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Les Poole: Election results were a reality check for incumbents unseated by promise to be more cautious with budgeting

Les PooleThe best polling available is an election. The results of this year's May and November elections sent a clear message from the voters in Clackamas County: We expect fiscal accountability and will no longer tolerate the onslaught of taxes, fees and borrowing that's occurred.

The election results were a reality check for Commissioners Jim Bernard and Ken Humberston. Both were defeated by candidates who promise to be more cautious with budgeting and less inclined to let Metro dominate our future livability.

Metro became the biggest election loser when both of its proposed spending measures were turned down by Clackamas County voters. Most notable was a rejection of its huge transportation spending measure in November.

The measure was proposed a few years ago after local communities requested Metro invest in traffic-congestion relief after hundreds of millions had been spent on light rail. Gradually, Metro turned the request into a $5.5 billion wage-tax proposal, primarily dedicated to more transit.

The ill-timed monster was promoted by Chair Lynn Peterson and the Metro Council as "a bold reimagining of our future." In November the measure was soundly defeated. The ratio in Clackamas County was a resounding 66% to 33%.

The election is over but the need for investment in our roads continues at a time when we face an economy ravaged by COVID-19, wildfires and government overspending. We'll need strong leadership in the future from the commissioners on transportation policy and other big issues. We cannot afford to waste time on more unproven schemes and dreams.

Les Poole is a Gladstone resident.


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