Monday, December 26, 2011

Oregonian Makes it Official - "Pull the Plug on Streetcar" It says in its Editorial Page Today!

To All COLA LO Members,

Today the Oregonian finally took an official position on the Streetcar and asked both the Lake Oswego and Portland City Councils to put the brakes on the streetcar.     In their editorial they state that basically the project doesn't make any sense and it needs to be pulled.  

The editorial is a damning indictment of wasted government spending on a project that made no sense and which has cost the taxpayers millions.    Since the Foothills project needs streetcar it a further indictment of the taxpayer funds spent on this project in addition to the Streetcar.    

The editorial can be found at: Pull the Plug on the Oswego Streetcar

In the article the Oregonian states:  

" Still, $208 million is a lot of money. And at any price, this project doesn't have what it takes to get something of this magnitude built, namely, a compelling reason to be. A project rationale is not something that can be "value-engineered" to a project as it rolls along. It has to be there from the beginning.

The fact that Lake Oswego itself hasn't coalesced behind the project is another cause for concern, but that's mostly a reflection of the first problem. "

The issue now becomes how many more millions of taxpayer dollars will our City Council spend in 4-3 Votes versus the priorities of the community?   There are additional millions allocated to both streetcar and foothills at this time neither of which makes sense given the logic in the Oregonian editorial.    

Still logic and community consensus hasn't gone very far with the current administration in Lake Oswego.   Mayor Hoffman and Councilors Tierney, Moncrieff, and Jordan have consistently supported spending millions in taxpayer funds on these projects rather than traditional services.   Councilors Kehoe, Olson and Gudman have opposed the spending and been quite vocal about their concerns in the media.   So in ongoing 4-3 votes we continue to spend our taxpayer funds on both projects which all admit are interrelated.  

It will be interesting to see how the current Council addressees this editorial or if it lets Portland's City Council pull the plug on its own.    Given the current discussions in the community about a recall petition anything can and likely will happen prior to the November election.    Streetcar and Foothills are top priorities for the Mayor and at least 3 City Councilors and their historical positions will certainly be a part of the November election.  

Please notify all members, contacts, and friends.  


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