Voters Thwarted By Downtown Mafia, Again

by lewwaters

Anger 3Once again, efforts to let voters voice their opinion in support of or opposition to forcing Clark County to accept Portland, Oregon’s financially troubled light rail seems to have fallen by the wayside as the Downtown light rail Mafia, better known as elected and appointed officials determined to force citizens to accept the boondoggle against their will have ruled yet another citizen petition calling for a vote as “invalid.”

And it cannot be ignored just how fishy this latest effort is.

Ever since Portland, Oregon decided to build a light rail system throughout their city, efforts have been underway to extend it across the Columbia River into Washington State in Clark County. That voters defeated the effort in 1995 by 2 to 1 margin did not matter as our vote was apparently immediately thrown into the trash can as rulers in both Portland and Vancouver, Washington have continued to plot, scheme and dream of ways to circumvent state law to bypass voters every chance they got.

Running for reelection often brings out promises of a citizen vote on light rail itself, only to be cast aside once elected, as we saw with now Mayor Tim ‘the Liar’ Leavitt, who promised profusely to fight tolling the new bridge only to flip almost as soon as he won the election.

Fed up with empty promises, Larry Patella, a retired US Navy Officer and citizen activist decided to push for a vote of the citizens by petition back in March 2011. A simple right of the citizens to petition their government to once again vote whether citizens want the project to continue or be halted.

It was said to be insufficient due to several signatures being from people not within the city limits of Vancouver, since the petition applied only to the Vancouver City Council.

After gathering more signatures and paying closer attention to ensuring only registered voters within the city limits signed, the petition was re-filed with the city on May 3, 2012 in an effort to have the vote placed on the November 2012 ballot.

The petition was apparently misplaced somewhere as it was not heard of again until mid-December 2012 when the County Auditor, who accepted it back in May to validate signatures, reported back to the city, well after the targeted election.

Feeling better late than never, it was initially reported to have sufficient signatures with an excess of 7 more than required and was slated to be brought up before the next City Council meeting, Monday January 7, 2013.

It was reported then that the city council has 60 days to decide what to do next, adopt the ordinance as written, amend the ordinance or place it on the Nov. 5 general election ballot.

Within just a few hours of being reported in the local paper of record and citing a miscommunication between county and city we read now, “Vancouver City Attorney Ted Gathe said late this afternoon that the petition effort calling for a public vote on light rail has failed, after a few dozen signatures that had been subject to additional scrutiny were ruled invalid.”

Somehow, mysteriously after being accepted by the city for validation and sitting somewhere for several months, being returned as valid, all of a sudden we hear that “94 signatures had not been checked to see if they were valid.”

Once checked, we now read that the total signatures amount now to 5,440 signatures, much fewer than the 5,472 valid signature requirement.

How convenient.

King County couldn’t have handled it any better as we saw when they continued discovering ballots to add to totals in 2004 until Democrat Christine Gregoire had enough votes to win the third recount in the governor’s race.

Claiming “miscommunication” isn’t setting well with me. In all of the months the petition was at the County Auditor for validation, they simply did not know they had 94 signatures accepted that weren’t validated, only to discover it after verifying the petition was valid and was to go before City Council to be acted on?

Given the past effort of the downtown light rail mafia, whether this was just incompetence or a deliberate act to thwart voters matters little. The end result is that once again, voters’ voices are to be cast aside, ignored and shut out as a ruling class forges ahead on an unpopular project voters continue to demand a voice in and are denied.

Questions need answered in this.

Why was the petition allowed to just sit for over 7 months?

Who initiated the check or contacted Greg Kimsey to recheck signatures after the petition was returned and validated?

How did they not know they had 94 questionable signatures during the 7 months the petition sat in somebody’s in box?

To say this stinks is an understatement.

We must restore the democratic process in Vancouver and give citizens their voices back.

This now goes beyond support or opposition to light rail and move into we the people being denied due process by an overbearing government who seems to think they can just do what they please with our tax dollars and we must comply.

Once again, our effort to speak our voice has been thwarted.

What will you do?

20 Comments to “Voters Thwarted By Downtown Mafia, Again”

  1. Ted Gathe is not incompetent- he is a very able consigliere.

  2. Ted Gathe is just that much better than the Auditors office. He found these 94 invalid names in just a few hours, that the Auditor missed in seven months (or maybe the auditors office is just that incompetent) . You can add my name to the valid list. That leaves it 93 short.

  3. File a complaint for lack of compliance with the laws and ordinances of the state and the city charter with Tim Ford in Olympia. This is the final straw. I am going north to attend the first transportation committee hearing that the senate is holding on Wednesday. If we get the complaint put together in time I’ll walk it there myself.

  4. I might be mistaken but is not Ted gaithe Sharon Wylie’s husband ??????

  5. Yes, you are not mistaken.

  6. Holy ham hocks, the thing just sits for seven months? Placed in the wrong inbox? Filed do not open till after Christmas? This is more than bungling. There is simply no excuse on such an issue to treat it s cavalierly. Someones head has got to roll!!! some official ought to resign.

  7. I can’t help but wonder if it was by design.

  8. After the petition was refiled by Mr. Patella, was any inquiry made as to the status of the validation process as the months went by? We should have learned by now that the process has to be monitored.

  9. In an email received from Larry Patella on Dec 31, he says, “After a few phone call, I was advised that the petition signatures were delivered to the City Clerk in April 0f 2012. Based on my past experience turning in petition signature at that early date provided more than enough time for the City Clerk and the County Auditor to ascertain if there were sufficient number of valid petition signature that would allow the petition to be placed on the November 2012 ballot. That never happened.”

