Letter: Candidates asked for position on tolls and light rail

Portland resident Jim Karlock offers the results

Editor’s note: Opinions expressed in this letter to the editor are those of the author alone and do not reflect the editorial position of ClarkCountyToday.com

How do we know where our candidates stand on light rail, and I-5 bridge tolls?

Jim Karlock
Jim Karlock

Many of their web sites are silent on these issues. So we decided to ask them. And while we were at it we asked in the form of asking for a pledge to oppose tolls on the I-5 bridge and then for light rail. No-tolls.com sent emails to each candidate with a very simple request.  Please copy and paste one of three statements on I-5 bridge tolls and then the same for light rail:

Request #1: Please pledge to oppose tolls on the I-5 bridge by copying & pasting one of the below into your reply to this email.

  • I pledge to oppose tolls on the proposed I-5 bridge
  • I support tolls on the I-5 bridge
  • I have no position on bridge tolls.

Most candidates replied that they oppose both I-5 bridge tolls and light rail:

  • Jaime Herrera Beutler, Vicki Kraft, Oliver Black,
  • Heidi St. John, Joe Kent, Hannah Joy,
  • Anthony Ho, Earl Bowerman, Justin Forsman,
  • John Ley, Brad Benton, Ed Orcutt,
  • Park Llafet, Jeremy Baker, Doug Coop,
  • Michelle Belkot, Don Benton, Richard Rylander
  • Oliver Black and Davy Ray both oppose tolls but support light rail.

Two candidates responded, but did not take a position:

  • Paul Harris (see below) Kim Hamlik

Several candidates DID NOT reply. We presume that most of them support having tolls and/or light rail, although Terri Niles and Greg Cheney had previously expressed positions opposing tolls and light rail in the Reflector.

  • Chris Byrd Marie Gluesenkamp Perez Terri Niles (see below)
  • Kevin Waters Joe Kear John Zingale
  • Stephanie McClintock Duncan Camacho Greg Cheney (see below)
  • Peter Abbarno Sharon Wylie Monica Jurado Stonier
  • Hector Hinojosa Glen Yung Chartisha Roberts
  • Sue Marshall Rick Torres
  • Two candidates who did not reply were mentioned in The Reflector Newspaper and one responded to the question on Facebook:
  • “Niles said she has “full support” of the bridge replacement project, including the implementation of light rail.”
  • “Cheney said it isn’t realistic for residents of the district who drive to Vancouver to use light rail for their commute into Portland. He said tolling would only further impact Washingtonians working in Oregon who already pay the latter state’s income tax.”  
  • In response to a facebook query, Paul Harris wrote “Your poll makes it seem we can stop tolls. That is not the case. Oregon is tolling no matter what. Bridge or NO bridge.” among other things. So we counted this as taking no position on tolls or light rail.

We listed some of the candidate’s comments on the web page at no-tolls.com.

Jim Karlock

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