League of Women Voters Forum, October 13, 2011

by lewwaters

Tonight saw the inaugural use of a CVTV live broadcast from the new Library in Vancouver. Broadcast was the League of Women Voters Candidate forum for the 2011 election this November. I was very pleasantly surprised to see the room filled nearly to capacity by citizens who came out to hear what the candidates have to say.

All 6 city council candidates appeared and each was asked questions in order by seat position sought.

Josephine Wentzel and Bart Hansen started it off with opening statements and outlined their visions for the future of Vancouver. Both are articulate but with decidedly different views. Hansen leaned more on his short experience on council and work history with Clark County PUD. Wentzel relied on her history of being a Police Officer, Detective and her opposition to CRC and light rail being forced upon us with no vote from the people. Far from a single issue candidate, she also articulated her views on a called for fireworks ban in Vancouver by outlining some proposed restrictions to fireworks sale, after hearing public input. Hansen fell back on emails received calling for an outright ban, but also saying restrictions were needed, not an outright ban.

Both were also asked of their favorite place in Vancouver to visit, Hansen listing the Saturday Farmers Market in Esther Short Park, claiming how Portlander’s travel to spend their money over here. Maybe he misses that many of the vendors at the Farmers Market are Oregon Farms along with Washington Farms.

Josephine listed Esther Short Park where many of our public events are held and Fort Vancouver, where much of the history of Vancouver was created. She also vowed to listen to constituents more than they are currently heard and whether or not she agrees with your point of view, she will represent you and ensure you receive answers. Hansen stated constituents were already being listened to.

Next up was Cory Barnes and Larry Smith. Smith, with his extensive experience came across cool under fire, outlining his being a retired Combat Military Officer, former Real Estate agent and head of the Parks & Recreation Department for the city. Barnes, possibly due to his youth, seemed nervous, often losing his thought it seemed and outlined he was a manager at a computer repair store and past operations manager for refueling aircraft at Portland International Airport.

Barnes, it should be remembered, was recently caught with a string of unpaid traffic fines and driving on a suspended license. He too expressed strong opposition to the CRC as currently planned with light rail from Portland.

Perhaps the closest of candidates in capability was Anne McEnerny-Ogle and Bill Turlay. Anne has a long history in community activism to support her views while Bill is a businessman and a retired Naval Officer who flew combat missions over Vietnam. As close as these two are in their abilities to represent Vancouver on city council, Anne is more left of center than is Bill, who is a strong conservative.

Perhaps the most revealing debate of the evening came next with the candidates for the 49th legislative district, Craig Riley, a Republican businessman challenging Democrat Sharon Wylie who was appointed to replace Jim Jacks after he abruptly walked out on constituent this past march, claiming he was an alcoholic and needed treatment. The community still awaits word on just what went down in Olympia to cause Jacks, who has just won his reelection to so abruptly quit.

Craig has extensive business experience in the healthcare insurance industry while Wylie is a former Oregon legislator and lobbyists. While Craig Riley articulated ideas he feels would begin pulling the state out of the economic mess we continue to see, Sharon Wylie was vague on actual ideas, relying more on statements such as “we need to do something to bring the economy back.”

I have mentioned it before that she doesn’t list her actual positions on issues on her web page, while Craig Riley makes his well known and after tonight’s debate, I cannot honestly say that I know exactly where she stands on issues, just that she says something needs done. We know that, Ms. Wylie, we wanted to her what you intend to do to correct the budget gaps we continue to see other than constantly advocating raising taxes on a struggling middle class still seeing double digit unemployment in the district you wish to continue representing.

Next came candidates for the Vancouver School Board, Robert Travis and Dale Rice for Position 1 and only Edri Geiger for Position 4, Tom Kemp being absent. Each acknowledged budget cuts for schools, with Ms. Geiger passionately reminding all that funding of schools is “paramount” in Washington State. Where she expects money to come from was left unsaid, just make sure schools get it.

Travis and Rice each laid out their views on handling the declining budget, each thinking they have the better idea, naturally. Travis, as businessman felt he was better suited to manage dwindling dollars available to schools by applying business solutions. Rice reminded all that he has been doing pretty well with the school budget so far.

The final debate of the evening was a pro and con on Proposition 1, yet another plea from C-Tran for another tax increase, to keep buses running they claim. Debbie Peterson gave her usual well researched and articulate view for the opposition view, mentioning the millions of dollars C-Tran has in reserve and uncommitted and showing their numbers do not add up in their claim of they will run out of money in 2013 if they don’t forces us to dig deeper. Ms. Peterson also explained how Proposition 1 does indeed link to light rail from Portland in that C-Tran already has enough money for maintaining bus service if they abandoned their “empire building” ways of radically changing Fourth Plain from a “go to” venue to a “go through” with their planned Bus Rapid Transit system, scheduled for even another tax increase vote next year.