    “As I dug deeper into the issue, it was apparent to the most casual observer that something’s didn’t make sense. Digging a little deeper, I was informed by the Clark County Auditor’s office that the signatures delivered to the Vancouver City Clerk in April 2012, and then sent on, some unknown date to the Clark County Auditor’s office, were not examined and verified in a timely manner. The verification was in fact not completed and returned to the Vancouver City Clerk’s Office until just two weeks ago. Long after the November 2012 election. Why? Where were the petition signatures for almost 6 months? Some one ignored The City Charter.”

    How often he may have checked before then is not said.

  10. I just wanted to make a short comment that I remember one of the staunch critics of the City of Vancouver council left us a little blurb of passion and warning on this subject about two weeks in the comment section…

    http://lewwaters.wordpress.com/2012/12/26/providing-clarity-for-clark-county-commissioner-steve-stuart/

    Thank you Stephanie for talking about it, but I missed the whole faction of a point until this post…

  11. The corruption does not wish nor allow for more voting on this matter. The whole system appears to need an overhauling. Investigation from a higher source appears to be in order.

  12. Lew, it’s me again. WE, US & WE ALL, made a mistake by letting the issues sit and not staying on top of things, to include filing a suit to bring about timely action. Let this be a lesson: If we are unwilling to enforce our right of petition in a court of law or equity, then maybe WE, US & WE ALL ought to just get the heck out of politics. Moving forward, every petition of ANY Governmental unit and or person, SHALL include a lawsuit to compel timely action, IN ADDITION TO A PERMANENT INJUNCTION. Stay tuned. I will demonstrate how this works brilliantly.

  13. One other project I am considering is collecting a list of the signatures, arranged by alpha, of all City voters and have it blessed by the Court, then attach this list to all future petitions filed with the City and County to aid their rapid validation of our petitions. I need to think a little more about this, but I am prepared to get a court to rule on the matter. Once established, the list will work like a census. All we have to do is attach a list of new arrivals. We can also validate our own petition BEFORE we give it to our servants for validation. Moving forward, this has to be the type of Revolution Lincoln had in mind.

  14. There seems to be incompetence at the county level in mis-handling the petition for 7 months. Should our new, conservative, County Commissioners investigate the handling of this petition at the county auditor’s office?

    Is there some way to re-check the validity of the suddenly “invalid” signatures?

    There must be some way to hold these people accountable outside the ballot box…

  15. Electing the best representatives of the people at the ballot box is the cure.

  16. Ok, so I have a question here. Is this whole thing I am reading all over at the local newspaper and WW (Andrea Damewood posted a basic summary of it… ) Could it be just a lot of end up being a lot of stonewalling and finger pointing to push this whole subject, even out farther until it is too late for anyone individual to do some thing.

    Or someone at the state legislature puts some thing in a must-pass bill like a bill rider to make this whole “problem
    from their perspective, just go away?

  17. Starting to feel like full steam ahead behind the scenes. Have not heard much about the CRC goiing on. The Legislature should be in full session soon….

  18. Amazing, and sad that so few see the need to research their history:

  19. Josef – You know what is even sadder? How many do not KNOW their state and national history…

  20. In todays Columbian (1-24-12) a front page article reads FROM BURGERVILLE TO PRESTIGE. (This is a high density-92 unit- project designed to cram the downtown area with people to ride their light rail and it won’t go without the ridership!)

    They call this “A pivotal developmentr project launched this week could mark the dawn of a new age for downtown development.” Further into the article it states that Elie Kassab spent the past two years showing this site plan to banks and investors in order to get the financing to move forward but that he ran into resistance from bankers throughout 2012, due to the uncertain global economy. Finally he received a construction loan in late December from a PRIVATE GROUP OF INVESTORS. “It suggests that they believe !”

    HELLO FOLKS!! Have you ever wondered who the forces were behind the unrelenting attack to get light rail into down town Vancouver no matter what the cost to the people? Who would profit from such a losing project—-, a project without need, without funding and without public support? It’s the usual suspects headed by Identity Clark County, The Greater Vancouver Chamber of Commerce and Elie Kassab and his cabal of fat cats who stand to make a ton of money at the citizens expense. It’s the old “follow the money” tale we have all heard a thousand times before, but now the rats have come out of the sewer and are showing their heads for the first time.

    Wouldn’t we all just love to know who the “private investors” are who are giving the financial support to this mega-apartment project? My bet would be the list of names are well known in the local business world and that they either own or have an interest in some of the effected properties. My other bet would be they would stand to profit from a business point of view.

    Downtown merchants have not been given all the true facts about this project. This project will desolate the downtown core for years while the bridge and light rail are constructed. Shoppers will avoid stores there like the plague, cusing business failures, and the Hilton will make a great ice rink!

    I’m fed up with Tim Leavitt, Jack Burkman, Jeanne Harris, Steve Stewart and Larry Smith serving on committees that influence the transportation portion of the CRC-Light Rail project. Leavitt only ‘permits’ people to serve on ‘key’ committees who have the ‘right’ attitude. The bias is sickeng and the lack of concern for the burden which will be placed on the citizens is unconscionable! This is Chicago style corruption at its finest.

    Call your State Representatives and demand that the petition signatures in question be counted! WE WANT TO VOTE ON LIGHT RAIL!!!!!!!!!!!!

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