A Eugene Area Conspiracy
The Little City that Couldn't... Let Eugene Vote on the EmX!
-by Scott Rohter, April 2011
“Envision Eugene” should be replaced with a new plan called
“Just Enjoy Eugene the Way It Is!” –Scott Rohter
Never mind the fact that the West Eugene Area EmX would not be built, or even proposed if Lane Transit District actually had to pay for it with their own money! Never mind the fact that the proponents of the EmX are seeking to get huge amounts of the public’s money, $86 million dollars to be exact, to build their little pet project, from the Federal Government, which is currently over $14 trillion dollars in debt! The government is actually flat broke, if they had to pay their bills the way the rest of us do! LTD tells us that the EmX pencils out. Well if it does, then it’s the only damn thing about this whole charade that actually does! Even if it did add up, which I promise you that it doesn’t, we don’t want it anyway, so it really doesn’t matter!
“Nothing is easier to do than spending the public’s money. It doesn’t appear
to belong to anyone, and the temptation to spend it is overwhelming.”
-President Calvin Coolidge, 1872-1933
There is a plan afoot in the City of Eugene to steal our fine city away from the people who actually own it, and from the majority of its residents who actually live and work here! This plan has been endorsed by the Eugene City Council, Mayor Kitty Piercy, the Metropolitan Policy Committee, and Commissioner Sid Leiken, among others. ‘The Planners,’ who are engineering this outrageous crime are mostly members of our own community, whom we would least suspect to be implicated in a robbery! They are people that we know and trust, some of whom we elected to public office. Others have been appointed to their positions of authority, from which they derive their power to conspire against the rest of the community!
Their assault vehicle, from which they plan to launch their attack upon the residents of Eugene, and commit this crime, which is the theft of our fine city, is a seemingly harmless little bus called the EmX. The would be assailants intend to get aboard the EmX, and ride it all the way to the end of the line, which is the scene of this crime, somewhere out in West Eugene, where they intend to steal our little city in broad daylight, with everybody watching, and then just re-board the small green bus, and make a clean, almost carbon free ‘get-a-way’! They won't even leave a carbon footprint!
Most of the residents of West Eugene have already been forewarned about the likelihood of this crime occurring sometime in the near future. They have been alerted by those who are planning to pull off this robbery. There has been almost full disclosure, all the way through the proceedings, and the planning stages of the operation, if not in the actual details of the EmX, then at least on the fact that they actually do intend to pull off this heist!
Nervous residents of Eugene have taken some measures to protect themselves from their would be assailants. They have banned together and organized themselves into a citizens action group called Our Money - Our Transit, in order to try to be heard, and to protect their private property rights. It is like a neighborhood watch group. They are trying to shine as much light as they can on the perpetrators of this impending crime, and on the West Eugene neighborhood where it will likely occur. If and when the crime does happen, it certainly won’t be because nobody knew about it! No one will be able to say that they didn’t see it coming, both the EmX, and the outright theft of our city. But up until now, nothing that anyone has done has been able to successfully stop the determined conspirators from their end goal of hijacking our little city! I believe this is because the only thing that matters to the co-conspirators involved in this plot, is the huge pot of tax payer’s gold that is waiting for them at the end of their EmX Bus Line rainbow! But first they have to steal our fine little city away from us, before they can build their damn little EmX Line extension! My question to you is, "Are you just going to sit by and let them get away with that?"
What is going on in Eugene is another example of what is wrong with Big Government! Big Government doesn't listen to "the little people." It also illustrates what is wrong with handing out huge amounts of Federal money that blinds the eye and corrupts the soul of all those who come into contact with it! It demonstrates what is wrong with Big Government agencies like the Federal Department of Transportation, that dole out billions of dollars of the public’s money every year to support their pet projects, and their government boondoggles all over the country, like the $51 billion dollars that they spent last year on a virtual security fence on our southern border, only to find out too late that it didn’t actually work as promised, and then they abandoned the project all together! These are examples of why less government is the best government!
“Under the government, corruption can flourish just as easily as it can anywhere else."
- Theodore Roosevelt, reprisal
I’m sure if you asked the residents of Eugene the following two simple questions, the vote against the proposed West Eugene EmX would be overwhelmingly NO!
