Is it just me, or is there something wrong with the picture in tonight's local news?
It was announced this evening that Oregon faces a $1 billion shortfall. Portland is strapped for revenues and cutting programs, yet it can apparently find enough extra cash to fund a "Cold Case" program which will seek to solve 280 cold cases from the 1970s forward.
This decision is being made at a time when there is so much crime in Portland neighborhoods that police cannot begin to respond adequately to the many complaints. Instead, they respond by degree with burglaries under a certain amount and in certain parts of town, animal nuisance and neglect, noise, vandalism, etc. being virtually ignored. We can't afford to keep criminals in prison and many are released prematurely after having done little or no time or community service.
The newscaster reported that the money for this program is currently coming from the City budget, "unless federal grands or money can be approved."
Why is the city wasting money "tidying up" after 280 years-old cases that benefit few people when it already has its hands full with current cases and we DO NOT HAVE MONEY TO SPARE?
Next we hear that the City Council is promoting a plan to run MAX through the transit corridor downtown. This involves levies on business owners in the downtown area to raise the money necessary for the project. Excuse me, but downtown businesses have a much harder time generating revenue already when suburbanites have a plethora of malls to choose from that are closer to home. Their property taxes are also much higher.
And WHY does MAX have to travel down SW 5th or 6th when it already crosses 5th and 6th at Pioneer Courthouse Square heading either east or west? It already goes all the way out to the airport. If the city plans to build a MAX on I205 in the future, wouldn't it be cheaper to keep the buses they plan to discard with this new "locate MAX in the transit corridor" plan and when the time comes to build the 205 line, simply extend the MAX line we've already got?
Randy Leonard is apparently the only Council member who opposes the plan, but he doesn't do so because he thinks it's a bad idea . . . only because he sees inequities between business owners when it comes to payments.
Can ANYBODY make sense of these two harebrained plans?