Posts tagged ‘City Council’

September 26, 2013

Allegations Fly in Battle Ground

by lewwaters

BattleGroundCitySeal-300x297Battle Ground, Washington, the small town northeast of Vancouver may not have seen a historic battle, but they have no shortage of battles when it comes to elections and keeping citizens entertained, often just shaking their heads.

The latest involves City Council Member and former Mayor Michael Ciraulo over a campaign fundraising event, a ‘Poker Night’ that was held on September 14, 2013 at Galeotti’s Restaurant and claims of it being in violation of Washington State Gambling Law.

A citizen complaint sent to Battle Ground City Manager, John Williams alleged the event, “did not have [the proper] gambling license as mandated by the State of Washington.”

The complaint further alleges, “The City of Battle Ground prohibits card rooms inside the city limits. Chapter 9.26 Public Card rooms (Ordinance 598s2, 1987), contact had been made with the Gambling Commission and the Commission had an ‘open and active’ investigation ongoing due to previous complaints filed by others.”

August 15, 2013

Lisa Walters Back In

by lewwaters

Lisa Walters bApparently Battle Ground Mayor Lisa Walters has had a change of heart on resigning her city council position.

Three days ago Ms. Walters wrote on her facebook page: “Wanted to let you all know that today I resigned my position with the city council. Time to move forward in my life and make some serious changes. I will be moving out of the area but will keep in touch as I move through this season. Here’s to better tomorrow’s.”

Lisa was citing strictly personal issues prompting the sudden resignation.

Posted on her facebook page this evening;

August 3, 2013

Jack Burkman: Represent “Will of the Council,” Not the People

by lewwaters

July 24, 2013

Breakfast with the Rohans – Vancouver City Council primary 2013

by lewwaters

January 13, 2013

Tell Leavitt, ‘We Want A Vote!”

by lewwaters

UPDATE: Leavitt is not expected to be at the city council meeting this evening, due to being sick. Regardless, the rest of the council will be there and also need to hear your views.

LeavittIf you are upset over being denied a clear vote on accepting Portland’s financially ailing light rail and the appearance of underhanded tricks to deny you a vote, as recently mentioned in the post The Petition That Refuses To Die, Mayor Tim ‘the liar’ Leavitt and Vancouver City Council needs to hear from you, now.

The city council next meets Monday January 14 at 6:30 PM at city hall and is a night for citizens comments. You don’t need a long eloquent speech to fill the 3-minute limit, just a quick, “I want a vote on light rail.” Quick, simple and easy.

Just fill out a yellow comment card with the same words. The more of you willing to say those words in front of city council, the more they see we are serious and getting fed up being denied a promised vote while be forced to pay for a project most of us do not want. But we need a show of force in numbers of people telling them that we demand a vote. We were promised a vote and haven’t been given one.

June 10, 2012

Are We About To Get Shafted on LRT Operations & Maintenance Funding?

by lewwaters

It seems to never end when it comes to the Leavitt Cabal ram rodding Light Rail down our throats. From his lies on opposing tolls to using the cities block veto to ensure what he is demanded to do by forces unknown, to ignoring any input whatsoever from concerned citizens who will be stuck paying for this boondoggle, Leavitt has been spearheading the effort to shove this mess off on us in Clark County while denying us a vote to even ascertain if we want it!

We saw how he manipulated us out of our vote for operations and maintenance of light rail last year and we see the hem hawing now as it is sought to find a way to stick citizens with the bill without letting us speak by vote on it.

We now see at the very bottom of the Monday June 11, 2012 City Council Agenda, item 9 Revenue Options Assessment for Columbia River Crossing Light Rail Operations and Maintenance Expenses (Washington Segment) that some after the consent agenda.

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”

January 10, 2012

Turlay Takes Oath of Office for City Council Seat

by lewwaters

Bill Turlay, winner of a 3 way contest of Vancouver City Council position number 6 took the oath of office last evening, along with returning council members, Bart Hansen and Larry Smith. The oath was administered by city attorney, Ted Gaithe.

