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This page contains a single entry from the blog posted on August 21, 2012 8:48 AM. The previous post in this blog was Anybody up for the underdog game this year?. The next post in this blog is From the Sam Rands to you, a 20-year mortgage. Many more can be found on the main index page or by looking through the archives.

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Tuesday, August 21, 2012

Shenanigans a-plenty in Clackistan

The Clackamas County commissioners will do just about anything to thwart the will of their constituents, which is against the Tri-Met Mystery Train to Milwaukie. Here they are, facing a September 18 vote on a citizen initiative aimed at blocking county funding for the project, and what do they do? They rework their funding agreement with the transit agency, in the dog days of summer, and rush it onto a special meeting agenda tomorrow night for hasty approval, before the public vote. Then they'll try to run out and borrow something like $20 million and fork it over to Tri-Met, the initiative be damned.

It's hard to imagine the bond market being too receptive to bonds with a huge dark cloud over them. But apparently the commissioners are thinking that they can get their borrowing done despite the unprecedented uproar.

This is the same board of commissioners that recently threw a decoy measure onto the ballot to try to confuse the public when they voted overwhelmingly to curb "urban renewal" scams. And it's the same board that keeps blowing oodles of public money to come up with legal opinions that forecast a parade of horribles if the citizen's initiatives pass. The voters aren't buying any of it, but the politicians keep the legalese coming.

Oregon's initiative processes are messy, but if you're an elected official or a bureaucrat, they come with your public paycheck. The behavior of the commissioners has been downright shabby. No wonder they get their heads handed to them time after time at the ballot box. In this case, the only decent thing for them to do would be to wait for the outcome of the ballot measure election, and heed the voice of the electorate. But decency doesn't seem to be part of culture at the county board these days.

One thing is for sure, however: Win or lose on the light rail vote, the two incumbents who are currently up for re-election deserve to be tossed out on their arrogant fannies come November.

Comments (14)

The Problem

http://www.clackamas.us/bcc/documents/businesspackets/ag082212special.pdf

The county is pulling out all the stops to "sell the farm" before the elections and prevent the so called "binding contract" in the IGA (Inter-Governmental Agreement with Tri-Met) from ever being tested.

A new board backed by the voters in the sweeping victory of 3-401 will make that challenge, test the IGA and almost certainly halt any payment to TriMet.

To prevent any voter or new board intervention this new proposal has a deliberate "deal or no deal" date of September 13th, 5 days before the September 18th citizen initiative 3-401 rail vote.

To further prevent any public or new board challenges this new scheme demands that payment in full to TriMet occurs no later than October 10, 2012.

Anyone can help by condemning this despicable act:

Attend the Special public meeting
6 p.m., Wednesday, Aug. 22
Room 409, Public Services Building, 2051 Kaen Road in Oregon City.

Or, email the county commissioners.

"People who would like to comment but are not able to attend the meeting are invited to submit written comments by 5 p.m., Wednesday, Aug. 22, by email to BCCmail@clackamas.us"

As someone posted elsewhere, it looks like TriMet is throwing up-for-election sitting commissioners Lehan and Damon onto the lightrail tracks. They have been ardent in cooperating with TriMet to deviously find anyway to fund MLR before the election. Their cooperation will harm their chances to be re-elected. I wonder if they have figured out how they have been played as sacrificial lambs.

Buffett’s Exit From Muni-Bonds Signals Trouble Ahead for Local Govts
By Morgan Korn | Daily Ticker – 1 hour 32 minutes ago
http://finance.yahoo.com/blogs/daily-ticker/buffett-exit-muni-bonds-signals-trouble-ahead-local-165817581.html

Notable excerpt:

Warren Buffett's Berkshire Hathaway ended its five-year bullish bet on the municipal bond market, disclosing in a recent quarterly filing that the Ohama, Neb., company canceled $8.25 billion worth of credit-default swaps that insured its muni-bond market wager, The Wall Street Journal reports. The Journal said it was unclear whether Buffett's decision resulted in a profit or a loss and the 81-year-old Buffett declined to comment about the early termination of the contracts.

Does Warren Buffett's exit from the municipal bond market portend more financial hardships for struggling U.S. states and cities?

Buffett's move may very well signal his fear that more cash-strapped cities, states and municipalities will default on their debt, as The Daily Ticker's Aaron Task and Henry Blodget discuss in the accompanying video. Local authorities have been making severe budget cuts (affecting both personnel and services) over the past two years to stave off bankruptcy but many are still short on funds.

Clackamas County hires public relations firm to manage Portland-Milwaukie light rail communications
By Yuxing Zheng, The Oregonian
Published: Tuesday, August 21, 2012, 11:47 AM
http://www.oregonlive.com/oregon-city/index.ssf/2012/08/clackamas_county_hires_outside.html#incart_river_default

Notable excerpt:
The county's contribution to the project, including in-kind services, fees and property, would total $22.6 million. That would be less than the $25 million commissioners agreed to pay in February 2010, but the slashed figure comes partly from concessions the county offered.

Commissioners last week also said they plan to pass an emergency amendment if voters approve Measure 3-401. Commissioners say they want to clarify that even if Measure 3-401 passes, the county would still respond to public safety emergencies and other time-sensitive needs on MAX, Amtrak or WES rail lines without first obtaining countywide voter approval.

"If we're going to step in two days later (after the election) and change the ordinance, that's a whole other public relations piece of it in terms of how we respond," Lehan said.

There really should be jail cells for these despicable commissioners.

Do you suppose this private PR firm will use hot words like "sustainability" and "citizen-driven" to promote this to Clackamas voters?

Can't wait to see the t-shirts & buttons, either.

The PR firm is being hired to try and lesson the impact on
commissioners Lehan, Bernard, Damon and Lininger.

They have to be worried about their political epitaph after they screw the voters right before an election.

How civil of them.

What do you expect cock-roaches to do when the lights turn on other than to scurry into the dark crevices?

Just because those crevices are the hind ends of the construction mafia shouldn't concern us little people.

I mean what better use could hundreds and hundreds and hundreds of millions and millions of tax dollars be better spent upon than matters that have to be dealt with in secret closed-door sessions?

Yes Sir the game is on in Clackyville.
Metro's Bots are sweating bullets big time, seems the Goldschimdt school of screw your taxpayer didn't mention anything about uprisings from people who are paying at least alittle attention.

Went to an interesting meeting in Oak Grove just week with Ms. Damon & Paul Savas on the MAP (Mcloughlin Area Plan). These nice people did not quite expect the in your face questions they received from the friendly (mostly) crowd. Clearly not the walk in park they expected. This group was easy compared to the anti crime train crowd that is active in the county.

Lucy, I sees some changes in management in the the commissioners offices just around the corner. Don't forget Kurt Schrader is part of this B.S. and is entering the voter crosshairs as well.

It's amazing how much time and effort is being spent...

Exactly what harm is there in just having an up or down vote on projects?

Because the voters might vote the wrong way?

Erik H.
Andrew has it correct, as they say in Texass , That dog won't hunt.
The Voters are going to kick this crap so far back down the tracks that even the pedophile Neil won't recognize it.


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