Local politics, the county, and the world, as viewed by Tammy Maygra
Tammy's views are her own, and do not necessarily reflect the views of Bill Eagle, his pastor, Tammy's neighbors, Earl Fisher, Betsy Johnson, Joe Corsiglia, President Obama, Tony Hyde, Pat Robertson, Debi Corsiglia's dog, or Claudia Eagle's Cats. This Tammy's Take (with the exception of this disclaimer) is not paid for or written by, or even reviewed by anyone but Tammy and she refuses to be bullied by anyone.

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Ha Ha Ha public transit. You want me to help fund it? not us
We are a poor multi-national surface mining mega corporation


The county commissioners are now putting on a ballot measure to fund CC Rider through the means of a property tax levy. Even as far back when COLCO Transportation was around the county commissioners refused to fund or to establish a transit system. Our very own county commissioner Henry Heimuller once was a solid supporter of CC Rider that was until he became a county commissioner and then he did a complete turnaround and opposed the ballot measure which was narrowly defeated last spring.

County commissioner Tony Hyde has never supported public transportation even though many people from his home town of Vernonia used CC Rider for various usages. Commissioner Fisher never supported the measure from last spring to fund public transit. I believe the only reason these commissioners did not support the original ballot measure is because they did not like the idea of the surface mining industry having an increase in the depletion fee assessed on aggregate.

The commissioners were under a lot of public pressure to support the original ballot measure and are trying to pacify the voters by putting on a measure. They can claim we tried to fund public transit but the voters spoke and did not want to pay for it in other words they are making a political move and are covering their butts.

They have decided to craft a measure themselves to fund the transit system(special district), they know that their ballot measure will probably fail because of several reasons. One is that since the people got a royal screwing on the hospital district to the tune of $8 million wasted lost and diverted to other places that had no connection to the hospital plan. Second the hospital was a special district and after that mess people will not likely vote for another permeant district. Even though now we know how to take them down. Thirdly people will not vote to raise their taxes--- the jail level took several attempts before it passed by the skin of its teeth so I don't see this tax increase to pass.

The commissioners kept saying that we can't impose this tax on the surface miners.

Bull crap! These huge corporations pay little or no taxes get urban renewal tax breaks, are self -reporting on depletion fee owed and it has been common in the past that all rock was not reported to the county and the fees not collected. The miners get to take the depletion fee off their taxes even though the cost is passed on to the customer so really it does not cost the company a dime. The miners claim that they will have to leave Columbia County if the fee was increased, believe me you could not run the surface miner out with a stick they will stay here until the last piece of rock is mined.

They also claim an increase will cost jobs again I cry foul ; they have had the same number of workers for decades last time I checked Knife River had about 20 workers which by the way is not union and Knife River despises unions even though Knife River made 297.5 million last year but refuses to pay union scale.

Cal-Portland aka Glacier who changes their name oftener than a person changes their underwear because of environmental fines is a branch of Taiheyio Cement, A Japanese company which is the largest cement company in the world. Again a non-union company in fact they broke the union years ago costing good jobs and good wages. Both companies can afford a small increase of depletion fees after all they have increased their price of rock, cement many times since then.

The county commissioners support the surface miners simply because they receive campaign contributions rom these corporations and here in Columbia county corporate America always comes before the betterment of the community and the welfare of its citizens.

It is sad that the commissioners refused to support Thelma Bonars transit measure I believe if the commissioners had came out and support her measure instead of opposing it we would have a funded system.

Time will tell whether we continue to have a public system the commissioners and other local councils spout we need this and that to bring companies here to Columbia County refuses to support a measure which is essential to growth in our declining economy. If we had business growth here that would mean building which would mean cement/rock needs so the miners would benefit as well.

I hope the people who voted against public transit never needs medical attention which entails driving to Portland and they have no one to take them, or they are too old and feeble to drive because some people have to rely on the bus.

The surface mining in Columbia County has taken most of our industrial land and have now made them huge water filled, mosquito infested pits, they have cost local people hundreds of high paying jobs because of the lack of industrial lands.

I believe Thelma has submitted another initiative to fund CC Rider, basically the same as her last one. I will support hers over the county's. You decide .

Tammy


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