Bill’s wife, Stephanie stood by his side holding a family Bible as Bill placed his left hand on the Bible and taking the oat with his right hand raised.

Although no longer required to do so, he was the only one of the three taking the oath to place his hand on a Bible or use the traditional ending to an oath, “so help me God.”

Clark County Conservative welcomes Bill Turlay to the city council and we look forward to exciting days ahead.

December 20, 2011

Vancouver, Washington City Council Bids Pat Campbell Farewell

by lewwaters

Pat Campbell, who lost his bid for reelection to the Vancouver, Washington city council in the 2011 election, is given due honors and thanks for his term on city council.

Pat and I have exchanged words more than once and our emails often contained snarky comments to each other, but he did what few others are willing to do. Run for public office and sit in the line of fire from citizens.

Regardless of differences, Pat thoroughly investigated positions he took and more than once, cast votes we could not disagree with and many times brought laughter to council meetings with his “stories.”

Bill Turlay will be replacing Pat and has been very helpful in preparing Bill to take over his seat.

I don’t know what is in Pat’s future, but I hope he sticks around and remains involved.

December 6, 2011

Jeanne Harris on Tobacco Ban in Vancouver Parks

by lewwaters

A brief excerpt from a much longer testimony by Vancouver Washington city council member, Jeanne ‘Gavel Down’ Harris, expressing her view on why banning all tobacco products in city parks is necessary.

Full testimony may be seen by visiting http://www.cityofvancouver.us/cvtv/cvtvindex.asp?section=25437&folderID=3136 and clicking on “Revisions to Vancouver Municipal Code Chapter 15.04 – Park Code”

November 20, 2011

Clark County Gang of 14

by lewwaters

By PROFESSOR ROBERT DEAN

Tim L: Welcome to the first annual meeting of the Clark County Gang of 14. The meeting will now come to order. Tap! Tap!

Jeanne H: Gimme that gavel!

Tim L: Back off, Jeanne. We had that one gilded.

Jack B: Bravo, Tim!

Tim L: First order of…

Jack B: Business

Tim L: Business  - we need to…

Steve S:  Congratulate.

Tim L: Congratulate ourselves for pushing through the new admissions tax for the giant trash burning woodstove Downtown.

Steve S: Oh God!

Scott H: Point of order! The tax was for the baseball stadium.

Tim L: Quite right. I was getting ahead of myself. Which brings us to the second order of business – we need a mission statement.

August 2, 2011

Yes Mr. City Manager, Not Only Can You Do Better, You Must Do Better

by lewwaters

Reviewing a recent correspondence emailed out to city employees by City Manager Eric Holmes is an eye opener, at least for me. I’m not too sure about Mr. Holmes, Mayor Leavitt and City Council though. Then again, I am just a common sense blue collar sort of guy that has always had to live within his means and keep his checkbook balanced.

While running a multi-million dollar city is undoubtedly a difficult and challenging prospect for any one overflowing with complicated matters, someone needs to open their eyes and realize Vancouver is in trouble, big trouble.

Mr. Holmes begins his letter, a copy of which is HERE, with the usual, “I’d like to take a moment to thank you, for your hard work, your expertise and your commitment to community. Together, we make a difference. Serving the greater good is why we are here. You are the City’s most important resource and we appreciate your partnership in the journey ahead, navigating a sea of change.”

Deeper in his letter though, we find, “About 70 cents out of every dollar we spend goes toward our workforce. Our relationship with employees is a key to our long term success, in more ways than one. Wages and benefits have grown significantly faster than revenue and contribute to our current unsustainable business model. We are negotiating with all twelve unions, representing roughly 70% of our employee base. We’re also continuing to make changes to stabilize the costs of health care benefits. Aligning employee costs with our ability to pay remains a top priority- and is a cornerstone to a more solid foundation for all of us. Our goal is to preserve jobs, especially since we’ve already made significant cuts.”

