Earlier this week, my neighborhood association (Rose City Park) held its candidates fair. A number of candidates were present, as were presenters representing various ballot measures.
Of particular relevance to PortlandTransport readers are the two candidates for Metro President.
Here are videos of their presentations and Q&A sessions, presented in order of appearance and without commentary. (The non-profit, non-partisan nature of this blog prohibits candidate endorsements.)
RCPNA Candidates Fair, Tom Hughes Presentation, 2010-10-26
3 responses to “Metro President Candidate Presentations”
Thanks for posting these videos!
Here’s Tom Hughes, responding to a question about why automobile users should have to shoulder the burden of CRC tolls:
“I think one of the frustrations that a lot of us have about the expansion of the bicycle system in the city of Portland and around the region is that it appears that the bicycle folks don’t contribute. So I would like to see, even if it’s just a token registration fee, or some mechanism to go to the bicycle community, and say OK, you need to pay a share of the cost of providing those facilities.”
Note that the questioner didn’t mention bikes, but Hughes just busted out with this statement spontaneously.
So as I interpret this, the deal he’s proposing is to give us “bicycle folks” a new bike path over the Columbia (with four and a half miles of freeway the region can’t afford attached to it), all at the low low cost of a registration system no example of which, as Elly Blue has pointed out…
“…has ever managed to pay for its own administrative costs.”
I would ask that everyone subject that deal to your own personal cost-benefit analysis: Is it worth getting a license plate on every bike you own – every bike your kids own – in exchange for a new way to ride your bike over the Columbia River? (And would it even occur to you to ride your bike over the Columbia River? I know some people do, but should it cost the rest of us a bike-registration scheme?)
While we’re at it, it would be great to subject the CRC as a whole to a cost-benefit analysis. What benefits does it provide to justify spending ourselves into the ground?
I think the fact that Tom Hughes looks at the CRC as planned and considers it reasonable calls into question his judgement of what’s reasonable. This latest statement of his only reinforces that opinion.
(Moderator: I took note of the fact that you’re not allowed to endorse a candidate. From looking at your rules, I couldn’t figure out if commenters are allowed to or not. Please let me know, because there’s someone I’d like to endorse.)
Speaking only for this particular member of the bicycle folk: I pull my own weight. I pay taxes and fees on my house, business, car, and motorcycle, but I mostly get around by bike or on foot – forms of transportation that put far less of a strain on the region’s infrastructure. I feel pretty good about what I’m paying in vs. what I’m taking out, and if the CRC gets built, I’m pretty sure I’ll end up paying my share of it, even without a bike fee in place.
That won’t make the CRC any less of a bad idea, though.
Thank you for your comments. In fairness to Mr. Hughes, although the questioner didn’t mention bicycles in this specific moment, if you look at some of the other RCPNA videos from that evening, you’ll see that the questioner consistently brought up bicycles, or at least motorists vs. (all other modes). So it would be fair to assume that Mr. Hughes was well aware by that time of this questioner’s stance regarding bicycles.
As to what latitude individual commenters here have regarding candidate endorsements, I’ll leave that up to Chris to answer.
And to anyone else reading this who for some reason may not have yet voted, regardless of candidate, please get out there and exercise your rights and drop off your completed ballot tomorrow!
I would prefer that everyone stop short of endorsements. Thanks!