It should come as no surprise that most Portland residents would like to vote on Streetcar and Shorty's ever-changing "street fee", despite the fact that S&S resolutely oppose giving the public a say in the matter.
A poll coordinated by the Portland Business Alliance shows 77 percent of Portlanders want to vote on the street fee.
Mayor Charlie Hales and City Commissioner Steve Novick have fiercely opposed sending their $46 million proposal to voters, saying the public supports funding road repairs but can't agree on what kind of tax to pay.
And what do Streetcar and Shorty say?
"I understand the PBA spent money on a poll to find out that people don't like taxes," says Haynes. "We could have saved them a whole lot of money and told them that."
Haynes is Streetcar's official mouthpiece. And missing from this arrogant response is any acknowledgement whatsoever that the Portland City Council has for two decades or more systematically diverted funds for road maintenance into favored projects such as a multi-million-dollar bicycle/pedestrian bridge on the "Springwater Trail", paving the 20-mile long trail, building new paved trails along I-84, the "East Bank Esplanade" floating bike/ped trail, and all manner of other things that don't involve actually sealing and maintaining our roads. But boy, doesn't that expensive bridge look "iconic"?
There's your problem, right there: they've spent decades peeing away our money on cool stuff, and now it's suddenly occurred to them that, dang - the roads are going to cost a hella money because they spent our road money on toys. Naturally, their answer to this problem boils down to four words: "We need more money". Umm...boys? Here's the deal: You don't need more money. You just need to adopt a responsible attitude toward spending what you have.
That's really hard for Porkland politicians to do, because they spend so much time, effort, and taxpayer cash on portraying themselves as visionary leaders, but it's long past time for them to get over themselves.