Archive for March 7th, 2012

March 7, 2012

How Much Will This Cost Taxpayers?

by lewwaters

Footage from the March 5, 2012 Vancouver, Washington City Council meeting pertaining to the outcome of an unfair labor practice suit brought by the International Association of Fire Fighters local 452.

“CVTV footage, obtained pursuant to the Public Disclosure Act, in no way is intended by CVTV, the City of Vancouver, or Clark County to either promote or oppose any candidate for public office or any ballot proposition.”

Didn’t the city recently have to beg for and received a federal grant in order to reopen and rehire Fire Fighters for Fire Station 6?

And this notice now being read includes the city will “restore the status quo ante by reinstating the wages, hours and working conditions which existed for the employees in the affected bargaining unit prior to the unilateral change in the shift trade policy found unlawful in this order.”

Also, the city will “pay any and all back pay and/or benefits associated with the employer’s adoption of the shift trade policy found unlawful in this order.”

See decision here

UPDATE: A reporter with the Columbian says of their not covering this, “I didn’t write about this because after researching the issue behind it, I found the back pay issue was a negligible amount of money, and the shift change issue was so insider baseball that it wasn’t worth it”

March 7, 2012

Is Congresswoman Herrera Beutler Paying Any Attention?

by lewwaters

Totally unbelievable that as more and more revelations of incompetence keep being revealed, Congresswoman Jaime Herrera Beutler, in who’s district the bridge is located seems to be completely oblivious to what continues being revealed. A partial list can be seen in my recent posts here and here or simply scanning through current editions and archives of Couv.com and the Willamette Week, particularly articles by Nigel Jaquiss.

With all of the revelations of the bridge not supply sufficient clearance for river traffic, the Oregon Supreme Court admitting the prime reason for the project was to overcome Clark County’s objection to light rail, traffic estimates being wrong that proposed tolling is based upon, questionable financing and accounting and many more problems facing this $3.6 Billion boondoggle, what does our freshman 3rd Congressional District do?

Send out the following mailer, of course.

March 7, 2012

CRC and WSDOT: Defending the Indefensible

by lewwaters

After years of “studies” and planning, not to mention sinking nearly $150 Million of taxpayer money into the abyss we call the Columbia River Crossing project, revelations previously marginalized, if not hidden, seem to be coming forth in a rapid pace. By all appearances, more and more it shows that we “Hounds of Whinerville,” citizens and business owners who have spoken against this boondoggle have been largely correct in their warnings.

The appearance of gross incompetence of this project is almost unimaginable. That anybody would even attempt to defend this high level of incompetence is even more unbelievable. But, with every revelation that has come out, that is exactly what some elected leaders and directors of the WSDOT and CRC continue to do.

How can we forget the abysmal treatment of forensic accountant Tiffany Couch after her independent audit of what documents she received from CRC pertaining to the finances of the project raised several red flags? Questionable payments, unaccounted for funds, questionable accounting practices all swept under the rug as WSDOT used two of their top level people to review her findings before writing them off and claiming theirs was an “independent review.”

Tie that to the claims of 49th legislative district representative Jim Moeller who said of her findings, “In a project of such huge scale and complexity, at least some errant billing and bookkeeping is inevitable,” before demeaning Ms. Couch with, “I think that Tiffany is doing the job she was hired to do, and that’s stop the project” questioning her objectivity due to her being hired by successful businessman David Madore, a critic of the project.

But who questions Moeller’s “objectivity” what with the project being in his district?

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