Streetcar Charlie and his short sidekick, the Little Emperor, have kicked their street fee down the road again, so now they're talking about a Porkland City Council vote on Jan. 14. They've been on about this for almost a year, even though Streetcar campaigned for office on a pledge to fix the roads without raising more cash. Maybe that's why they keep kicking it along; with this pair, who knows?
They want to charge businesses in the city a fee based upon the square footage and number of employees in the operation, along with gross revenue, but there are a few problems with that:
Eric Fruits, an economist and frequent critic of the street fee, said there are still huge questions on the business fee. It's not clear why some agencies won't pay. "How come we haven't seen anything on Union Pacific [Railroad], how come we haven't seen anything on TriMet?" he asked.
Fruits, who sat in on most of the summer work groups, is amazed that Novick galvanized such a large group of the city against him. "He really has accomplished a Christmas miracle in that he's brought the whole city together."
It seems doubtful that these two clowns actually know the difference between gross revenue and profit, and leaving some businesses out entirely despite the fact that they create a lot of wear on our roads is especially problematic. What it seems to come down to is that they want another slush fund, because that's the way the City of Portland has been "working" for the past three decades.
But as usual, they're exempting their cronies.
They also want households to pay around $140 a year, but in Portland jargon, that means homeowners - not renters. And in the 15 years we've lived in the southwest hills, we've never seen a road maintenance crew from Portland - although we have, on numerous occasions, seen crews from Washington County doing road maintenance just down the hill from us.
From where we sit, they simply want more money from us to spend elsewhere. Not without a fight.