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Tuesday, September 11, 2012

Clacky bond theory proves too much

The more we think about the theory behind the Clackamas County commissioners' plan to issue bonds for Milwaukie MAX without opportunity for a public vote, the less merit their legal position seems to have. Of course, we're not really an authority on the question -- it's currently before the Oregon Supreme Court, and it will be the final arbiter of the matter, if it rules on the case. But from our armchair, the county commissioners and their bond counsel, Harvey Rogers (right), are straining against common sense.

We've written about this before, but here are just a few additional thoughts that pop into our alleged mind. According to the county, Oregon Revised Statutes section 271.390 gives it the power to issue bonds, without a chance at a public vote, to "finance" any property -- even property that the county doesn't own or occupy -- so long as the commissioners decide that it's "needed." In this case, the light rail system will be owned and occupied by Tri-Met; the county will neither own it nor lease it.

If that's true, whole chapters of the statutes are mostly or entirely superfluous. For example, Chapter 287A, under which the City of Portland is selling its light rail bonds, is largely, if not completely, a dead letter. And Chapter 285B, under which municipalities can issue bonds in its name on behalf of private companies, is also surplusage. Because according to the county's theory of the light rail case, so long as the private company is buying property with the borrowed money, the county can issue the bonds under ORS 271.390 -- to heck with Chapter 285B.

It's a cute theory, but to our untrained eye, it proves too much. Which is why if we were the judge, we would force the county to hold off on selling the $20 million of rail bonds until after the light rail ballot measure election, which ends just a week from today. At which point there will likely be a whole new set of legal issues to tangle with before the money can be borrowed, because the ballot measure seems likely to pass.

(Note: We are not a judge. There's a background check.)

Comments (9)

"so long as the commissioners decide that it's "needed."

That seems to be the only play commissioners have.

And as we all know they go on and on about what a vital need light rail is.

But if anything some politicians and staff call a "need" can be considered "property" then all things are possible without voter challenge.

Isn't that lawlessness?

What's up with all these local yokel pols --and we can clearly see it's not limited just to those within the City of Portland-- who are so eager to sell their souls to the light rail black hole boondoggle?

Boycat - it's called, "representative government". There are 2 theories of government - ours and theirs. Ours is that our elected officials represent OUR wishes. Theirs is that once elected, to hell with public opinion, they have a mandate to do what they want. I think these phony-baloney online opinion surveys local governments seem so fond of these days are an attempt to gather unscientific public input they can manipulate to their advantage to say, "Look, we did listen! We are doing what you want!". Whatever. They know they are all lame ducks and are rushing to make themselves relevant to the end. Wonder who will be signing their paychecks next?

2012 September 11 Tuesday 10:30 U (10:30 AM PT)

From TriMet Trip Planner - http://trimet.org/

When Arrive by 8:00am Wednesday, September 12, 2012
Preferences Quickest trip with a maximum walk of 1 mile Edit
Time 113 minutes (including 29 minutes walking and 8 minutes waiting)
Transfers 1
Fare Adult: $2.50, Youth: $1.65, Honored Citizen: $1
Start at 4900 Melrose St in Lake Oswego
Walk 0.67 mile east from 4900 Melrose St to Kerr & Touchstone
Stop ID 10305
6:11am Board 38 Boones Ferry to Portland
6:35am Get off at SW Jefferson & 1st
Stop ID 12789
Go to SW Madison & 1st
Stop ID 3635
6:43am Board 33 McLoughlin to Clackamas Community College
The eastbound stop on Beavercreek at Molalla is closed.
There is a temporary stop around the corner on Molalla.
Due to construction, the northbound stop on SE Mcloughlin
at Clatsop is closed from Monday July 30, 2012 until
further notice. Use stop on Ochoco at McLoughlin.
7:35am Get off at Beavercreek & Library Ct
Stop ID 6117
Walk 0.2 mile south to 2051 Kaen Rd
End at 2051 Kaen Rd in Oregon City
NOTE 1: Google Earth
4900 Melrose St ....: 45°25'32.60"N, 122°43'29.73"W Elev: 355 ft
TriMet Stop ID 10305
Kerr Rd & Touchstone: 45°25'41.03"N, 122°42'53.34"W Elev: 609 ft
A 254 ft elevation change in 0.67 mile.
This is a fashionably sustainable walk (HIKE) from a home to
a bus stop for commuters to save the planet "for the children".
Mind the weather including night conditions.
Stop ID 10305 is also the approximate locale of one of
the lawyers that helped to file papers delaying the start
of signature collection for Clackamas County petition 3-392
that became Clackamas County Measure 3-401.
Perhaps 2011-2012 Clackamas County Commissioner Anne Lininger
can demonstrate her support of public transit by utilizing transit
from her home near the Lake Oswego Westlake Fire Station -
- 4900 Melrose St to the Clackamas County Public Services Bldg
- 2051 Kaen Rd, for the remainder of her term ending 2012 Dec 31 Monday.
And save the planet "for the children".
Travel time (ie commute) using transit per day is around 4 hours.
Public transit travel for 2011-2012 Clackamas County Commission
Chair Charlotte Lehan from Wilsonville to Clackamas County Public
Services Building is likely worse, by a factor of 1 to 2 hours / day.
Travel time (ie commute) using transit per day is around 5 hours.
First performed this assessment on 2011 Jun 02 Thursday circa 10:30 U
in Clackamas County Commission Chambers (Public Services Bldg
Room 409, 2051 Kaen Road, Oregon City) using a TriMet schedule
book. Had to leave the chambers to maintain decorum and respect
for public proceedings that were discussing a decision on the
Metro LOPT – Lake Oswego to Portland Transit project (aka streetcar)
Locally Preferred Alternative (LPA).

Judge your government leaders by their use of public transit for
commuting and render your decision by a VOTE on Clackamas County
Measure 3-401 – if you live in Clackamas County.

Charles Ormsby (Skip)
Birdshill CPO / NA Chair 2012 – 2013
A Joint Clackamas County Community Planning Organization (CPO) and
City of Lake Oswego Oregon Neighborhood Association (NA)
Google Earth GPS Coordinates: 45°25'42.18"N, 122°39'41.48"W
EM: birdhillcpona@gmail.com

This story is being covered on OPB radio right now!

It's called "technocracy". They believe they are elected to know better on account of expertise. However, it is in Oregon now technocracy of a regime without expertise. We have become Italy!

Last I looked, ORS 174.010 says that one should not read statutes to be nugatory and of no effect. That when the Legislature has enacted something, they meant it, and that statutes must be read to give effect to all statutory enactments whenever possible so long as they do not run afoul of the Oregon and US Constitutions.

The band of bond fanatics and their theory under ORS 271.390, which makes each of ORS Chapters 287A and 285 B mere surplussage, runs afoul of the directive in ORS 174.010.

No, no. In Italy there is a passion behind each action - not the dull, dimwitted lust for power and money that is so base and ordinary that we see here. Even their willful neglect of government function has an impudent flair, not the pompus surliness of our unions. There used to be a trade off for efficiency over quality of life, but in the US, we are losing both. Not sure how we deserve the government we got though.

Nonny, dumb it down for me, please.

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