The almost ONE BILLION DOLLAR question is: Who initiated the Columbia River Crossing, and when was light-rail included in the plans? Light-rail history from author Randal O’Toole’s book, The Best Laid Plans (pg. 151), states that Mayor Neil Goldschmidt cancelled construction of a planned freeway, then funneled the funds into Portland’s first light rail.
Goldschmidt’s reward? A huge fee for brokering a backdoor deal awarding construction giant Bechtal a no-bid contract to build a light rail project.In 2004 the term “Light Rail Mafia” was tossed around by journalists, planners and elected officials to describe Goldschmidt connected people.
O’Toole also writes (pg. 154), that in May 2006 then Portland commissioner Sam Adams announced that success of the waterfront district depended on spending $550 million on a new light rail line from downtown Portland to Milwaukie.
A Columbian Feb. 4 post, quotes Mayor Adams as saying “no light rail, no bridge.”
Clark County residents deserve an independent audit of all monies spent by Washington ad Oregon on the CRC project. When asked for documents, however, David Evans and Associates replied by filing a lawsuit against the company making the request, Forensic accountant digs into CRC finances, gets slapped with suit, because it would have revealed “trade secrets.”
This is not acceptable!
It should be asked, “Who is guarding our tax dollars??”
Randal O’Toole’s book: