Leavitt’s State of the City, A Travesty

by lewwaters

Leavitt Dean 6Vancouver’s Mayor, Tim ‘the Liar’ Leavitt gave the annual State of the City address today, March 12, 2014 at Fort Vancouver High School, his alma mater.

We all know that such speeches are designed to be boastful and filled with platitudes and claims of how good things are under the official giving them. And we also know most spin the facts to make the giver appear better than they are.

But, Leavitt took the opportunity to show just what an immature asshole he really is.

As we all know, the Columbia River Crossing light rail project gasped its last breath with the Oregon legislature joining the Washington legislature in declining to fund the project, after some 15 years and $190 Million were wasted on it and not a single shovel of dirt was turned over.

Throughout the process, citizens never supported it and Leavitt and his cohorts in crime pulled every sneaky trick they could to just go around the citizens and ignore their input to force it in anyway.

Leavitt, after lying his way into office in 2009, running on a no tolls platform, quickly flipped and instantly became one of the strongest supporters of tolls and light rail on the project and was instrumental in hastily approving C-Trans entering into a contract with Trimet to fund operations and maintenance of the light rail line that granted Oregon eminent domain rights through C-Tran and obligated C-Tran to a $5 Million penalty if they backed out of the project.

So, Leavitt being the whiny little worm that he is, couldn’t resist whining about the demise of the CRC last week in his address and pointing accusatory fingers at those elected officials that heeded the words of their constituents, labeling the demise a “TRAVESTY.”

You can also read the transcript of the speech here or view it full at CVTV archives

Of note, Leavitt claims the project was supported by, “every local board of elected officials with a direct role in the project, the steadfast support of the President of the United States, Senators Patty Murray and Maria Cantwell, our State Senator Annette Cleveland and Representatives Jim Moeller and Sharon Wylie, as well as Oregon Governor John Kitzhaber and House Speaker Tina Kotek,” he never once mentions his constituents, the people of Vancouver or Clark County that would have been stuck with paying for a massive megaproject in the Billions, ongoing maintenance for a short extension of Portland’s financially troubled light rail or the jobs that would have been lost, not to mention 8 to 10 years of increased congestion along both I-5 and I-205 as a new bridge would be constructed directly adjacent to the current I-5 Bridge and commuters would be forced to divert to I-205.

Instead he whines and cries about the demise of the project by elected officials in the legislature that listened to the people.

To that end, the Lazy C, the local alleged newspaper quoted from an email they received from State Senator Ann Rivers (R 18) who was one of the responsive officials Leavitt is upset with. Below is the full email from Sen. Rivers,

When it comes to the now defunct Columbia River Crossing, I did my job as a state senator. I freely admit that I represent the people of my district and that I reflect their views and values. Mayor Leavitt, apparently, takes a different view and feels comfortable ignoring his constituency on this issue: that, of course, is up to him and those who voted for him.

The people of my district, overall, have made it clear to me in a variety of ways that they opposed a bridge with light rail. Several of us over the years attempted compromise positions where the bridge would be built at a height that saved tens of millions for mitigation charges while striping off the hated light rail that was the only reason this project existed in the first place, according to the Oregon State Supreme Court. Each and every effort was rejected out of hand, with Gov. Kitzhaber declaring that if there was “no light rail, then there would be no bridge.”

If the financial reward Mayor Leavitt claimed was true, then I have to wonder: why was the entire project held hostage to light rail? To my knowledge, he and his fellow CRC supporters have never addressed that issue.

What I know is that the tolls for this project would result in 45 years of $100,000,000 plus for each year being removed from the Clark County economy. While the Mayor claims a return of “more than $1 billion,” in the face of the roughly $4.5 billion or so spent on tolls, those numbers simply do not work.

My first responsibility is to my constituency. They have made it clear that while a project may be needed, it is not needed now, under these conditions, and under efforts where the select few in his CRC circle make all of the decisions without asking the people who are responsible for paying the bills what they want. In fact, making the reduction-to-elimination of meaningful public input a CRC policy almost from the beginning, stopping any meaningful changes from anyone not in the CRC inner circle from the start.

Meanwhile, Mayor Leavitt’s bitter and angry words aside, we must move on and do so quickly. It is not lost on me that Portland has many bridges to keep traffic moving while we are limited to only two. When something happens on one of our bridges, the other is gridlocked. It’s time to have a community discussion where we set aside hurt feelings to address an obvious need (which was previously detailed by the RTC before the CRC was ever heard of).

We must begin the processes to get those built, while learning from the failed plan Mr. Leavitt supported at the expense of the people of Clark County generally and SW Washington particularly. And in this process, he must come to understand that this isn’t about him… like it isn’t about me. It’s about the people we serve. And hopefully, he’s learned that lesson and we can move on.

