Thanking “the Jeanne’s” for Their Many Years of Service

by lewwaters

2013 Vanc City CouncilIt won’t be long now, just weeks away, and the city of Vancouver, Washington will be losing two multi-term city council members, Jeanne Harris and Jeanne E. Stewart who combined, have almost 30 years sitting on the city council, Harris for 17 years and Stewart for 12.

And, how typical of the Lazy C’s Stephanie Rice to take a parting shot at them both in their All politics is local blog over their rightfully questioning sending an official letter to representatives in another state, signed by city council member Jack Burkman and not the mayor.

That the mayor actually agreed with both Ms. Harris and Ms. Stewart, before justifying the act, doesn’t enter into Rice’s cheap shot, though and is typical of the poorly disguised ‘yellow journalism’ we see daily in the pages and online with what is the sorriest excuse for a newspaper I can recall.

Besides the brief discussion not really being all that newsworthy and the concern raised being valid, both of the Jeanne’s deserve better than such a cheap shot as they prepare to depart their council seats, both having been defeated in the recent election.

To be honest, I have not favored Ms. Harris much and disagreed with her views most often. But city council members should not be elected based on whether or not they agree with my views and instead, should be elected on their ability to represent the community.

Harris is a liberal, a point of view I disagree with, but many in the community are in agreement with that view, shown by her easily winning the previous four elections.

In my opinion, she lost in the primary this time due to her base and downtown special interests turning on her, believing her to be a damaged candidate due to an unfortunate outburst over three years ago that conservatives capitalized on. As I wrote back in August, she deserved better than to just be cast aside so easily as she was, receiving less than 17% of the votes when previous primary elections saw her receive just over 57% of the votes.

That tells me that it was her party and those downtown special interests that she was loyal to that decided she was “toxic” and decided to rid themselves of her, opting for someone else to do their bidding. Conservatives weren’t going to vote for her, that was known, but it was her base that elected her four times, who turned on her.

As said above, even though I frequently disagreed with her, she faithfully represented the downtown special interests and Democrat point of view for over 16 years and in spite of any disagreements or controversial actions from the past, should receive a large vote of thanks from all for her many years of faithful service.

Unlike some, given the circumstances, I take no pleasure in seeing her leave under these conditions.

Similarly, those same downtown special interests that cast aside Ms. Harris also did a number on Jeanne E. Stewart, who from the time she was first elected to the city council, has been a strong advocate for the citizens of Vancouver over special interests.

She ran into trouble also over a controversial act when she departed from the pro-CRC city council at a C-Tran meeting, when she sat on the Board and elected to go against the requirement of lock-step voting by the three representatives of city council that split the vote for a C-Tran sales tax increase from a sales tax increase to fund extending Portland’s financially failing light rail into our community.

Standing up for citizens over downtown special interests and actually saving C-Tran by her move, she ruffled feathers of the political bosses in town that care more about their bank accounts than they do you.

So, she had to go too and she became the target of a well-funded effort by downtown special interests along with the complacency of too many on the right that couldn’t be bothered to actually vote this election.

The Lazy C’s editor cannot even be content with her defeat, running another dig at her in his Saturday editorial, rubbing her nose in the mud of the loss while boasting of the lie created and promoted by that rag this election to get their rubber stamp city council for downtown special interests.

Even more so than with Jeanne Harris, the loss of Jeanne E. Stewart means citizens of Vancouver will be losing a strong advocate while special interests pick up another rubber stamp. Alishia Topper, Ms. Stewart’s replacement might think she is an independent voice and will be an advocate for the people, but she is in for a rude awakening once the downtown special interests call for their due from all of their efforts that swept her into city council seat.

Ultimately, Ms. Stewart’s defeat must be placed firmly on the backs of so many of you that couldn’t be bothered to exercise your right to vote and place a simple mark on a piece of paper and drop it off.

Jeanne E. Stewart stood up for you and your well-being these past 12-years and in return, you that didn’t vote turned your backs on her.

Jeanne Harris was thrown under the bus by downtown special interests, but Jeanne E. Stewart was cast aside by the lazy, disconnected citizens she has long stood up for against those same downtown special interests.

I definitely take no pleasure in seeing Ms. Stewart lose her election and believe Vancouver, Washington will be worse off because of it.

Jeannes Farewell

Both of these women have been strong voices for their point of view, even though often opposite each other. But that is what is really needed in order for citizens to have fair representation, opposing points of view to reach a compromise that best benefits all.

Other than the lone voice of city council member Bill Turlay, you no longer have that on the city council.

It is unknown what the future holds for either, whether they will run for another seat or office next year or will just fade away, both to enjoy their families and reflect on their service.

But I wish to extend my thanks to both for their long service to the community.

Whether or not I always agreed with them, they stood for their views and values faithfully over the years and for that, we should thank them both.

6 Comments to “Thanking “the Jeanne’s” for Their Many Years of Service”

  1. Thanks so much Lew … you said it eloquently and honestly.
    The 2 Jeannes deserve more respect for their dedication to the people that they served so faithfully.

  2. are you coming down tonight?

  3. I’ve got too much to do and won’t be able to make it.

  4. the columbian is a cheap piece of schitt anyways

  5. I gave them my appreciation last evening. oh, and some roses!

  6. I saw that, Carolyn, very nice

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