Presenting the pro view was Heather Stuart who relied almost solely upon the fearmongering we have been seeing from C-Tran, claiming that service to the most vulnerable, seniors, disabled and low-income would have to be axed if we don’t give up more of our money to C-Tran.

In all, I thank the League of Women Voters for an excellent chance to see and hear the candidates this evening. Most in attendance came away with a clearer view of where each candidate stood and their ideas to improve the community, with the exception of Sharon Wylie who keeps her ideas to herself and answers questions vaguely.

I hope to process the videos I took this evening and post some tomorrow and maybe this weekend. I’m sure CVTV will also make the event available on their site soon for all who couldn’t attend to see on their site.

8 Comments to “League of Women Voters Forum, October 13, 2011”

  1. Lew,
    As a matter of interest to your readers, I was watching the “live” broadcast of this on CVTV and found it rather interesting that CVTV stopped recording when Debbie started talking.

    Coincidence? Did CVTV quit recording because time was up? Consequently, viewers did not get to see most of what Debbie had to say.

    Hopefully you will have video of her presentation.

  2. Sorry, I did not have any memory left in my camera for Debbie’s portion.

    If you couldn’t tell from home, their microphones leave a lot to be desired. All of them required the speaker to have their mouth almost right up on the mic to be heard.

    I’m pretty sure Jim Karlock taped her portion, though. Hopefully he will make it available.

  3. Lew ~ I just wanted to add to the commentary that if state initiative that Tim Eyman is pushing, I believe there is a provision in there to kill light rail on the 520 bridge? Why cannot that be used on the CRC bridge as well??

    Now back to the comments. I have been notice more and more of CVTV over the last 3 to 4 months cutting off video recording to a demonstrable hour on the dot instead of letting some thing run through. So this isn’t just being railed against Debbie. Its been happening with some frequency recently.

    The station cuts off recording when it hits a time point they want to keep under instead of recording the whole piece and just playing it as-is. And its frustrating when I want to see some thing and it gets cut off. So debra isn’t wrong in her assessment.

  4. Since I was there, Jeremy, I’ll take yours and Debra’s word on CVTV. I was totally unaware how they were broadcasting it, but it also makes sense that they cut-off at certain points to show other programs scheduled.

    I’ll have to check their site tomorrow (if they make the video public) and see if they taped the whole thing beyond what they broadcasted.

    I did notice a young lady from the Oregonian there who was taking photos and asking questions of Debbie afterwards. I was down front, so do not know if the Columbian had anyone there.

    I guess we’ll see tomorrow whether or not they publish anything on it.

    I got the full debate of Riley Wylie and will try to post it tomorrow. I got only the opening and closing statements of others, except a full debate between Wentzel and Hansen. I need to get another card for my camera. 4 GB fills up fast 😉

  5. If you go to Ebay, Amazon or Newegg, you can get those for around 75 cents a gigabyte now. So you should be able to get it reasonable priced. Don’t go to Wallgreens, wallyworld or some other place, you’ll pay $20+ or more for the same priced item.

    That young lady is the one who is replacing Njus who covered Clark county for a year or two. (He is now covering Oregon and Washington business for the Oregonian.) She seems very intelligent and I had several exchanges with her over twitter. She is definitely a ++ in my book. Though she does repeat some of her content from the local newspaper over here.

    When they finally do get that video encoded and posted on CVTV, I sure do want to watch the hole thing. And yes, I do want to see Debbie Peterson and the other sides comments on the C-tran vote.

  6. Jeremy, CVTV has the video up, including the Peterson/Stuart pro and con on Proposition 1 now.

    I’ll try to cut it out later and post it for all to see that don’t go to CVTV

  7. I was there and did record the cvtv on it as it reran friday morning on channel 21. Debbie Petersen was aired on the rerun. Also interesting to note was the closing statement from Larry Smith. He replied to Corey Barnes comment That he was a strong supporter of public/private partnerships. Wow! Changed my opinion entirely of him. I had thought that with a good mayor he might be a better representative of all our voices… not with his leaning toward social engineering as a matter of preference using public tax payers dollars to do it. The comment from Bart that our voices are already heard just confirmed my thoughts as he obviously follows the lead of the Mayor and Jeanne Harris.

  8. Smith is definitely in the “elitist” camp. Barnes is an “unknown” because he has no track record on the issues, but he could be better than an “elitist”. Of course, his run-ins with the Law doesn’t help him.

    Hansen has his “elitist” ear-plugs on. That’s pretty obvious.

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