Clark County Commissioner David Madore is hopping mad, and with good reason:
I just received a copy of the 40-page contract that C-Tran Attorney Tom Wolfendale and C-Tran CEO Jeff Hamm already executed (signed) with Portland TriMet. They did this without even showing the proposed contract to the Board. They made it effective immediately with no reasonable time period for the Board to even review. They made no provision for the Board to make any reasonable amendments.
They built into that contract the requirement that C-Tran must pay to Tri-Met, $5 million in liquidated damages if for any reason, C-Tran fails to fully support everything specified in the agreement including the requirement that C-Tran shall use eminent domain to condemn and transfer all properties demanded by Tri-Met to that agency.
They built into that contract the right for TriMet to pursue C-Tran with unlimited breach of contract penalties.
The date next to their signatures is September 27, the day after the special C-Tran meeting that ended late the previous evening. It is not reasonable to believe that the signed contract was created in less than a day.
It appears that they either back-dated the contract to pre-date the call to stop, or they failed to disclose to the governing board that they had already crafted the contract with such unconscionable and unacceptable terms. The CEO and attorney had the obligation to reveal the secret contract (or at least the terms they were considering) to the governing board for their consideration at that special meeting.
In case you've been harboring any doubts that corruption and cronyism are pushing TriMet's light rail bridge over the Columbia River into Vancouver, this should disabuse you of those doubts. Signed, sealed, delivered - just like in Neil Goldschmidt's heyday.
It's somewhat surprising that they seemed to believe that something so egregious would just get a pass once it was uncovered. Clark County isn't Porkland, after all.