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E-mail, Feeds, 'n' Stuff

Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Dear ninnies

A peeved reader copied us on an e-mail message he sent to the five members of the Portland City Council over the mayor's latest insanity, his war with Tri-Met over youth passes. The reader wrote:

It really is time for the Portland City Council to stop the insanity.

A 2,000 percent rise in fees charged to TriMet is an indication that the couuncil is composed of a bunch of two year olds having a temper tantrum when they can't get their way.

Grow up.

It is PPS' obligation to provide transportation for its students. PPS, to my knowledge, like every district in Oregon, receives dedicated dollars from the state education department for transportation of every student, whether kindergartner or highschool senior.

Perhaps a more fruitful expenditure of Council's energy would be to determine what PPS actually does with the dedicated dollars from the state for transport of high school students.

I will urge TriMet to immediately cease payments to PBOT for the Portland Streetcar in the event this silly fee increase goes through.

If you want to run TriMet, ask the Governor to appoint you to the Board. Steve Clark, now living and working in Corvallis, is ineligible for TriMet Board membership, and there is at least one opening there.

If you want to run PPS and decide on funding for student transportation, run for the PPS Board.

As Mayor and City Councillors, your jobs are actually the provision of core city services.

High school students' transportation is not part of that core mission.

Interesting observation about Steve Clark, by the way.

Meanwhile, the blue sheep bleat along with their hero here.

Comments (22)

Now there in a new concept for the CC:
"your jobs are actually the provision of core city services."


The scary thing about the Blue Oregon comment section is those are not outliers, rather those views/people are some of the same that run the one party city of Portland. "More dense urbanism" is the answer? Really? I don't know what will be worse - Charlie Hales and his lies, or Jefferson Smith trying to polish his bona fides for the soon to be vacant Wyden seat *he can't go forever, and besides, campaigning here takes him away from the NYC homestead). Maybe another streetcar is in order...

KARI: The left was brilliant again today
CARLA: I couldn’t agree more
KARI: We’re doing everything right
CARLA: 100% spot on. We knew it all long
KARI: It’s hard to believe how right we are most of the time
CARLA: Who could argue that
KARI: Not me, and thanks for the helpful input
CARLA: No, thank you for all you do
KARI: Well on to the next topic

The guy at Blue Oregon keeps saying this is a net zero transaction. Who is he trying to kid? Tri-Met currently does not pay $2 million in fees for benches and shelters. If Adams charges them the $2 million they're out $2 million dollars. If he buys $2 million worth of passes Tri-Met gets it's $2 million back, but then it issues $2 million worth of merchandise in the form of bus passes. Tri-Met is still in the hole for $2 million! This is the kind of fuzzy logic, convoluted policy making and lousy math that has been stinking up the City since day one of this administration.

"Meanwhile, the blue sheep bleat along with their hero here."

The more free stuff the better. God, it gets tiring hearing them bleat about how much free stuff everyone is owned.

Meanwhile, Joe Average gets screwed on his taxes and water bills to pay for all of this frippery.

Whether its the proposed Arts Tax; high schooler bus passes; teacher fundingsalary funding; the Multnomah County Income tax, or a half dozen other similar band aid efforts over the last couple of decades, both the City and the County have trained and taught generations of PPS Superintendents, PPS Board members and the teacher's union leaders that PPS, like some financial institutions, is sort of "...too big to fail...".

Constantly throwing extra dollars into the ever unfillable maw of PPS and its unions allows all of those parties - administration; board; union; teachers and also parents to avoid coming to grips with economic realities -- and continue with their fantasies.

Its sort of like "helicopter parents" or "rescue parents" who always step in to help their kids avoid consequences of bad decisions, make excuses for their kids, and attack any one who criticizes their precious offsprings' behavior. After doing it for 25 or so years, the parents wonder why they have raised a 35 year old with no ability to cope with the adversities of the real world.

Its time for a little "tough love".

No, its time for a lot of "tough love".

Now that Groening has stopped drawing "Life in Hell" Gibby can do the Bog version of Jeff and Akbar. With a blue fez, of course.

You guys are missing the beauty of the whole thing!

Could be the best move Sam ever made!

(I am not now, or have I ever been, a Sam Adams fan)

I think it would be great for Portland Streetcar to sever ties with TriMess. They could free themselves from sick, lame and lazy union employees and run their own system.

They could free themselves from sick, lame and lazy union employees and run their own system.

Gawd yea, we can import some drivers from MEHICO where they don't have those lame/lazy/ sick people!

I guess I'm getting old..
When did a bus ticket become a right ?
I bought bus passes for my three daughters all through their high school years here in Portland..
And I got no free pass when I attended Benson lo on so many years ago.
So what gives, when did we add this little perk ?
And where do I apply for a refund for 12 years pf bus passes

The folks over at BlueOregon.com are just pushing me further and further into registering as a Republican.

They claim they are "for the people" and democracy and all that crap, but they are only for their chosen ones (the students who are in Portland Public Schools).

I guess there is absolutely zero poverty in any other school district, not Forest Grove, not Hillsboro, not Beaverton, not Tigard-Tualatin, not Gresham-Barlow, not Reynolds, not Centennial or David Douglas or Oregon City or North Clackamas... But those kids...they still have to pay for a pass.

Erik H., your point is right on. And why don't the BlueOregon folks call out CoP/PDC on urban renewal that has taken over $68 Million from PPS, and the numerous $Millions from your list of school districts that TriMet serves?

