Gang of 14 Becomes Identity Vancouver:

by lewwaters

By Professor Robert Dean

Tap! Tap!

Tim L: Meeting will come to order! Welcome to the second inaugural meeting of the Clark County Gang of 14. Tonight, we will plan the replacement of the I-5 Bridge.

Eric F: You said this meeting would be devoted to bringing jobs and prosperity back to Clark County.

Tim L: Yes, but some things just come up and have to take priority.

Tom M: What could be more important than jobs and prosperity?

All: A new bridge!

Tim L: Look, it doesn’t have to be one or the other. Why can’t we have both?

Lou B: That’s a good line Tim! I think I will use that.

Tim L: First order of business, we have to change our name.

Steve S: What’s wrong with the Gang of 14?

Tim L: Too cosmopolitan. We need something with a more local flavor to it. And besides, it keeps tripping the CIA watch-list every time we send an email.

Scott H: Ahem!

Tim L: Oh yes, and the FTA says we have to. Let’s throw out ideas.

Steve S: Oceans 14.

Larry S: The Magnificent 14.

Scott H: Identity Vancouver.

Tim L: I like that! Identity Vancouver it is.

Scott H: Thank you Tim. I’ll take that gavel now.

Jeanne H: Hey! What!

Jack B: Jeanne!

Jeanne H: Well, I’m just saying.

Scott H: I have been appointed by the FTA to oversee the construction of a new I-5 bridge between Portland, Oregon and Vancouver, Washington. The reason I’ve called you all together and formed up Identity Vancouver is so that we can satisfy the legal requirements, or better guidelines, of NEPA, or the National Environmental Policy Act of 1969.
There is an unfortunate provision in there to the effect that we have to consult all the relevant stakeholders.

Marc B: Stakeholders?

John L: You mean regular citizens? You can’t be serious!

Scott H: Stakeholders in the modern usage of the word means anyone who might directly benefit from the project – especially in its construction phase.

John L: Hey Jim! Get a load of this!

Jim M: Goofballs!

Jerry N: I’m a stakeholder.

Ed L: Me too!

Tim S: I wanna be a stakeholder.

Scott H: And who are you?

John L: Hounds of Whinerville!

Tim S: I’m the President of the Greater Clark County Area Chamber of Commerce.

John L: Look Jim, that one looks like the Mayor of Amboy!

Scott H: I fail to see how you will directly or indirectly benefit from up to 9 years of construction on this project. You do realize, don’t you, that tearing up 5 miles of I-5 plus the bridge, plus building light rail and 3 parking structures in the heart of Downtown over a 9 year span will surely cause severe disruption to local commerce, indeed to people’s lives and livelihoods. Anyone with existing investments in Downtown real estate will go into foreclosure or have to dump them at fire sale prices. These are your members we are talking about.

Lou B: Careful what you say, Scott – there are reporters present.

Scott H: Oops!

Andrea D: What? Did someone say something I missed?

Lou B: Good job, Andrea!

Tim S: Yes, but I am also President of one of the largest engineering firms in the metropolitan region. While we don’t do government work exclusively, One of our spinoff subsidiaries, Government Contracts R US, does.

Scott H: Hmmm, let me think on that. Does anyone have any objections to Tim S joining us?

Steve H: I say let’s invite him in. After all, a lot of people said that about me – what does Steve H have to gain from promoting the project? Well, it’s like this. As you say, a lot of local people will be hurt by this, especially during 9 years of construction. Article 1 Section 16 of the Washington Constitution provides regular citizens significant protection for private property rights and against eminent domain. I figure they’ll be needing a good lawyer.

Scott C: Come off it Steve, nobody else can afford you!

Steve H: Ah! But that’s the beauty of it! I figure I’ll work pro bono and then run for Governor or Attorney General. My regular clients will carry me.

Ed L: Got your back, Steve!

Scott H: Well, it’s a good start. We have the framework in place for ramming it past the NEPA process. We’ll need a lot of help and cooperation from the cities, county, and of course, the newspaper of record. Let’s adjourn the meeting and next time talk about how to pay for it.

Tom M: I heard it was going to cost the local community, us, $1.4 billion.

Scott H: Meeting adjourned.

Tap! Tap!

6 Comments to “Gang of 14 Becomes Identity Vancouver:”

  1. Listen up wiseguy, we do things this way because the people here decided this is how it will be. Popularly elected legislators authorized the creation of subdistricts, and the rules for creating subdistricts are strict. You can’t blame C-Tran for following the law.



  2. “Good golly Miss Molly, you sure like to troll…”


  3. Greg, I agree that gaming the system is what politics is about. However, the people being exploited need to know what’s happening to them so that when it’s their chance, they can return the favor in spades.

    Civility is knowing you CAN exploit the rules but DON’T.


  4. Hey Professor….don’t forget about that “cap” over I-5 that Mayor Pollard was pushing that he said was needed to “close the wound” that dirty bastard Dwight D. Eisenhower inflicted on poor Vancouver when he built I-5 right through it. (Anyone else remember that one…??) Last I heard it would cost at least $500K in its simplest form and Royce wanted that added to the cost of the CRCP.

    Of course that was back in the day when River West was still alive, prior to Jack Burman engineering a way to let Killian Pacific off the hook for the development agreement they signed, and build a library on the resulting empty lot anyway. “Rolls” Royce saw the cap as kind of a back yard for River West that would link it to the Historic Reserve.

    How that all fits in now with the plans to build a parking garage the size of a Nimitz Class aircraft carrier next to I-5, or that Hockey rink idea someone dredged up again last week…..


  5. Bob, Don Wagner assured me that they would keep 3 lanes open in each direction. I take it that they will provide armored shuttles to transport commuters under the lid. He didn’t say anything about how many cars would venture down those 6 open lanes.


  6. Bob, Wasn’t there a failed hockey – skating rink – church over by your way that died a few years back? So where are they dredging up a new skating rink idea for?

    And why they did not that parking garage done near the Killian Pacific – library is beyond me. There seems to be a notion now that the city of Vancouver will simply let developers off the hook. Remember the Otak – City Center building that ALSO got time or let off the hook just blocks away west from the library?

    Oh and by the way, Carolyn and Josephine, pay attention some of us old timers are dredging up old data that you might want to hammer the city council and board of clark county commissioners on…


Leave a Reply. Comments are moderated. Spam & off topic comments will not be approved at Blog Author's discretion. THIS IS NOT A FREE SPEECH ZONE!

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

%d bloggers like this: