Posts tagged ‘City Council’

October 27, 2015

More Lies and Desperation from George Francisco

by lewwaters
George Francisco

George Francisco

Just like his mentor, Tim ‘the Liar’ Leavitt, George R. Francisco is running for office and basing his campaign on a flat out lie.

Even though brought to his attention long ago that incumbent council member Turlay had distanced himself from county councilor Madore and the Liz Pike write-in effort, Francisco continues to claim a false linkage of Turlay and Madore due to support from over 4 years ago.

Isn’t one proven Liar enough on Vancouver City Council?

Why can’t George Francisco stop lying about the incumbent council member and address issues of importance to the city? I ask that due to seeing just today next to a Lazy C article addressing a $4 Million projected surplus for Vancouver revenues, the following ad for Francisco, again making the false claim on Turlay

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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.”

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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;

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July 24, 2013

Breakfast with the Rohans – Vancouver City Council primary 2013

by lewwaters

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”

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.”

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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 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.

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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.

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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.

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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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January 2, 2011

Does Vancouver Know There is Still a “Great Recession?”

by lewwaters

We need to engage the community … and ultimately, we will need to talk to them about ways they can invest in their community,” said City Manager Eric Holmes.

The above quote, lifted from the January 2, 2011 Sunday Columbian article, A Peek Ahead Points to Issues of ’11 show me an almost total disconnect between city officials and taxpayers in Vancouver and Clark County.

“Invest” is nothing more than a catch word used to soften potential tax increases to be heaped on the backs of a community already struggling with the highest unemployment in the state, 13.1%

This particular “investment” is in regards to a proposal of Vancouver to form a “Transportation Benefit District that would increase car license fees in the city by $20,” supposedly to pay for road maintenance and repairs, on top of the taxes we already pay, through gasoline tax and property taxes, sales taxes and you name it.

Also, should we choose to use one of the several parks in the area, to relax or picnic, we read that we could also be facing paying yet another fee to enter.

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July 8, 2010

Who Is The Conservative Voice on the Vancouver City Council?

by lewwaters

Vancouver, Washington and our surrounding areas is truly a diverse community comprised of several ethnicities and political persuasions. Throughout the years officials have been elected from nearly all trains of thought at one time or another and sent up to Olympia, back to Washington D.C. or to fill local offices.

But, a recent ordinance barely passed by the Vancouver City Council gave me pause to think, where and who is the conservative voice for Vancouver citizens on the council?

If you will recall, a few weeks ago I wrote Free Speech Gains a Short Reprieve from the Vancouver City Council, explaining how a proposed ordinance that held the potential to regulate free speech gatherings was sent back to staff for further rewriting in order to remove that potential of regulating public speech.

At the time, 4 centrist council members saved the day while 3 more progressive council members, including newly elected mayor, Tim Leavitt, expressed they had no problem with the ordinance as written and could not see the glaring possibility of its misuse in the future.

One of those progressives was Bart Hansen, appointed to fill the seat vacated by Leavitt as he stepped over to the mayor’s chair, who now voted against the ordinance, along with Mayor Leavitt and fellow council member, Jeanne Harris, once the wording was changed to remove the potential the ordinance held to regulate free speech.

Hansen cited his opposition as he cannot support anything that is not straight across the board equal, equating our constitutional right to peaceful assembly to express support or dissent of political issues with a rock concert.

Mayor Leavitt, who strongly supported Hansen and appointed him, stated that now the city would have no involvement in such gatherings. Harris cannot see what “the big deal is.”

Our right to peaceful assembly was protected by one vote when the vote should have been unanimous. As said before, I applaud council members Pat Campbell, Jack Burkman, Jeanne Stewart and Larry Smith for the votes and foresight that seems to be lacking in Bart Hansen, who must run for election this year.

Of the 4 council members who “saved the day,” so to speak, I would place all as centrists with a very slight lean to left, some more than others. If only one had been swayed, our constitutional right to peaceful assembly and free speech might have been under regulation in the City of Vancouver. We were fortunate that did not happen this time.

