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.

At the same time, we are seeing the cost of a gallon of gas at the pump increasing, the values of our homes plummeting, minimum wage seeing a slight increase that might give us even more unemployment to contend with and our newly hired city manager feels that is we taxpayers that “need talked to about investing in our community?”

In the midst of this, we repeatedly see where public union employees contribute little or nothing towards their health insurance premiums and whose wages are either frozen where they are at or have made very slight concessions of 3% or less in cutting their wages.

Mayor Leavitt indicates the city let 112 employees go, which while necessary, also adds to the burden. What real concessions will we see from the remaining 80%?

We even see where city council decided they should not contribute to health insurance premiums for their dependents, a decision soon to be revisited, due in part to 2 council members feeling otherwise and the inevitable public outrage.

We have seen $125,000,000.00 wasted in ‘studies’ on a new I-5 Bridge to span the Columbia River, complete with Portland’s ‘Loot’ Rail extended whether we voters want it or not.

We saw the city deciding to purchase the foreclosed on Columbian Building downtown for a New City Hall and offices, turning down a bid for the building to be sold to a private enterprise that would have been paying the city taxes and supplying some jobs. And who led the effort to turn the sale down, even though it would have been at a slight profit to the city?

Eric Holmes, who told PeaceHealth officials, “there are several other opportunities in the central business district” and who vowed to “employ all ‘reasonable resources’ to help them find a solution.”

Vancouver turned down offer for ex-Columbian site

We see an expensive waterfront project in the works as well.

Vancouver residents are facing a 9% sewer rate increase as well as a property tax increase, while C-Trans is proposing yet another sales tax increase to fund their operations.

You can review the city’s budget HERE, if so inclined.

Which one of you, those that still have a job that is, could stand and tell your employer that you need to “talk to him about investing in employees?”

Voters sent a strong message in the November elections nationwide. While tax & spend elected officials did better here than elsewhere, that doesn’t give taxpayers any more money to be squeezed out of their household budgets.

It’s too bad that Robin Hood was just a myth. It seems too many of our officials have adopted the ways of the Sheriff of Nottingham.

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

  1. Lew,

    Thank you for a good summation of last years political season.

  2. Or, “investment” to the Clark College adminstration is to cut student funding, encourage the state representatives to cut student funding, and encourage the college community to find ways to cut student funding. All the while, they receive 5 days more vacation days. Conservatives have a funny way to “invest.” I can’t wait for the conservatives of Vancouver to complain when in 5 years the cuts to student funding catches up with them and the business owners have to work with poorly educated workers.

  3. You’re assuming that there will be businesses left, after liberals from the top down bankrupt us entirely.

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