Please pick one of the following options that most closely represents you own views:
Option 1: Do you want to see the population of Eugene increase to between
300,000 and 500,000 people, and have the metropolitan area served by an EmX Bus rapid transit system
that would confiscate private property along the route, and run along parts, or all of 6th, 7th, 11th or 13th Avenues, and would cause LTD to borrow $86 million dollars from the Federal Government, which is already
$15 trillion dollars in debt?
Option 2: Do you prefer not to see the current Eugene area population increase much beyond its present size,
and population density, and keep our bus system pretty much the way that it is,
with affordable improvements to be made only as necessary?
Please particiapte in our online poll at: www.LessGovistheBestGov.com/emx-poll.html
I believe that a vote on these two little questions would prove beyond a doubt that our community would prefer to retain its small town character, and stay pretty much the way that it is. In other words we would like to preserve what we have! But some people in our city government don’t realize how lucky we are to live here, and they won't realize what we have until we loose it. And then it will be too late to ever get it back again! That's the way that it usually works. I don't want to see that happen here! So before we loose what we have, which makes our little community so much nicer than other places, I would like to tell you what I have learned over the years, from living in several different places around the country. I have seen other cities of our approximate size and population grow way too big for their own good, and way too big for their streets to handle the traffic, so that the quality of life in those communities was negatively impacted! If you build it, they will come! But we don't have to build it! With increased population density comes a whole host of evils, some social, such as increased crime and law enforcement, and others environmental, such as increased congestion and pollution, and an over all deterioration in the general quality of life! These are things that even the best land planning can't fix! So before we build the infrastructure that will cause thousands of more residents to move here, maybe even hundreds of thousands of more people over the next 50 to 100 years, I would like to point out the obvious, which is something that everybody else seems to be overlooking! Money is only a small part of what makes life rewarding! Other important considerations include more intangible things, such as the quality of life that means so much to the residents of Eugene!
“Freedom has more often been lost in small steps by progressive incrementalism than by catastrophic upheavals such as violence or war!"
James Madison, 1751-1836, contemporary reprisal by Scott Rohter
The issue surrounding the West Eugene EmX is much bigger than a small town bus system! It is bigger than whose money or whose transit it is! It is about our city government, and who runs it? At all levels, our government doesn’t listen to the will of the American people anymore! Whether it is our Federal Government passing the Troubled Assets Relief Program (TARP), and bailing out Wall Street and the Big Banks against our will, or whether it’s right here at home in our own little City of Eugene, with this largely unwanted green dragon of a bus system! It’s really all about whether the United States of America is still a constitutional republic, and whether it still reflects the will of its citizens anymore. Is our government still a government Of the people, By the people, and For the people, or has it already perished from the earth, quietly having been taken over by a small group of outside financial interests, and by an unholy alliance between Big Business, Big Unions, and Big Government that I call The Union of Corp Gov. See my November 2010 article entitled, The Union of Corp Gov. on the National page of LessGovistheBestGov.com.
The entire West Eugene EmX Bus Line extension could have been stopped dead in its tracks in a Thursday April 14, 2011 meeting of the Metropolitan Policy Committee, if Commissioner Sid Leiken would have joined his fellow Commissioner Jay Bozievich in opposing the West Eugene EmX! If he had done so, then it would all be over by now! But Mr. Leiken did not do that! Instead, Commissioner Leiken voted to allow the dreaded EmX to continue moving on down the designated bus lane, to the next planning stage. “We need more studies,” he said, and “more reviews!” How decisive that was of him. Any two NO votes of any member group that is a part of the Metropolitan Policy Committee will kill the hated West Eugene EmX project. The Board of Commissioners has two votes on the Metropolitan Policy Committee. Commissioner Bozievich voted to stop the West Eugene EmX extension. Commissioner Leiken did not! There is a very simple little rhyme to remember when it comes time to vote again for or against Commissioner Leiken. If you don't like the EmX, then don't like Sid Leiken! It has a rather nice ring to it, don't you think? Don't like the EmX? Then don't like Sid Leiken! That's all you need to remember when Sid Leiken is up for re-election, because he was the one who allowed the dreaded West Eugene EmX to move forward!