And BlueOregon never questioned Sam's PSU Education District stealing from 1-12K Districts. They are incestious in ignoring the obvious stealing from public education.

Erik H. - Can't say for sure, but I'd venture to guess that Gresham-Barlow, Oregon City, Hillsboro and other more outlying districts get served by yellow buses, don't they? I know up here in Sandy we do. There simply isn't sufficient public transportation to make it feasible for these kids, on the eastside anyway.

So I don't get it. How come Portland schools don't get yellow bus service? What pot of money does that come out of?

TriMet's illogical thinking in regards to the furniture fiasco costing close to $1 Million should be considered in their buying "driver office/breakroom space" in the new Grays Landing building in SoWhat.

Why don't they just continue having streetcar drivers using the SoWhat OHSU building and the Marriott Courtyard building at Riverplace for bathroom breaks like they do now? They're drivers not office workers. Heck, TriMet just gave OHSU $10 Million for the new Collaborative Building going up in SoWhat. I think OHSU owes them a bathroom break-free. They should collaborate.

Why do they need to pay for this expensive space in Grays Landing when they could use the funds to help pay for PPS rides? Logical thinking doesn't apply I guess.

"So I don't get it. How come Portland schools don't get yellow bus service? What pot of money does that come out of?"

Generally, school districts get 50% to 75% state subsidies for buses. Not sure if districts with mass transits get excluded from that pot of money.

Well, nobody from PPS has weighed in, so here's how I remember it.

Portland Public Schools provides TriMet passes, not yellow bus service, to high school students. The idea is that the transit service is good enough to get kids to and from school(except in the Skyline area, which has miserable TriMet service and where PPS runs yellow buses to Lincoln High).

The state reimburses PPS (and other districts) 70 percent of the actual costs, just as for yellow bus costs. Comes off the top of the State School Fund.

So PPS had been spending about $700-800,000 a year on passes for kids who transfer under No Child Left Behind, other low-income kids, kids who live quite far from their assigned neighborhood school. A few years ago, the Mayor's Office leveraged that continued PPS funding with Business Energy Tax Credits and brokered the deal with TriMet to offer the YouthPass program to all PPS high school kids.

But now BETC has gone away (at least for this). . . . so thus the desire to figure out other ways to pay the costs.

In any case, PPS will still provide transportation for kids who live far from their assigned school, and in some other cases of need. It just wouldn't be the universal free pass program that the students have enjoyed recently.

Maybe it will reduce the stabbings on the MAX trains.

In defense of giving TriMet passes rather than running yellow buses...

I would imagine it pencils out. You don't have to purchase as many buses, pay for maintenance and storage and fuel, or pay wages and taxes and benefits for a more drivers.

That said, I still don't think it's any of CoP's business. It's between PPS and TriMet.

A Steve Clark update.

Clark has worked in Corvalis for months, for OSU.

Some folks claim he commutes daily, by single occupant privately owned vehicle, from PDX to campus.

Others say he has an apartment in Corvallis.

At best, Clark is channeling CharLIE Hales. Where Clark lives appears to depend upon why the question is being asked.

I'd venture to guess that Gresham-Barlow, Oregon City, Hillsboro and other more outlying districts get served by yellow buses, don't they? I know up here in Sandy we do. There simply isn't sufficient public transportation to make it feasible for these kids, on the eastside anyway.

I can speak with absolute certainty that Beaverton has a huge bus fleet (because one of their bus parking lots is right off of 217 and the Fanno Creek Greenway); and Tigard has a huge bus fleet (because they also have a huge bus parking lot across the street from City Hall and another such lot off of 99W)...Hillsboro has buses, Lake Oswego has buses, Forest Grove has buses...

It seems only Portland doesn't have buses.

I'm fine with urbanized school districts consolidating transportation with mass transit districts. Heck, Corvallis for YEARS used Laidlaw as the provider for both transit and school buses and operated both systems out of a common garage (although they still had separate fleets, because the city owned the transit fleet but Laidlaw owned the school buses). But pupil transportation is part of the state's funding program (as the state is largely responsible for K-12 education) and if every other district is paying for it, why does Portland get a free pass to take the money for non-transportation purposes while demanding TriMet provide a service for free? Shouldn't PPS and the other districts be giving that money to TriMet?

Sam is the epitome of "mission creep"...he can't even bother to deal with day-to-day operations of a city of 600,000 plus residents but seems to have no problem running a transit agency, a school district, a port authority, two State DOTs, the DEQ... He clearly would not win a statewide election (I'm pretty sure all of southern/eastern Oregon would vote unanimously against him, as well as much of the Willamette Valley, most of Washington and Clackamas County won't stand for him either) so he's just using his bully attitude from Portland's City Hall.

Erik H: actually PPS doesn't get money from the yellow bus pot of funds. Republican legislators saw the betc credit as a subsidy for big mean Portland and killed it. The real story here is why wasn't anyone at PPS awake enough to fight for the youth pass system when its fate was being decided? And why is Sam stepping up at the very last minute in the most destructive way possible?

Now PPS can simply demand the yellow bus money be restored, at a cost to taxpayers that is much higher than the youth pass system.

Really just a bad job by all involved, PPS, legislatorA, TriMet, and city of Portland.

Portland Afoot and portland transport both covered this in depth while it was happening, if you'd care to Google them.

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