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Wednesday, June 6, 2012

Milwaukie council: Full steam head on mystery train

They're determined that their locals are going to pay $5 million for a MAX line from Portland, whether they like it or not. Maybe the rebels will get petitions insisting on a referendum on last night's city council action. But they'd have to scare up signatures in a hurry -- as we understand it, 10% of the registered voters within 30 days.

Comments (16)

It sounds like it's time for a recall.

I often struggle to understand what motivates the bureaucrats leading the charge for these rail efforts. It seems quite obvious the public benefit will never justify the long term costs.

I have considered that it could be corruption; back room deals and bags of cash exchanging hands. Or, maybe just the promise of a sweet private sector job after the deals and a local terms are complete.

I have also considered that there may be no corruption at all; just an ideological philosophy so strong it pulls in Jonestown style believers who would rather drink poison cool aid than stray from the word.

Whatever the motivation, direction clearly comes from the top of the political food chain. After all, if you want to get elected to any significant local office you have to have the blessing of the party in charge. With a promise to support the transportation evolution comes a commitment from above to be forever part of the “family”.

On the other hand, any candidate mounting a fight against the religion of mass transportation will need a lot of money. To do that he/she must swear allegiance to the other side of the political spectrum. Now this is a choice even less desirable for many voters who would rather go broke than pick the alternative.

So it goes, and the rail lines keep getting longer and more expensive.


I don't usually comment on comments by folks outside of Milwaukie, but I'm a regular reader and respect your opinions, and thought your hearing a different perspective might be helpful.

Other jurisdictions' elected officials may have policy agendas to push. I think I can be confident in saying that my colleagues and I on the Milwaukie council do not. We take very seriously our roles as representatives of the people who elected us. We listen. We try to make the decisions we understand to reflect residents' wishes. We don't make decisions "whether they like it or not."

We understand and appreciate the views of residents who don't want light rail, and, in fact, share many of their concerns.

I voted to support light rail because I understand a majority of my constituents to want the project. That may be because Milwaukie doesn't have the concentration of "rebels" that the rest of the county may. For example, voters in Milwaukie supported the Sellwood Bridge fee while most of the voters of the county did not.

It's not my intention to debate the merits and demerits of light rail. I understand and respect your opinion that the project is not a good use of public resounces. But I also understand most of my constituents to think that the merits outweigh the demerits, and that, to me, is what matters.

Greg Chaimov
Council President

Greg Chaimov,

You are completely out of line. You have NO such support. You've disallowed the very Public Vote that would have proved you wrong about "most of your constituents.

You have made up the support just as Metro and company did to revive the project after voters killed it and recalled previous councilors. .
Having prohibited a vote it is offensive to act as though you have results of one showing support.

Reminds me of Lynn Peterson claiming the county had support for the fee. Despicable.

As for the Sellwood Bridge vote. It's no surprise Milwaukie voters narrowly passed the fee. Having been repeatedly lied to that the bridge would be delayed, closed or fall down with a no vote it's not surprising people living closer to it would be more nervous.

Your approval to pay for it without funding is shameful.

"Councilor Greg Chaimov said he hopes light rail will stimulate commercial activity and generate additional property taxes that could help make the payments."

There is no such stimulating that will occur. You'll need Urban Renewal to stimulate development and that will eat up more of you essential services' funding.


I don't know you so I don't have any idea what your agenda is, but my guess is that you must only be paying attention to a select group of voters. You might not even know that you only talk to a small segment of the population. Is it possible that you just like spending other people's money so you only listen to people who also love to spend OPM? Maybe you don't have a business background so you're not able to understand that light rail is an economic black hole? Maybe there is someone who could explain it to you but you think that person is a creepy right winger so you ignore him?

But I also understand most of my constituents to think that the merits outweigh the demerits, and that, to me, is what matters.

Why not refer your latest ordinance to the voters, then? Seems simple enough.

Why not refer your latest ordinance to the voters, then? Seems simple enough.

Exactly, let's see that support you speak of.

Or are you afraid?


Your support for Light Rail is a foolish, uninformed and ignorant position as well.
Like so many other supporters you haven't bothered to adequately assess what it actually is or what it does.
The public deceit you've joined makes the offense official malfeasance.

