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Letters respond to county politics, Metro vote

Jeff Molinari’s latest in his fiction series strays wildly from the facts.

Mr. Molinari’s letter says: “Our enemy is TriMet, who has continued to bully our commissioners and taxpayers, via a lawsuit. And now that TriMet gave the Clackamas County taxpayers’ $20 million away to Beaver Heating for their move to Washington County—money that you and I will be repaying over the next 20 years.”

If my fellow readers prefer fact to fiction, I refer you to the story published by Pamplin Media; go to the Clackamas Review website and search for Beaver Heat Treating. I summarize the story as follows:

Every public works project that requires privately owned land employs a condemnation process, in which the government entity negotiates a fair price with the affected landowner. Such was the case with Beaver Heat Treating (not “Beaver Heating,” as Mr. Molinari misnamed it). TriMet and Beaver Heat Treating (BHT), a major company that provides metal products to Ford and the U.S. military among others, began negotiating in 2008 over whether to close or move.

The result is that BHT, under a new name, Thermal Modification Technologies, has moved to a better, more spacious facility next to another TriMet rail line in Tualatin. No employees will lose their jobs. The company’s president is quite satisfied with this outcome.

Now, about Clackamas County taxpayers repaying $20 million for the next 20 years. Serious departure from the facts here. The correct amount paid to BHT was $12 million, not $20 million, less than expected for this major acquisition.

As Mr. Molinari surely knows, most of the money for PMLR is federal and state, not local, so “you and I” will be repaying only a small share for the BHT move. In fact, the county’s share of the entire PMLR project of approximately $19 million is less than 2 percent of the project total. Applying 2 percent to $12 million (not $20 million) gives $240,000: the correct county share of moving BHT.

Last, in case Mr. Molinari is tempted to bemoan the loss of a major company from Clackamas County because of PMLR, TriMet says that several large businesses have relocated from Multnomah County to Clackamas County because of PMLR. For details, Mr. Molinari should call TriMet, if he can tolerate talking to “our enemy.”

David Gray

Oak Grove

Suburbs don’t buy into agenda

Metro is not Mother Nature’s or your advocate, unless you are fond of social engineering and the government owning America’s property (“Mother Nature behind in the polls,” June 19). Reminder: America is the people, not the government.

Any illusion of Metro being a magnanimous entity that would protect our region from unwanted change must be dispelled by the reality that it has become a tyrannical, good ole boys club for control freaks wearing green sheep skins trying to mold the region into their vision of utopia with other people’s money. All the while lining their pockets, and the businesses they champion, with the spoils as they insulate sections of town they live in from the huddled masses by pushing them further from the city center.

The unveiled support, for forcing the majority of people in Clackamas and Washington counties to pay for values they do not hold, shown in your opinion piece (“Economy, environment need attention regionally,” June 19) and the article regarding Metro and Measure 26-152 sounded nearly identical.

Most people are too busy with their lives to see how onerous Metro has become. Just because people are not interested in understanding the agenda does not mean they support it. Just because people do not buy into Metro’s agenda does not mean they are not intelligent enough to understand that the emperor has no new clothes.

Libby Wentz

Gladstone

Think twice about loyalties

In response to Jeff Molinari’s letter to the editor, dated June 19, he stated Jo Haverkamp supports Paul Savas analytical style; this is true, and is not the only aspect I admire. I also respect him. The man has character, ethics, honesty and is a very honorable man.

I was in the medical field for 35 years, and my husband was a electrical engineer for over 40 years. We have had to make many difficult decisions in each of our careers.

It takes thoughtful research to make good decisions. I am glad to have a commissioner like Paul Savas, who researches and makes sound decisions for citizens.

You stated Paul Savas was not a team player. Why not John Ludlow and Tootie Smith becoming team players? Their action has shown an animosity against Paul Savas from day one.

In the letter, Jeff said at the next election or recall, the taxpayers will let us know how the commission is doing. Well, I believe he is correct. I think Mr. Molinari will be very surprised as to whom the taxpayers will vote out or recall.

We the taxpayers want elected officials to have a good code of conduct. This is not what has happened since we voted in the new commissioners in at the last election.

Think twice about where your loyalties lie, Mr. Molinari. Look at the past history of who cannot work together with others. You will see Paul Savas does not fall in that category.

Jo Haverkamp

Oregon City

A really bad idea

In the last paragraph of his recent letter, Mr. Molinari suggests the taxpayers of Clackamas County should be suing some of the past, and one present commissioner, for “misrepresenting us.”

Is he saying that the inter-agency agreement between TriMet and Clackamas County, where-in Clackamas County paid “20 million”of our tax dollars” to TriMet, was in fact to cover the move of Beaver Heating (actually Beaver Heat Treating) to Washington County? Is he saying it was Clackamas County, or TriMet that decided Beaver Heat Treating needed to be moved, and any fault for that decision lies with the Clackamas County commissoners and therefore some or all should be sued?

A March 29, 2010, article in the Oregon Daily Journal of Commerce paints a very different picture. It is clear from the article that a decision by Union Pacific Railroad changed the route and required moving Beaver Heat Treating. Quoting from the article, “No one wanted the line to run through Beaver Heat Treating. The locally preferred alternative for the route, approved in 2003 and reaffirmed in 2008, would have shaved 6 feet off the company’s maintenance building, but otherwise left its operations in tact.”

Again, from the article, “Union Pacific had required light-rail trains run no closer than 25 feet from its trains.” Then in 2009, in light of a accident in Colorado involving light-rail and heavy-rail trains, the railroad updated its requirements to increase the distance to 50 feet. As a result, “the line will run through the center of what is now Beaver Heat Treating in north Milwaukie’s industrial area.”

Mr. Molinari, a self proclaimed “conservative” wants to spend taxpayer money to sue county commissioners for misrepresentation. There is no evidence that they misreprested the issue of moving Beaver Heat Treating. Sorry sir, but we the taxpayers would lose on this really bad idea.

Charles Berglund

Oak Grove



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