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Milwaukie Light Rail Petition Unlikely To Be Effective

A long-time petitioner of light rail construction, Ed Zumwait, filed a petition Friday that would require a public vote prior to approving any government spending for the Portland-Milwaukie light rail.  The petition still needs 1,900 signatures in order for it to become a measure voted on in the November elections.

Other Oregon residents have responded to the proposed light rail project with less than enthusiastic replies as well.  An Oak Grove resident filed a similar petition in December, which will be a measure on the May ballot if enough signatures are obtained.  Opponents of the light rail project worry that riders will park in historic Milwaukie neighborhoods and that areas around the stations will become unsafe.  Tax payers may also have to pay higher taxes for a rail line that they may not want or may not use.

Council President Greg Chaimov says the petitions are counter-productive.  Constitutionally, government bodies cannot change laws in order to negate any existing contract.  Even if the public votes to stop the light rail funding, the council is still obligated to fulfill the contract.  The project would still continue, but there would be no extra funding to ensure the safety of the stations or neighborhoods.

For more information about this story, please go to http://www.oregonlive.com/milwaukie/index.ssf/2012/01/milwaukie_light_rail_petition.html

      

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