Vancouver’s ‘Teflon Tim’

by lewwaters

Teflon, the coating we have known for many years now in cookware and renowned for its non-stick capability. Whatever is being cooked just slides off easy as can be leaving little if any trace behind.

In politics the term is also widely known and has been used to describe several politicians of all parties that scandals just slide off of, not sticking, not being held accountable. President Reagan, Tony Blair, B.J. Clinton, Vladimir Putin, Ma Ying-jeou and Angela Merkel for just a few of the more well-known examples.

We also cannot forget well known Crime Boss, John Gotti was referred to as the “Teflon Don” for his many scrapes with the law that he slid through until finally convicted of murder in 1992.

The term “Teflon” has been used numerous times to those “slippery” characters that seem to just do whatever they wish with total impunity, either from the law or scrutiny by the media or fellow public servants. But who would have ever thought that our small community, Vancouver, Washington would find itself being able to apply it to one of our own public officials, the mayor Tim Leavitt.

We all remember his strong opposition to tolling the Columbia River Crossing up until he won the mayor’s election when he swiftly switched his view, it’s been well documented. But not widely known is the numerous ethics complaints made by citizens, all fallen by the wayside, written off as nothing of importance.

I find that quite odd considering the ethics complaint filed against fellow council member Jeanne Harris and her subsequent sanctions for words exchanged with council member Jeanne Stewart, the now famous ‘gavel down’ incident being discarded since the ethics policy does not cover exchanges with citizens.

Yet, we saw Tim Leavitt in May 2011 accusing Ms. Stewart of ‘pandering.’ Citizens turned out to defend Ms. Stewart from the mayor’s slur and sent in ethics complaints against the mayor, seeking his transgression be treated the same as Ms. Harris’ was.

My own letter received the response from city manager Eric Holmes of,

“Mayor Leavitt offered an apology to Councilor Stewart for the use of the word “pander” in his remarks recently quoted in the Columbian. Councilor Stewart accepted his apology and the rest of the City council indicated a consensus that Mayor Leavitt’s apology sufficiently addresses the issue.”

“With that, the matter is considered closed.”

Jeanne Harris should have been so lucky, whether she deserved such consideration or not.

Expressing opposition to the 2011 Proposition 1 C-Tran tax increase October 2011 elicited the following public ‘rebuttal’ from ‘hizoner,’ Teflon Tim.

The comment section on the Columbian’s online site is replete with similar slights from this mayor directed towards numerous other citizens who speak out on Tim Leavitt’s lies and questionable ethics.

Earlier this very month, October 2012 saw this blog post another well written and researched ethics complaint addressing a strong appearance of a ‘conflict of interest’ in the mayor’s employment and strong support for the Columbia River Crossing.

Although the Columbian chose not to mention that an ethics complaint was made, they were quick to mention city attorney Ted Gathe’s denial of any such conflict of interest, either in the mayor or Mr. Gathe himself, even though he is married to 49th Legislative District Representative Sharon Wylie, who supports and votes in favor of the CRC project.

Once again the city states “nothing to see here” with Mr. Gathe’s words,

“In summary, since there are no facts alleged that, if true, would constitute a violation of the Code of Ethics, there is no basis for commencing an ethics investigation.”

Robert Dean, author of the latest ethics complaint against ‘hizoner’ issued his own rebuttal (pdf) after submitting a reminder (pdf) of previous ethics complaints.

These previous ethics violation concerns from other citizens that I was made aware of were also met with similar denials and rebukes from city officials, in essence saying, “nothing to see here, move along.”

Citizens have been denied a vote on forcing Portland’s financially failing light rail into our community through the CRC. Efforts to call for a vote have been rebuked and blocked by none other than ‘hizoner’ amongst others. Even citizens speaking out against this massive debt proposed to be hung on Clark County citizens saw Tim Leavitt proposing efforts intended to deny citizens of their right to freely speak before city council.

Just as much as any other scoundrel assigned the title “Teflon,” Vancouver’s mayor, Tim Leavitt is just as deserving of the pejorative as his own questionable doings are denied, deflected or excused.

Unfortunately, ‘Teflon’ Tim is not up for reelection this year nor does it appear that any elected official is interested in looking into his many questionable actions.

11 Comments to “Vancouver’s ‘Teflon Tim’”

  1. Leave-it is total slime, and I can’t wait for that assclown to try and run for re-election.

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  2. Re your info “….I find that quite odd considering the ethics complaint filed against fellow council member Jeanne Harris and her subsequent sanctions for words exchanged with council member Jeanne Stewart, the now famous ‘gavel down’ incident being discarded since the ethics policy does not cover exchanges with citizens.” Wasn’t the “corrective action” against Ms. J. Harris due to her treatment of David Madore and of the comments to Jeanne Stewart?

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  3. The council will hear my complaint this Nov 5 Monday. Please respectfully email your councilors and tell them how you will be harmed by the CRC light rail project. Right now, Tim thinks it’s all about him and we’re all just out to get him. They hear from the lobbyists and those who will personally benefit but rarely do they hear from those who will be harmed. Send in the email or even call would be better.

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  4. Maybe he’s Jim Moeller’s evil twin, separated at birth? Sure seems to have a similar attitude.

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  5. Debra you are correct there are no sanctions for disrespecting citizens. Ms Harris never did apologize to David Madore or Steve Herman. The city rewrote the ethics policy after that meltdown incident and still there citizens are fair game.

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  6. If you recall, Jeanne Harris came out expecting she be apologized to.

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  7. Debra, the Columbian even noted in their article concerning the sanctions on Jeanne Harris, “The committee also said that Harris was “totally out of line” in the way she interacted with citizens — but noted there is nothing in the policy that allows them to censure her for mistreatment of the public.”

    http://www.columbian.com/news/2010/oct/05/harris-ethics-report-forwarded-to-city-council/

    I also believe that to still be the facts.

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  8. Well Lew…. IF you remember right, a certain teflon don will be coming up for election in 2013. Will he have to decide and start campaigning in early 2013 for the primary? 🙂 I know Larry and possible, Jeanne Stewart might run against him… Getting ready with the fire power?

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  9. Locked and loaded, Jeremy 😉

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  10. Tim leaves the room and here is the closed captioned video segment that the council considered the motion Robert Dean brought before them. I think some of them had valid points and maybe an update might be in order on both counts from Mr. Dean and city attorney…

    From November 6th, 2013: (Please skip the first 10 mins of fluff or so, you’ll find Ted Gathe and the council speaking on the subject…)
    [video src="http://www.cityofvancouver.us/cvtv/cvtvarchive2/Vancouver_City_Council/2012_Events/November_2012/11-05-12/Captioned_Version/6_Communications.mp4" /]

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