Oregon GOP Presses Governor To Urgently Lead, Not To Slow Walk ODOT Reforms

Wilsonville, OR– Oregon Republican Party Chairman issued a statement regarding Governor Brown’s Department of Administrative Services’ recommendations for the Oregon Department of Transportation (ODOT):

President Trump Speech to Congress Last September, Governor Brown knew there were severe problems at ODOT. Seemingly unable to solve them herself, she directed DAS to contract with McKinsey & Co., at a cost of $1 million, to study the problem. Those detailed results were released on February 1st, but our governor continues to appear unable to implement the recommendations of this expensive study.

Instead of deploying her own staff to immediately tackle this serious obstacle to effective transportation policy in our state, the governor instead asked DAS to study the study. The results of this second-hand study were officially made public this week, and they recommend more studies, with timelines stretching out through 2018.

For example, a critical problem hindering major funding of ODOT for large capital projects is procurement and contracting, but March 1, 2018 has been set as a new deadline to establish “role clarity in the ODOT procurement department.”

“These basics of good governance should not have to wait yet another year. Oregon’s transportation policy problems are real and have been mounting for decades. Given the amount of potholes on the I-5 between Portland and Salem, we’d think there would be a sense of crisis in our state’s capital,” said Oregon Republican Chairman Bill Currier. “Instead the Brown Administration is planning more studies, more delays, and zero action. This just sounds a lot like the eternally-delayed and grossly mismanaged road construction this study was supposed to help solve.”

The earliest deadline they’ve set for themselves is November 1, 2017 to solve something as basic as figuring out who’s actually in charge at ODOT, long after the 2017 legislative session has ended. Really? Republicans in the legislature are working to solve several transportation needs in the current legislative session, but Oregon’s Democrat-dominated executive branch is unsure of the governance structure of its principal transportation agency.

"This is no time to slow walk urgently needed action. Clearly a lot of work needs to get done," added Currier. "We call on the Governor and Democratic legislators to show real leadership and make this a real priority. Let’s work together to get the management of Oregon’s transportation infrastructure back on track well before November 1st, 2017."

The Oregon Republican Party is the state’s arm of the Republican National Committee. It’s Chairman and officers are dedicated to preserving and advancing Republican principles within the state of Oregon and to improving the lives and livelihoods of Oregon’s working families through economic freedom and equal protection under the law.

Thursday 04/07/17–01:00 PM PT
Contact: ORP Communications Director
communications.director@orgop.org – (503) 902-4671