This brings me back to who on the council is a strong and consistent conservative voice for Vancouver’s conservative citizens?

We have a chance to place a conservative voice on the council again this election in John Jenkins, 56 year-old Vancouver businessman running to take over the seat Bart Hansen was appointed to.

Jenkins will bring his experience from chairing the 2004 Salary Review Commission, sitting on the 2006 Vancouver/PDX Aviation Noise Advisory Committee and co-chairing the 2009 City of Vancouver Charter Review Committee to the council.

Jenkins’s had applied for the seat Hansen was appointed to last year, but with no voter input, Hansen was appointed.

At a fund raiser held on his behalf just last evening, it has been reported to me that

“When asked why should a liberal vote for him, John Jenkins conservative response was that he would be mindful of his fiduciary responsibilities, not waste tax dollars and prioritize spending. When asked about Prioritizing Spending John Jenkins advised those present that Citizen’s Safety led by adequate funding of police and fire service would be at the top of his priority list. He was candid and well spoken when he announced that he did not support Bridge Tolls and/or the extension of Portland, Oregon Light Rail into the City of Vancouver. It is too expensive and would cause taxes to increase, he said.”

Vancouver, let’s get serious this year. In spite of all the bashing that has been going on against conservatives, propelling liberals and progressives into power, our economic and personal security has slipped into a very grave situation as once again, the reality shows that conservatism is what benefits people overall the most.

We can begin turning the page to a real recovery by electing John Jenkins.

Don’t forget when it came to foresight in protecting our constitutional right to peaceful assembly and free speech in Vancouver, Hansen bailed!

May 8, 2009

Delavar For Washougal City Council, Pos 6

by lewwaters

.Delavar 006
As most know, Michael Delavar mounted an unsuccessful run to unseat Brian Baird from the U.S. House of Representatives in the 2008 election. Although his bid was unsuccessful, he still mounted an impressive 39% of the vote in Clark County, not too shabby for someone young with no political experience under his belt. He has nothing to be ashamed for as he did mount a good campaign and performed better than many expected.

Michael, a pilot with Horizon Airlines, has taken his initial defeat in stride and focused his sights on running for the Washougal City Council, Position 6. A position that he says

is a position that I can bid around with my flying job and not have to take time off for.”

Michael, 34, is the father of 2 young boys, which is what impressed me from the first meeting with him, viewing his interaction with his children when he didn’t know I was watching. More fathers need to embrace their role in the raising of their children as Michael has.

Regular readers of Clark County Conservative may recall that I did not endorse or support Michael for his run for Congress, mainly due to our differences on our involvement with Iraq. Even with that I readily agreed he held some sound fiscal ideas and values.

It is due to those ideas and values that I wholeheartedly support and endorse him in his bid for the Washougal City Council.

His campaign website has changed to MichaelDelavar.com where he outlines his vision for the City of Washougal, receiving over 2200 votes in that City alone. From a city with a population hovering around 9,000, that many votes is quite impressive.

Michael advocates reasonable taxes in a time that others think increasing taxes and fees to be appropriate. Michael is correct as increasing what taxpayers must pay during such economic troubles we currently face can only cause further economic strife for families.

He believes in “Ensuring the public has the necessary input on projects,” which I can personally attest too. Even with one who opposed his run, he was very approachable and open to listening, as acknowledged on his campaign site,

I learned a lot during last year’s campaign. The biggest thing was that there are good people on both sides of the political spectrum. I am glad to leave behind partisan politics.”

Another thing learned by Michael last year in the “partisan politics.” is the viciousness associated with a run for federal office. Perhaps that is why he told me in email, “I have no plans for moving on to a higher position than city council right now,” indicating he plans to actually work to better Washougal and not use the position as a stepping stone to a higher office.

