Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Clackamas County Sheriff Roberts Says Light Rail Brings Crime

To All COLA LO Members,

Just as many residents know too well it seems our county Sheriff in public testimony believes light rail and its impacts brings crime to the community.   

This comes as no surprise to many residents of Lake Oswego as it was a major issue when the Streetcar was proposed and opponents cited ongoing statistics showing a 56% increase in police calls at Clackamas Town Center.   Light Rail Crime , Crime Train , LO Crime Train , Metro Response on Crime Train , Light Rail Crime Stats

Now Sheriff Roberts has publicly made his views known in testimony before the clackamas county commissioners.    IN his testimony Sheriff Roberts stated: 

I am neither in favor, nor opposed, to the expansion of mass transit — provided that sufficient resources are made available to ensure the safety of the public. However, the budget implications of this decision [to fund the proposed MAX line] concern me deeply............
After making do for years with innovative cost cutting — as well as reductions in the training we provide for our deputies and other measures — last year we had to eliminate 18 FTE and had our first layoff in more than a decade. Having twice voted to support a public safety levy, this is clearly not the direction the citizens of Clackamas County want to see for their Sheriff’s Office.
The construction of the Orange Line may well be a worthwhile public project. However, it does not exist in a vacuum — moving ahead with light rail will mean moving backwards on public safety, and likely other basic services to county residents.
I urge you to recognize that the initial planning for this project was developed years ago, when the local and national economy were much stronger. Since then, our economic situation has deteriorated drastically, and so I urge you to take a fresh look at whether or not this project is still in the county’s best financial interest before the full-funding grant agreement is signed.

Ironically readers will not find this statement or any significant reporting of the issues in the Oregonian or other newspapers.    We cannot say why but many imply its counter to the dominant party line in Portland.   Given the statistics and recent experience its hard to see how the politicians can continue to promote massively expensive projects without voter approval.   Sheriff Sides with Clackastani Rebels

At the same time the Clackamas County Sheriffs Department has been overwhelmingly supported by County residents.   In the November 2011 Election voters supported a public safety level to fund the sheriffs office with a 75% approval rate.   Election results Measure 3-378.

This came at the same time voters in Clackamas County overwhelming rejected other measures and the direction of county government.   Its clear the Sheriff has substantial support in the community.

Please notify all members, contacts, and friends...

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