Well, a majority of Clackamas County voters decided they wanted a no-nothing Tea Party type, John Ludlow, to head up the Board of Commissioners.
They're getting what they deserve: a guy who doesn't understand the meaning of "contract" -- a simple word that most people grasp.
An agreement between two or more parties, especially one that is written and enforceable by law.
An agreement enforceable by law. That's what Clackamas County and Tri Met have in regards to an extension of light rail to Milwaukie.
But Ludlow has set the County on a collison course with a court case he is almost certain to lose.
TriMet filed a lawsuit today to force Clackamas County to follow through on its commitments to the Portland-Milwaukie light rail project.
The transportation agency says the county has delayed final project property acquisitions and $1.3 million in road and signal improvements, and that this could impede the project. TriMet claims that the county is breaking its contracts with TriMet by not letting construction of the line continue as previously agreed.
Way to go, TriMet.
Ludlow and his fellow anti-government, anti-alternative transportation, anti-train, anti-taxes commissioners deserve to have their bullshit put to a stop by the legal system.
Rail phobia is one thing. Failing to abide by a legal contract is a whole other thing.
It seems obvious that when Clackamas County signed a binding agreement with TriMet prior to the passage of an initiative that required voter approval of anything to do with rail in the county, that agreement had to be honored.
The smart approach would be to save the citizens money by admitting the obvious and not engaging in a costly legal battle with TriMet. However, Ludlow isn't smart. Devious, yes. Dishonorable, yes. But smart, no.
Though he's only been in office a few months, Ludlow already is becoming a source of hilarity with his quasi-dictatorial Clackistan shenanigans.
The IFC channel already has Portlandia. Maybe we should get TLC channel to create "Clackistan". The show would be centered around a county government in which the elected officials and employees do all sorts of whacky, corrupt stuff at taxpayer expense.
Where in the world could we find such a place, where the government has been allowed to become such a comedy of errors? Hmm...I know! Clackamas County. Cue the laugh track.
Except, this shouldn't be funny to county residents. Hopefully they'll remember the antics of the political jokers they voted for last November and not repeat that mistake again.
The Oregonian editorial board is sounding an alarm about the trouble John Ludlow is causing in the county commission. When Ludlow loses the TriMet lawsuit, that alarm will be much louder.
Update: Here's a great comment from "edwardalbini" I found on the Oregonian story about the Trimet lawsuit:
Apparently the newly elected Clackamas County commissioners (and many of their constituents including several who are active in this forum) are unaware of the legal definition of the word "contract". That ignorance is on display in last year's Measure 3-401, which set the stage for this lawsuit.
The likelihood is EXTREMELY high the contract will eventually be upheld. If the county commission is making a conscious decision to breach the contract and pay penalties for doing so, only to end up honoring the contract anyway, is that really in the best interest of Clackamas County taxpayers?
Fortunately, Clackamas County will be able to use future I-205 toll income to offset penalties and legal fees. Last month, in a brilliant "spur-of-the-moment" move, County Chairman John Ludlow spearheaded a measure for the May 21st ballot to allow voters to decide whether to institute a toll on I-205 as a defensive measure to the Columbia River Crossing. So the County has that going for them. Wait... uh... Ludlow forgot that I-205 is a FEDERAL highway and did not consult with the Federal Highway Administration before floating the toll idea.
Next, look for Ludlow and crew to push for a ballot measure allowing voters to decide upon whether or not to roll back the Federal Aid Highway Act of 1956.