MAX will ruin downtown Milawukie forever. No ifs, ands or buts about it. It will be a dead zone.

There are countless examples of why it will.

"it's not a great space for commercial. There's no on-street parking. With light-rail, there's no easy access."

All around the region.
If you had an ounce of genuine responsibility you would agree to a tour to see them all and pull the plug immediately.

Milwaukie's small downtown cannot fit the bulky infrastructure of Light Rail.

If you do not stop this your name should be forever engraved on a plaque with other offenders like Jim Bernard.

"This Ugly, Dysfunctional Money Pit Was
produced by these inept and dishonest politicians:

Mr. Chimov,

I grew up in an unincorporated area of east Multnomah county that was eventually annexed into Gresham. I worked in the Gresham area prior to the eastside light rail being put in. The area was a normal, suburban (working class) neighborhood. The crime rates were tolerable, the area was considered a safe place to raise a family.

When locals espressed reservations about the proposed MAX line, they were told that would revitalize the area. They were also told (by persons such as yourself) that in the end, the benefits of light rail would justify the disruption to the neighborhood.

Most Gresham politicians, such as the former Mayor, Gussie McRobert, embraced the project as a great leap forward for the community. They sold the public on the fact that it would vastly improve the living conditions of the average citizen.

I would invite you to go take a look at the east side now. In particular, the areas between 148th-199th. It is a wasteland of Section 8 Housing, pawnshops, methadone clinics, and shuttered businesses.

I would encourage you to call the Portland and Gresham Police and take a look a the crime statistics in/around the light rail. Robberies, sexual assaults, and gang activity are disproportionally present along the the entire east side line.

Note should be taken that when the Rockwood Fred Meyer store began experiencing "shrinkage" (loss by theft) on the order of 20% a month of total sales, the decision was made to close the store. Prior to the closure, I asked an Asst. Mgr at the store why they were closing. He simply shrugged and stated "Light Rail."

A recent example of the detrimentmal effects of MAX can be seen with the Green Line to Clackamas Town Center. I have heard press conferences wherein Sheriff Craig Roberts estimated that in some areas the crime rate has risen a full 50%. Sheriff Roberts has issued written statements as to the expected future (negative) effects Milwaukie Light Rail will bring to the area. You should read them.

I will not discuss the fiscal insanity that seems to be the hallmark of current Tri Met Management - there are readers here much more capable of that than I.

However, I can attest to the destruction in quality of life, property values, and livibility that MAX has inflicted on east Multnomah County. It will be a blighted area long after I am dead and gone because of light rail.

Mr. Chimov, you have one chance, and one chance only to stop this happening to Milwaukie. Once the "genie is out of the bottle", there will be no going back.

Consider the legacy you will leave for you city. When I speak to (life-long) residents of Gresham about Mayor McRobert's advocacy of light rail, most of the comments I hear are not fit to be printed in a family-oriented blog.

Finally, consider the duty you have to constituents that elected you, not just the various interests that stand to reap financial gain by the project.

The changes that will be brought to Milwaukie if the proposed line is built will be profound and irreversible. I guarantee you, by personal observation, they will not be for the better.


You have lazily or deliberately neglected to remember or consider previous lies.

Ya just can't make this stuff up. It's public deceit on crack cocaine. And there is an endless stream of it.

Transit The extension to Clackamas Town Center is on track to open in September 2009

Monday, November 14, 2005

"Clackamas County officials hope the new transit service will spur additional development along Southeast 82nd Avenue".

A ridiculously dishonest claim and of course it was never going to happen. What sort of asinine or despicable person makes such a lcaim

"Part of the Clackamas County portion of the light-rail line borders a neighborhood that for years has battled crime and drugs."

Still does and crime at the Green Line went UP as the rest of the county went down.

"The county plans to include the area in a new urban renewal district, which could add affordable housing and fight the blight along 82nd Avenue."

Of course Urban Renewal was needed because the "new transit service" didn't spur anything. No fighting of blight occurred and the abuse of Urban Renewal pilfered essential services funding.

"Some developers already have homed in on the area."

That is hilarious. Free Urban Renewal money and other tax incentives tried and failed to attract developers.

"Reliance Development, a Portland firm, plans a 276-unit condominium project north of the mall."

So sorry.

"John Rist, Clackamas County's light-rail project manager. Rist said he expects that light rail will stimulate developers' interest"

So sorry.

"The Clackamas park-and-rides will attract residents from Happy Valley and the sprawl of new subdivisions east of I-205, Rist said. The line also will be within walking distance of low-income neighborhoods and apartment projects west of the freeway."

Yeah sure.

Who is Rist?

So sorry.

Chaimov, you're just another Rist.

Both City of Milwaukie and Clackamas Co Commissioners have recently told several citizen passed Measures and on-going Initiatives to shove it in regards to MLR and urban renewal that helps to locally finance it. And now both are jangling legal threats to help circumvent the votes, especially Clackamas Co.

Clackamas Co. has their legal department (using citizen money) exploring all kinds of ways to ignore the likely vote to not give TriMet $25 Million for MLR. Now Council and their legals are ploying to have TriMet and/or CoP, Metro, or any other partner or even individuals representing the construction industry like Stacy/Witbeck (who builds lightrail) to fill a lawsuit against the MLR Measure on the November ballot. Clackamas Commissioners are hoping this ploy makes them appear as "hands-off", "impartial". Citizens have figured it out.

Now the question becomes with all this avoidance, ignoring votes, scheming, is there malfeasance that the County and City could be counter-sued?

You know, if the anti-trolley people were going to be serious about this, they should have stepped in before the city of Milwaukie signed the agreement that they'd pay part of the cost of the trolley line. Now that they've signed the agreement and the line is under construction, well, Milwaukie is obliged to pay what they said they'd pay.

But as a resident of Multnomah County, I welcome your attempts to back out of a contract just because it's a contract with people you find objectionable. If you can get away with it, there will be plenty of people who will be happy to do business with companies in Clackamas County, at least until it comes time to pay the bill.

Fair enough, Dave.

David Parsons

You know, if the light rail racket were going to be serious about this, they should have offered a public vote before reviving this project that was killed by two previous votes that also led to recalls. Like the other partners the city of Milwaukie never should have signed the agreement without a public vote that supported it. Now that they've signed the agreement and the line is under construction, it's additionally offensive for mis informed people like you to be criticizing people for not stopping it earlier.

Milwaukie is no more "obliged to pay" than Clackamas county. It's all a sleazy political agenda rolling over the public who does not want the boondoggle or their politicians diverting money pay for it.

So this is not about simply not wanting to pay for something they are getting. Furthermore, if Portland were to keep it out of Clackamas County it would mean preventing the fiscal insanity in Portland's and TriMet's share from occurring.

Are you aware of how their shares will be paid?

The fact is the Inter-Governmental Agreement is NOT a contract and could easily be politically amended to scale back the project and allow both Milwaukie, Clackamas County, Portland, Trimet and Metro funds to escape the madness. While still allowing the bulk of the project to be completed.

But the irrational and dishonest rail cabal insists on the worst.

What you fail miserably to grasp is the weakness of the IGA and the severity of the financing schemes behind this despicable sham which make it easily undone.

Instead you've distorted the objections down to "just because it's a contract with people you find objectionable."

Effectively all of the local match is "pay the bill" by raiding budgets supporting the services, projects and payrolls people need and support. They will be cut.

Your criticism is with your eyes wide shut and mouth wide open.

Tacoma should be the end of the line with the full parking garage put back in the budget.
Buses and cars can deliver more riders there at a fraction of the cost from more places.

Voters will make it clear in September with 3-401.

At this point I still respect Greg and believe he means well. He is an accomplished lawyer and has worked in the State Legislature. But I have more respect for Sheriff Craig Roberts right now because he's telling the obvious truth: We can't have it all on the current taxes we pay. If we want trains, good schools, law enforcement, new water pipes (Milwaukie water rates may go up 17%) and clean rivers we're going to pay more, probably a lot more, in taxes and fees.

"we're going to pay more, probably a lot more, in taxes and fees"

The problem is Greg and his peers are not giving taxpayers or voters a choice on the Light Rail expenditure.

At the same time he is claiming he has a majority of his constituents supporting the decision.

That is not deserving of any respect.


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Road Work

Miles run year to date: 5
At this date last year: 3
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