Just before that he acknowledged, “In 2009, the City’s financial condition deteriorated amidst the Great Recession. Revenue growth, historically bolstered by development growth, had plummeted. Growth in expenditures – primarily in health care, wages and benefits – did not decline accordingly.”

July 26, 2011

Show The Yakima Bears the Door

by lewwaters

[Updated to reflect a major correction by the Columbian in who owns the stadium]

[Update 2: More on specific ownership of the stadium from Stephanie Rice added]

Vancouver’s city council got their first formal presentation for the Class A ball Team, Yakima Bears planned move to Vancouver. All council members except Pat Campbell have given City Manager “Erik Holmes the OK to research the issue and engage in potential discussions with Clark County” for adding a 5% entertainment tax throughout the county pay for construction of a $23 Million stadium adjacent to Clark College.

The Columbian

There are several pros & cons to relocating a Class A ball team to Vancouver, a large con being that 5% entertainment tax added to movie tickets, golf courses and several other forms of entertainment.

Although Clark County taxpayers will be on the hook for 70% of the costs of the proposed stadium, we were told “the stadium would be owned and maintained by Short Season LLC.” Stephanie Rice, the writer of the article posted this morning, “Key correction: the sentence should read (and now does) ‘the stadium would be publicly owned but maintained by Short Season LLC’.”

UPDATE 2: Comment from Stephanie Rice, “Lew, to be even more specific, the team would own it while the debt was being repaid, then it would be publicly owned. Here’s what I was told by the team when I asked why in documents it says the team would own it: ‘Ownership is during the period in which the facility is indebted. It secures the asset until the debt is retired. Then it is free and clear a public facility’.”

City council members Larry Smith and Jack Burkman asked to hear alternatives to the entertainment tax and were told of none.

Asked why taxpayers should pay for the stadium, Mike Thiessen of Short Season LLC said that “the team would be putting up 30 percent of the construction costs for a stadium it would use 13 percent of the time.”

That’s not exactly reassuring.

I have kept an open mind on this proposal, even though voicing concerns over its location next to the Vancouver Campus of the Veterans Hospital, but reading “After the workshop, co-owner K.L. Wombacher said the team does have alternate plans, but they don’t involve the city of Vancouver seals it for me.

It’s time to close the books and show these people the door.

We do not need to be threatened into coughing up tax dollars for a new stadium to be owned by a private enterprise “at a time when public services are being cut, a fire station closed, federal grants used to keep cops on the street and the city lacks money to fill all its potholes,” as expressed by Tim Leavitt’s former campaign manager, Temple Lentz as she “questioned the rationality of raising a tax for a stadium.”

Ms. Lentz expressed, “The terms political will and vision were used as qualities to make this happen. But giving $20 million of other people’s money to the first guy who comes up and asks for it is not political will or vision.”

July 22, 2011

No More Money To C-Tran

by lewwaters

It seems every time we turn around, some government related entity is demanding we in the struggling middle class cough up more of what few dollars we have and give it to them. We are being asked to approve more tax to C-Tran, so they can maintain services we are told, pay a 5% entertainment tax so a marginal Class A baseball team will move to Vancouver and a have a shiny new stadium 70% paid for by taxpayers.

Soon we will be asked for yet another tax increase to fund Loot Rail maintenance and operation once they shove that down our throats, face tolls to cross the I-5 bridge, even before construction begins if they get their way and if Leavitt’s cartel gets their way, pay an additional $20 to register our cars to also fund Columbia River Crossing cronies.

Even though we have been mired in deep recession with double digit unemployment for over 2 years now, it seems there is no stopping of the picking our pockets by the elected ruling class. Feeding our families or keeping our homes is our problem, not theirs, apparently.

July 21, 2011

Should I Care What Life Pac Says?

by lewwaters

As a political blogger I am approached from time to time by candidates and supporters asking for support, inviting me to their events or speaking against a candidate I might have decided to support. But, I have to say that tonight was the first time a PAC has contacted me to ask that I consider withdrawing an endorsement of a candidate.