Yes, it is about us, the people whether we voted for them or not, not downtown special interests that stand to reap large profits to fill their coffers at the expense of we the people.

Leavitt more than once promoted the lie that the project was about relieving congestion, improving freight mobility and replacing an allegedly “unsafe” bridge. But all of that was put to rest as the chant came out of “no light rail, no bridge.”

As Sen. Rivers stated, it was revealed by the Oregon Supreme Court in 2012 that light rail was the only reason and the bridge was the cheese in the trap.

So I find it ironic that Leavitt chose to close the address by quoting Abraham Lincoln, “You cannot escape the responsibility of tomorrow by evading it today.”

For the Mayor’s benefit, another quote from Abraham Lincoln, “I am a firm believer in the people. If given the truth, they can be depended upon to meet any national crises. The great point is to bring them the real facts.”

Apparently, Mayor Tim Leavitt is not a “firm believer in the people.”

Stay tuned as in the near future this blog will be discussing a viable third bridge option in the works as well as pointing out the fallacy of C-Tran still promoting a Bus Rapid Transit line down Fourth Plain that is also expense and not needed.

8 Comments to “Leavitt’s State of the City, A Travesty”

  1. Kudos to Senator Rivers for truly representing the 18th district in particular, and SW WA. Given the fact that 2 votes were held on light rail on the proposed CRC bridge too low, and every city in Clark County rejected light rail at the ballot box in both 2012, and 2013, it’s clear that the citizens of Clark County remain unconvinced that gold plated light rail is a need. Our paid for bus system works well, with state of the art buses running mostly in Vancouver, often empty or with 1 or 2 passengers on 40′ buses polluting our area. What ever happened to the “you asked, we delivered smaller buses” promise made be CTRAN years ago? Seems like most of the new buses are the 40′ buses. CVAN assists riders with physical needs with smaller vehicles. Van pools that allow people going to the same destination to ride together are a popular option. Flexible in route and size, rubber tire public transit that uses the same roads as the rest of us are practical. Exorbitant light rail with fixed stops hogging a lane of traffic is not practical or needed for our population and density. Especially since light rail would be slower than bus/van public transit.

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  2. He wasted a lot of applause lines there and didn’t get a reaction until he said he’d support a new (third?) bridge.

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  3. He should never have been reelected.

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  4. Tiny Tim Leavitt, the lying Vancouver Mayor that has been so deceitful to the Citizens is shameful. Interesting right after the election these skunks raised property taxes to the max of 1% on their constitutients. I guess those that voted for them and those that did not vote, Mayor Leavitt and his Council felt the people of Vancouver were not paying their fare $ share hopefully they like what they got, because elections have consequences!!! Glad we live in the County and have 2 great County Commissioners, David Madore & Tom Mielke that voted not to raise our Property taxes!!!

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  5. As usual, Mayor Leavitt is suggesting to the state legislature, a “Fair Warning Bill,” the intent to include signage regarding the date the bridge was built and its structural integrity…a great mind game attempt once again by the infamous two-faced liar.

    MAYOR LEAVITT…do you not realize that the Washington State Legislature has been working with a transportation budget which will continue to bail out Big Bertha’s issues and the SR 520, possibly at the expense of the taxpayers at an additional 10-12 cents per gallon gas tax that your cronies at the state level are pushing??? That’s over 7000 bridges, Mayor. It’s not only the cost of the signs, but the costs of workers to install these signs to boot. You’re talking a pretty penny, sir.

    So where is it you are planning on finding funding for THIS idiocy, Mayor Leavitt??? Using a magic wand???

    Okay, okay…we KNOW the bridges are older. We KNOW they are yet to be retrofitted. We KNOW they have no pull out lanes…

    So focus on what needs to be done rather than what you THINK would be informational. RETROFIT THE DAMNED BRIDGES and FORGET THE SIGNS.

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  6. update – I just finished sending off emails to Senator Benton and Senator Curtis King regarding this travesty and folly of Mayor Leavitt and I highly suggest to everyone who is tired of the wasted spending when it comes to state transportation needs…to do the same.

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  7. I wonder if Tim has really thought about his proposal, beyond his effort to make himself appear caring?

    Of concern, for the signs to be effective to more than just pedestrian traffic, they would need to be large enough to be seen by motorists.

    A sign that large entering an aging bridge would likely be a distraction that could result in even more traffic accidents on bridges.

    Have I ever said Tim Leavitt is a moron?

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  8. Oh but Lew…bigger is more better in the realm of idiocy!!!!

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