They funded bike paths, light rail, zoo bomber statues, counseling sessions and ignored their jobs–like filling potholes.
Good for the Oregonian for putting the lie to the phony game being played on taxpayers about the road
tax fee surcharge rip off. And good for the taxpayers who called out Charlie Hales for pulling a bait and switch on voters, scuttling the proposed street ‘fee’ and income tax plan for Portland.
But now we learn the State of Oregon might bail out Portland for its demonstrably bad spending habits. And all of Oregon will get stuck with the tab.
The Portland Business Journal reports:
Mayor Charlie Haleshas opted to not kick a measure to voters in May following a conversation with Governor John Kitzhaber and state lawmakers. In February, the 78th Oregon Legislature will consider a transportation package that could include the repairs.
But wait for it:
According to OPB, Mayor Hales’ spokesman Dana Haynes indicates the repairs could be paid for through an increase in the state gas tax, changing the law to allow cities to charge a vehicle registration fee, or a fee on studded tires
This will about cover the taxpayer screw over:
One of the humorous aspects of the latest bit of pothole politics are the comments by former Portland Commissioners who freely admit to using road money for other stuff. But the ‘best’ comment comes from Commissioner-turned-Congressman Earl Bow Tie Blumenauer who, in his role on Capitol Hill, has done everything for bikes and light rail and little for roads, unless there’s a bike path involved.
I’m not trying to second-guess everybody for the past 20 years. That’s not fair for me to do,” said U.S. Rep. Earl Blumenauer, D-Ore., who as a member of the City Council in 1988 championed Portland’s transportation funding policy. “But I think doing a better job of keeping current would have avoided some of that long-term deterioration.
Insert laugh track:
From the movie Mr. Bean’s Holiday
I remember when Charlie Hales said he’d fill the potholes if elected mayor. He felt his predecessor, Sam Adams, selling the asphalt trucks to fill the potholes was a bad move.
Unavailable for comment is former Mayor Sam Adams who’s skedaddling out of town for a new global warming job in DC. I can imagine he’ll bring the same intellectual firepower to that gig as he did to his job as mayor.