Archive for July 31st, 2009

July 31, 2009

Clark Republicans vs Democrats Softball Game

by lewwaters

The Clark County Republican Party is cosponsoring a Republicans vs. Democrats charity softball game on Sunday, August 23 to benefit SHARE.

The mission of SHARE is: “to lead the hungry and homeless to self-sufficiency by providing food, shelter, housing, education and compassion through the strength of our community.”

To learn more about SHARE, please visit their website at www.sharevancouver.org

In this poor economy many people are struggling. We have a great opportunity as Republicans to reach out and assist those in need.

The game will be held at Memory Field which is located east of the Fort Vancouver Regional Library on Mill Plain Blvd , across the street from Hudson ‘s Bay High School in Vancouver . First pitch will be at 2:00 PM.

The teams will feature rosters of elected officials, candidates, party leaders, and local activists. Senator Joseph Zarelli, Republican Representative Ed Orcutt, Republican congressional candidate David Castillo, and 17th Legislative District candidate Brian Peck are among the many planning to play.

**Tickets for this event are available for a suggested donation of $20 to SHARE. Call Ryan Hart at (360) 904-9671 for tickets.

At a time of such political polarization in our country and community, seeing the Chairs of both party’s come together for such a charitable event is a positive step.

I hope all who can make the game will be there to see a great game and help SHARE.

July 31, 2009

Tim Leavitt Speaks Out

by lewwaters

Many in our country and even the city of Vancouver seem to have become lackadaisical in regards to voting and personally, I can’t blame them. We have become a very polarized community politically and neither major party has performed all that well in the past few years.

However, such an attitude just perpetuates the problem we complain about often.

Over on Clarkblog.org, Chief, the blog owner, displays such an attitude in a thread he put up, For Vancouver Mayor: None of the Above!!.

While I can understand such a sentiment, given that the current Mayor has led the city into severe financial difficulties, higher taxes and is hell-bent on forcing Light Rail on us, including tolls to pay for it, throwing your vote away will only secure another term for Royce Pollard.

The challengers, Charlie Stemper and Tim Leavitt met with Pollard for a Vancouver Mayoral Forum, July 28, 2009.

The Clark County Republican party sponsored event may be seen at CVTV Video if you missed the July 30 airing.

Many view the candidates as pretty much the same, with Charlie Stemper not standing much of a chance. As much as I like some of Charlie’s ideas, he had trouble articulating his message Tuesday evening. Still, many have said there is little difference between Leavitt and Pollard. To that end, Tim left the following comment on Chief’s blog,

Well…as much as I have tried to enlighten with facts (including on Clarkblog with previous posts), it appears those efforts here have been fruitless, based on the remarks posted by Chief and Waterbuffalo. I thought Chief was paying more attention than most to the ongoings of the Vancouver City Council.

Factually INCORRECT is the statement that I voted in support of a city budget last December. That budget included hammering citizens and businesses with a 20% utility tax (mind, you…during an economic recession). Those that were paying attention recall my remarks as such during our deliberations, and that the City needed to tighten it’s belt. I voted in opposition to the utility tax increase, and in opposition to the budget.

I will remind you that several years back, I voted in opposition to the sales tax increase that the incumbent pushed for, again in my comments noting that taxing isn’t always the answer to budget problems.

Several years back I fought against an effort by the incumbent to re-implement a local Business & Occupation Tax. You may remember that your current mayor was part of a city council that agreed to do away with the local B&O some dozen years back, in order to get approval from the Vancouver Mall to annex into the City. (The County doesn’t have a local B&O…so why would businesses want to come into a city and pay more taxes?). Promise made, and attempted effort to break that promise. As you might imagine, the folks at Westfield and the hundreds of businesses in the mall area were quite upset with the current mayor for pushing for a re-institution of the local B&O…feeling (rightfully so) that they had been swindled. Here they agree to annex, city agrees to drop the B&O (in order to benefit from sales tax revenues…and be a larger city), but a decade later, the same Mayor attempts to put the tax in place again!?!

In any event, I know memories can be short. Thus my attempt to remind you, as well as rebut the baseless assertion that there is no difference between me and the current mayor.

On the bridge issue, I refuse to submit to the higher-ups that we must pay tolls to get a project. If you want to roll over to tolls, then you know who to vote for.

How about this for a fresh idea: Feds pay for the bridge and immediate interchange improvements — like they should for their asset — to the tune of about $1 billion. Feds pay for the LRT — as they said they would — to the tune of about $1 billion. The remaining five interchanges are built as the money becomes available from — imagine that! Pay as you go! You see, the purpose of tolls is to have a funding source to pay for bonds for financign the whole project financed and built now. How about we do away with the tolls, and build the remaining five interchanges as cash flow — from the feds, state and local — allows? Might be another decade before they are all reconstructed, but there would be no tolls. The claim is that the bridge and LRT is necessary for the economic prosperity for our children and grandchildren and businesses. Well, what if our children and grandchildren can’t even affort to live in Vancouver and Clark County? Then, what’s the point of having a shiny new bridge and LRT? We’re following the path of another nearby large city — running local and small businesses into the ground.

How about this for a fresh idea: The largest public works project in the Pacific Northwest — projected to put thousands to work for the next decade — is a poster child for a ‘stimulus’ project!!! Obama, please send a couple of billion our way, amongst the billions of $$$ going in all directions, for this poster-child stimulus project! That is the purpose of the letter.

If what you’d like to see for our future — more taxes, tolls, and loss of local businesses and jobs — well, keep the status quo.

My experience in our community for 29 years — as a product of the Vancouver School District, as a graduate of Clark College and Washington State University, as a neighborhood association chair, as the president of my homeowners association, as president of the local chapter of the American Society of Professional Engineers, as a Board Member of the Vancouver Rotary Club, as a Board Member and Chair of the CTRAN Board, as a Vancouver Planning Commissioner, as the Director of Civil Engineering Services for a local small company (managing staff, clients and projects), as a member of the Lower Columbia Fish Recovery Board (past), as a Clark College Alumni Association Board Member, as a member of the Pacific and Haagen Park Citizen Steering Committee, as a member of the joint County/City Infill Ordinance Steering Committee, as the first chair of the city’s Critical Areas Ordinance development Committee, as an alumni of the Leadership Clark County Program, and…well I guess as a city councilman for the past 6.5 years — tells me that we can do better at City Hall.

You might think I’m a novice…but then please do tell me then what other experience you deem necessary to be the Mayor of Vancouver.

I’m happy at anytime (as I’ve noted before) to answer questions you may have.

best,
tim

In all, I think Tim gave the best showing of him self Tuesday evening, neither displaying the arrogance of Mayor Pollard nor having trouble articulating his stance. Since I don’t live in the city, I won’t get to cast a vote for either nor will I endorse any that is up to those of you who live in the city.

But, I will remind you. Throwing away your vote out of exasperation or thinking there is no difference will just guarantee another term for Pollard.

You already know what Pollard stands for and if you desire more of the same, vote for him or throw your vote away.

On the other hand, if you feel Vancouver is ready for a change, vote accordingly and choose another Mayor.

The choice is yours to make. Make your vote count.