What strikes me as odd, besides the fact that I have not endorsed Anne McEnerny-Ogle, or any candidate for Vancouver City Council for that matter, is that the link shown is to a recommendation I made a year and a half ago, when she was vying to be appointed to the city council seat that Bart Hansen ended up winning the nomination to.

July 20, 2011

Kassab Asks For Tax Break, But Doesn’t Mind You Paying More Tax

by lewwaters

Millionaire developer Ellie Kassab is raising controversy in Vancouver again. Now he has approached the city council asking for a tax break for his planned 92 unit apartment complex he desires to build on the soon to be torn down site of the Mill Plan downtown Burgerville.

According to Kassab, his multi-million dollar project “won’t pencil out” unless city council agrees to “limit property tax assessments to the land beneath his proposed 92-unit apartment complex and its ground-floor commercial spaces, while allowing him to forego taxes on the upper three stories of the buildings for the next 12 years.”

How many homeowners in Vancouver or Clark County would like a deal like that to help with their homes in today’s economic downturn?

Kassab, it should be remembered, caused a stir in town back in April 2007 when he purchased the old Police Station for a measly $200,000, while the median price for single family homes in Vancouver was $260,000.

June 28, 2011

Pat Campbell and The Gagging Maggot

by lewwaters

I always feel honored for any of our elected officials to stop by and leave a comment on the blog. Even if it is from one in disagreement with me, I still feel honored that they take the time to engage me or otherwise offer their wit and wisdom for all to see.

Such is the case with Vancouver City Council Member Pat Campbell who left a comment on my post, What will Happen if Citizens Vote Down Light Rail Maintenance Funding? Perhaps he did so because I credit fellow Council Member Jeanne Stewart with being the lone Council Member standing up for voters & taxpayers is granting us the privilege of voting whether or not we wish to accept another tax increase to fund light rail maintenance and operations.

Apparently, Pat disagrees as he stated,

June 28, 2011

What will Happen if Citizens Vote Down Light Rail Maintenance Funding?

by lewwaters

Citizens being promised a vote on bringing Portland, Oregon’s light rail a short distance into Vancouver, Washington has been an ongoing controversy for years. Citizens were promised a vote on whether or not they were willing to pay an increased sales tax to fund operation and maintenance. Promises of a vote have been broken and the project is moving ahead.

One council member, Jeanne Stewart speaks out on the broken promise.

The rest seem to approve of a citizen vote being denied.

June 7, 2011

Vancouver Low-Income Disabled Seniors Get the Shaft

by lewwaters

Regardless of how much I respect some city council members, when I disagree with them, I disagree with them. And, I disagree with the unanimous adoption of the new parking ordinance voted in by the Vancouver City Council last evening, June 6, 2011.

Anyone who has ever been downtown Vancouver knows that parking is a problem. Even with parking meters, cars are there taking up precious parking spots. Shoppers, employees, visitors, all have to vie for precious few parking spaces.

Nowhere is this more critical than around two apartment buildings for low-income disabled senior citizens, the Lewis & Clark Plaza on Broadway and the Smith Towers on Washington Street.

Relatively few of those residents still drive and neither facility provides parking.

Supposedly, we are told that merchants have been complaining of parking spots in front of their business are being taken up by cars parking all day and overnight. They claim that shoppers cannot shop in their businesses because of these spots being taken.

May 17, 2011

Giving Jack Burkman Credit When It Is Due

by lewwaters

As critical as I often am of council members, I also enjoy giving credit to them when I feel it is due. Such is the case with council member Jack Burkman for taking his time at last evenings city council meeting to address the issue of the proposed acquisition of the Yakima Bears and the proposal of a brand new stadium built adjacent to Clark College to be financed in part by an entertainment tax on nearly all admissions tickets throughout the county.

Mr. Burkman mentions some of the concerns many in the community have, especially the haste being put on a commitment for this to move forward.

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