In working with the other City Council Members, Michael would be a good addition who would retain the small town flavor of Washougal while working to draw “responsible, sustainable businesses” to the community and giving vital input countering current measures Washougal residents are unhappy with.

Washougal, I encourage you too take a serious look at Michael Delavar and support his common sense approach to local government by electing him to your City Council

November 21, 2008

Vancouver Ignoring ILLEGAL Alien Problem?

by lewwaters

vancouver-logoAs most anyone who has shopped in Wal-Mart, Ross or the Dollar Stores around town knows, we seem to have an over abundance of recent immigrants. Many seem to have no inclination to assimilate to our culture, preferring to retain their own, including their native language.

As has been mentioned before, here and here, an effort is underway in our state to bring an Initiative before the legislature, and voters if need be, to curtail those that choose to enter the country ILLEGALLY, take advantage of the benefits here and take jobs at lower wages than our citizens would.

Response from citizens has been pretty good so far as we have gone door to door in my neighborhood, attended gun shows in Portland and Vancouver and stood outside many businesses gathering signatures. Not everyone is receptive, naturally, but response has been pretty good.

A friend in this effort, ‘Eric,’ recently emailed the Vancouver City Council inquiring if Council members would stand with us in upholding our Immigration Laws by supporting and signing the petition for I-409.

The response ‘Eric’ received from Councilman Pat Campbell is somewhat shocking, to say the least. He responded,

Eric,
We are having a financial crisis down here in Vancouver. Not sure that this is an issue we can deal with locally except through the referrals to ICE which have been ongoing when a person who may be the the category you speak of is convicted of a crime.

I know we are likely providing water, sewer, and garbage services down here, but the illegals aren’t being segregated out by either us of Clark Public Utilities (electricity) and either pay their bills or they are cut off…

I have occasional contact Don, Joe, Jaimie, and Ed but they haven’t mentioned this as an urgent problem or suggested a solution.

Good luck to you and please don’t go too far with this. My ancestors did not have permission from the Snohomish Tribe to move here when they first arrived in Washington State. Hope you XXXXXX’s have your documents…
Seriously,
Pat Campbell

Reviewing this reply leaves me with a few questions.

If someone is in our country in violation of standing immigration laws, is that not already a crime?

Could Vancouver’s current “financial crisis” be due in part to waiting until a matter becomes an “urgent problem” before dealing with it?

Blogger note: Question of Pat Campbells advocating the city purchase of the Columbian building has been removed as I was incorrect on that. By his words in the comments below, “I supported an assessment of the matter.” My apologies for the erroneous assumption.

If ILLEGALS do not pay their utility bills, are they really shut off? Or, do they fall under Clark Public Utilities Operation Warm Heart?

My wife, who hails from Houston, can testify that ILLEGAL immigrants have an underground network informing each other of cheap places to live and social programs they can obtain with a minimum of effort. I find it hard to believe they haven’t the same here.

Most disturbing in his reply is the final paragraph that I cannot take as anything but a threat to a citizen making a legal inquiry to a public servant about upholding the current law.

We are supposed to be a nation of laws, are we not? Have we gotten to where laws will be cherry picked by our elected officials as to which will be followed or not? And, if we question one not being enforced, do we deserve threats from those who are elected to represent us?

As for having “documents,” Councilman Campbell, I hold a Birth Certificate issued in the State of Florida in 1948. Last I heard, that is within the Continental United States, even if we used to speak funny down there.

I also hold two DD 214’s, a few medals for Military Service in Viet Nam, Germany and Fort Bragg, North Carolina. I hold a lifetime membership in Disabled American Veterans and a VA Medical card. I pay property tax on the home I own with my wife and hold a valid Washington Drivers License.

What’s more, Councilman, should I take all of those to Mexico, Canada or any other country for employment or benefits, they get me nothing, as it should be.

But, the main question remains, why does an elected public servant feel the need to threaten a citizen who inquires about enforcing the law?

UPDATE: Pat Campbell admits it was intended as a joke. See comments below.