Letter: Mayor’s apology is offensive
By John Ley, Camas
Published The Columbian: September 22, 2018
Vancouver Mayor Anne McEnerny-Ogle thinks it appropriate to apologize to Oregon because Washington killed the Columbia River Crossing. That’s an outrage.
Do you apologize to someone who’s trying to pick your pocket? Or to someone who wants to use you as their piggy bank to pay for their transportation projects? Heck, no!
The CRC was an overpriced, mismanaged, pork-barrel-laden transportation project. An Oregon Supreme Court justice stated it was “a light rail project in search of a bridge.” Current talks about replacing the Interstate 5 Bridge are completely designed to bring light rail to Vancouver.
Included in the CRC was us paying for a new TriMet headquarters in Portland and an upgrade to their Steel Bridge. There was $50 million for TriMet’s Gresham maintenance facility, and even something for Hood River.
The initial contract with David Evans & Associates was “$50 million maximum,” which WSDOT somehow allowed to balloon to $200 million taxpayer dollars.
It was estimated that 60 percent of tolls (paying for borrowed money), would be borne by Southwest Washington residents. That’s $2 billion over 30 years. Finally, had Oregon Gov. John Kitzhaber not demanded “no light rail, no bridge,” it might be under construction today.
An apology is an outrage.
Lars Larson and I had a discussion on this topic on his Sept 14, 2018 radio show. Lars adds a great deal of perspective on the CRC boondoggle.
I started by asking Lars a question: “Do you apologize to someone trying to pick your pocket?”. There’s 4 1/2 minutes of discussion and relevant information!
For the entire show, click on the SoundCloud below.