The ongoing confrontation over a Eugene Area Mass Transit System for the future hides a much bigger policy issue than LTD, the Eugene City Council, the Lane County Board of Commissioners, the Metropolitan Policy Committee, or the people from Our Money-Our Transit are even talking about! It is much bigger than a little green bus! It is bigger than a whole fleet of little green busses! It is bigger than the entire, area wide mass transportation system! It is so much bigger than all of this, that most of us can’t even imagine just how much it will affect us, or our children someday! If we don’t stop this EmX Bus System dead in its tracks right now, and put an end to this usurpatious government overreach, then this little green dragon of a bus will surely run right over all of us!
As far back as the early 1990s, and even before this, the City of Eugene had big plans for urban growth, both inside and outside of the city boundaries. In River Road and Santa Clara the zoning requirements were changed, when Eugene forcibly annexed portions of both neighborhoods against the wishes of local residents! This was done to accommodate the higher population densities, and smaller lot sizes that Eugene was planning for in the area. City officials forced residents of River Road and Santa Clara to hook up to the Eugene Municipal Sewer System, and pay a $5,000 fee under the unproven assumption that there were actual ground water quality concerns! The real reason that they wanted the River Road and Santa Clara neighborhoods to hook up to the Eugene Municipal Sewer System, was actually because they intended to reduce the lot sizes, and increase urban density in the area through annexation, and you can’t put a septic system and a drain field on a 4,000 square foot lot! There just isn’t enough room for the drain lines!
Two elderly residents of the River Road neighborhood were forcibly evicted from their home because they refused to pay the $5,000 fee, and hook up to the sewer system. They claimed that the City of Eugene was acting illegally. Their home was seized, their land was confiscated, and their property was foreclosed on by Eugene and Lane County! It was sold for the exact amount of the unpaid sewer assessment as required under Oregon law. ORS 223.525 is not in compliance with the 4th and 5th Amendments to the United States Constitution. I have been trying to get this law changed since 1995, but the Oregon Legislature doesn’t seem to be very interested! In Oregon today, the government can sell your home in foreclosure for the exact amount of an unpaid lien! The government is actually required by Oregon State law to sell your property for the exact amount of an unpaid lien!!!
After Jack and Betty Neely were evicted from their River Road home, it was foreclosed on and sold for $7411. Jack died one month later of a heart attack! He was 76 years old! He was homeless! He became homeless because the City of Eugene, and Lane County, evicted him and his sister from their home for nonpayment of a $5000 sewer lien that was later determined to be illegal! They also took whatever money the Neely’s had invested in their house, and transferred that equity to the individuals who bought the Neely home in foreclosure! Jack Neely died of a heart attack one month later! But I think that he died of a broken heart, over the stress that resulted from being homeless, and losing his entire life savings! Several years later, the Oregon Appeals Court ruled that the City of Eugene had acted illegally in forcing residents of River Road and Santa Clara to pay the $5000 sewer fee, and forcing them to hook up to the Eugene Municipal Sewer System. So Jack Neely had been right all along! But that court decision did not bring Jack back to life, or restore the Neely property to his surviving sister!
To the best of my knowledge these were the first causalities of Eugene’s over ambitious central land planning goals. With blood on their hands, Eugene and Lane County are still busy laying the groundwork and the infrastructure to accommodate more of the big development that they still envision for Eugene’s future! And that’s where the West Eugene EmX comes in! It is designed to accommodate those higher population densities. It is a designated bus lane that will make it easier for the City of Eugene to build a light rail line down the streets when the time comes, and that will cause even more people to move here! Remember this, if you build it, they will come!
What do you think the big new EWEB Operations Facility in West Eugene was needed for! It was certainly not necessary to serve Eugene’s current population. Why do you think they built the new Interstate 5 Exit at Goshen, or the new 'Flyover' at Interstate 5 and Beltline, or the huge new hospital at Riverbend? Why do you think that EWEB and the Willamette Water Company have applied for new permits to remove massive amounts of more water from the McKenzie River? Information on these subjects is available on this website, and can be viewed by going to Select Related Articles at the end of this story. All of this groundwork and infrastructure is being laid right now to accommodate the big growth in population, size, and density, that the Mayor and the Eugene City Council are planning for Eugene's future! This is your city and your community. Please rally behind the people of West Eugene who are opposed to this over-development, and the construction of the West Eugene EmX. We need to vote on this important issue. Call your City Counselors, and Mayor Piercy and demand your right to vote on this very important issue! Let your voices be heard!
"A journalist has no better friend than the truth." - Scott Rohter