electric companies got in trouble for financial dealings that made the streetcar systems "profitable" on paper.

If Grandma can operate a jitney, then she can know the locals who ride, and her neighbors can know her, enhancing community and safety for both.

This is what we lose from un-doing the ability of new people to enter enterprise.

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