Added copy of contract
As you all know, the Columbia River Crossing light rail project, declared “dead” by the Governors of Oregon and Washington at the close of June and scheduled to have been closed down by September 1, was revived and rapidly pushed through this week, a 40 page contract actually signed immediately after 5 C-Tran Board member approved entering into that contract, none having actually read it.
That protocols and bylaws were cast aside to hastily approve and get a binding contract executed is of no concern to a segment of our community blindly following along the path of sheeple, doing as they are told.
Others that stand to profit over such a project, regardless of how it stands to hurt the middle class in Clark County do not care, naturally. Their greed takes precedence over common sense and if it takes selling out the county to build their wealth, so be it.
But the rest of us, likely the majority are enraged that this declared dead project is now an executed, binding contract and are not going to roll over and take it lying down.
Where the Lazy C states C-Tran Plan Has Holes and concludes “Sometimes, progress is progress, no matter how clumsy it might appear,” others are active in setting about restoring law & order to this rogue process we saw this past week that reeks of a smoky back room deal made and agreed to prior to the actual Thursday C-Tran Special Meeting that threw caution to the wind, ignored any comment other than supportive ones and even refused to support their own agreed upon and adopted policies.
That is not progress, but is a trampling of the democratic process and a violation of the trust voters gave these few individuals when they were elected.
It is also distressing to read in this column 1), whether intentional or an oversight, quoting County Commissioner Madore,
“I hardly know what to say,” Clark County Commissioner and C-Tran board member David Madore said after the light-rail plan passed by a 5-4 vote. “This is about the most stupid thing I’ve ever seen in my life. Big decisions of this magnitude, this is not the way you make them.”
It is distressing because using the word ‘after’ would indicate more of a sour grapes attitude in Mr. Madore, an inability to accept the vote. It also is very mistaken in that those words spoken by Commissioner Madore were said BEFORE the vote was taken, also ignored by the rogue ‘C-Tran Gang of Five.’
Indicating their own sour grapes attitude, the column also says,
“On several fronts, we agree with Madore, although his assertion would carry more weight had he shown due diligence in hiring the county’s director of environmental services.”
In other words, since the newspaper has a longstanding dislike of a 5-term State Senator legally hired by the County Commissioners to the position stated, they approve of selling out the entire county to Portland, Oregon.
State Senator Ann Rivers (R. 18th) in a Press Release issued September 28, 2013 said,
“I will not put the fate of my people who must cross that river to work in the hands of Oregon’s Legislature – they are already giving 9 percent of their paychecks – that’s more than enough. This frightening plan is nothing short of taxation without representation. Oregon would set toll rates and collect billions of dollars in tolls over a period of 30 to 40 years, but we, in Washington, would have little or no ability to influence rates by expressing our displeasure to any elected official in our state through the ballot box. This is simply wrong and totally unconstitutional.”
Rivers also warns the Governor of potential legal action.
Along that same line, Clark County Commissioner David Madore shared on his facebook page earlier in the day on Saturday, September 28th his letter to C-Tran attorney, Tom Wolfendale, lodging a protest against the vote due to Vancouver Mayor Tim Leavitt’s apparent conflict of interest, since his employer has a “contractual relationship” with TriMet and stands to make a tidy sum of money from TriMet.
More direct, much later in the evening Saturday, Commissioner Madore posted on his facebook page of the signed and executed, binding contract that is to go into effect immediately that completely sells out Clark County citizens.
Outlining several egregious violations of the taxpayers trust, Commissioner Madore concludes,
“In my view, the elected officials participating in this rogue behavior have violated their oath of office and willfully violated their trust and responsibilities to the citizens that they serve. In my view, that amounts to malfeasance. The appropriate steps require charges to be filed. If found guilty, accessories to the crimes should also be charged.”
The statement clearly echoes the call of this blog made numerous times over the last few years.
This is no longer solely about extending light rail into Vancouver. You were promised a vote numerous times over the years with just such a vote, although advisory in nature and not binding, approved by the three County Commissioners to appear on this year’s ballot in November, just weeks away.
Commissioner Steve Stuart, who also approved that vote, broke the trust with voters by voting yes to this hastily written agreement, thereby nullifying that very vote coming in November.
Our sovereignty north of the river has been signed over to Portland, Oregon who will have the power to tax us, seize property they desire and collect and set fees we will be required to pay to Oregon, but where we will have absolutely no voice whatsoever.
Plain and simple, that is ‘taxation without representation and that is what Vancouver Mayor Tim Leavitt, Vancouver City Council members Larry Smith and Bart Hansen, Clark County Commissioner Steve Stuart and Ridgefield Mayor Ron Onslow voted to do Thursday, with little or no prior knowledge of this agreement, if we are to believe it was not a previously agreed upon deal cooked up in a smoky backroom somewhere without the knowledge of the rest of the C-Tran Board.
This must not be allowed to stand and time for snarky comments is over. It is time for action, strong action.
We must throw our full support behind Commissioner Madore with our voices, time and funds to enter into a protracted legal case to stop this.
We must be ready to make a lot of noise downtown in rallies, marches, letters to the editor and whatever legal means are available to restore our rights the C-Tran Gang of Five signed away.
Commissioner Madore asks, “This shall not stand, not on my watch! Will you stand with me?”
Are you ready to do battle?
Or just sit back, be nice and give up and allow Oregon to drain our economy?
Update: On Commissioner Steve ‘sell out’ Stuart’s facebook page, Robert Dean states, “Point of information! 1) C-Tran just ceded imminent domain authority to TriMet.”
Commissioner Stuart responded, “Robert Dean, 1) Not true, C-Tran retains eminent domain authority.”
Commissioner Stuart, it’s in poor taste to lie to constituents. It’s even worse when you are so bad at it.
Commissioner Stuart also says on his facebook page, “Please feel free and argue those pluses and minuses with me, but if you’re only interested in spreading fear and anger, while attacking my integrity and intellect, save your breath.”
Sorry Commissioner, but you cannot attack something that is nonexistent.