Investigations, Lawsuits and Injunctions: Oh My

by lewwaters

Greg Kimsey 2The dust from the 2014 election has barely settled as we now see allegations of wrongdoing on the part of County Auditor, Greg Kimsey from the Clark County R3publicans and calls for an injunction to be filed to stop the restructuring of the C-Tran Board of Directors from the Clark County Commissioners.

As can be expected, sides are forming both supporting and blasting the moves from the left and the right, with finger pointing, cries of sour grapes, accolades for the effort and even cries of hypocrisy.

I am not a part of either side in this, but let me say at the outset that I lost all respect I once had for Greg Kimsey in how he supported the Home Rule Charter, though I am not convinced it rises to any illegal activity. That will be left up to the State Attorney General to determine as County Prosecutor Tony Golik has rightfully referred the matter upstairs over his own conflict of interest in the matter or the appearance of such.

R3publican Chair Kenny Smith alleges Kimsey used “his office to advocate for the passage of the home-rule charter” by placing a “two-page explanation of the charter in the general election voters” pamphlet.” That “explanation” was seen as very supportive of the charter, by the way.

Kimsey previously claimed as the county auditor, he “has the authority under state law to provide information about a home-rule charter in a voter’s pamphlet,” adding that he was asked “to provide two pages of ‘factual, unbiased information’ describing the charter.”

Neither the two pages included in the voters pamphlet nor Kimsey’s open support of the charter meet what I consider as “unbiased,” noted here in an earlier post: Kimsey’s Dishonest Sleight of Hand on Home Rule Charter.

Be that as it may, the matter is now referred up to the State Attorney General. What, if anything comes of it remains to be seen.

In another move drawing both supportive comments from supporters and the usual negativity from detractors, the Board of County Commissioners in Clark County voted unanimously “for its prosecuting attorney to file an injunction against C-TRAN to stop the process of taking one seat away from the county on the C-TRAN board of directors.”

A notice appearing on Commissioner Madore’s facebook page claims;

C-Tran failed to provide the 20-day special meeting notice do the following:

Delivered to each local newspaper of general circulation a written request to be notified of such special meeting.

(The Reflector notice was published the day after the meeting.)

(b) Posted on the agency’s web site.

(The Board meeting and agenda was not published on the C-Tran Board Meetings website until November 12, six days notice.)

(c) Prominently displayed at the main entrance of the agency’s principal location and the meeting site if it is not held at the agency’s principal location.

(3) The call and notices required under subsections (1) and (2) of this section shall specify the time and place of the special meeting and the business to be transacted.

Commissioner Madore also stated “During the November 18 meeting, interim County Commissioner Ed Barnes voted against Commissioner Elect Jeanne Stewart to take a C-Tran Governing Board seat away from Clark County,” adding, “The remedy is to re-notice and conduct a new meeting. This time, County Commissioner Jeanne Stewart can vote to support Clark County,” a comment that has detractors at the Lazy C article over this crying about “rubber stamping.”

The Lazy C’s Eric Florip wrote

“The commissioners claim C-Tran didn’t give the required 20 days’ notice before the Nov. 18 meeting. In fact, C-Tran sent out the time, date and location of the meeting on Oct. 8, more than a month in advance. The announcement went to all C-Tran board members, The Columbian, The Reflector, the Vancouver Business Journal and others. An official legal notice for the meeting was published in The Columbian — C-Tran’s newspaper of record — on Oct. 15.”

Considering the many years City of Vancouver Mayor, Tim ‘the Liar’ Leavitt ignored citizens and tried to cut off speakers opposed to the CRC light rail boondoggle at council meetings, it was rather odd and hypocritical to read him say on the C3G2 facebook hate site, “At what point is there enough of this wasted effort and tax payer expense by the County Commissioners that there is a significant uprising by citizens….even staunch Republicans?”

It has been none other than Mayor Leavitt leading the charge to plunge the community Billions of dollars into debt to pay for a new I-5 Bridge solely to carry Portland, Oregon’s financially ailing light rail a short distance into our community, supported efforts to bypass repeated votes of the people defeating every funding measure for that project and it was he who strongly supported signing of a contract by C-Tran with Portland’s Metro that granted eminent domain rights to Portland in Clark County before any had a real chance to read or study the 40-page contract.

Leavitt is hardly in a position to be complaining about “wasted effort and taxpayer expense.”

It is also odd to read that he is stepping down from the C-Tran Board of Directors at this time.

To supporters, this effort to block the restructuring of the C-Tran Board is well-received, even though it was reported in a September 9, 2013 Lazy C article that it was none other than Commissioner Madore proposing both the county and city of Vancouver give up a seat each on the board.

But, the city ended up retaining all three of their seats while county lost one, giving the city a definite advantage over the rest of the county served by C-Tran and in potentially paying more taxes to fund C-Trans Bus Rapid Transit system they desperately want to run down Fourth Plain Boulevard from the mall to downtown Vancouver in hopes of one day hooking up to Portland’s light rail.

Whether or not this move, either move in fact, actually accomplishes anything is unknown. Detractors will continue complaining and supporters will continue applauding.

As for me, since I am no longer included and am on the outside looking in, I’ve got my popcorn popped and lawn chair set out to watch the fracas as it unfolds. I’ll gladly allow the CCGOP A-Team handle this.

12 Comments to “Investigations, Lawsuits and Injunctions: Oh My”

  1. Truth bites. This one going to the state attorney general may well be pushed back down regardless of its legal standing. If it is that clinches the statements from ever being prosecuted.
    If the c-tran board is found to be in fault of time lines then the whole composition board will have to be done over.
    By the way there was no posting of the meeting at the Library the week before the meeting when I was there for another meeting which is the law with regards to posting at sites where public meetings are to be held… 20 days in advance on location.
    Time will tell.
    Now they are pushing back because the commissioners are elected to make policy and code and they are doing just that setting a hearing for a codification of the departments so a new manager cannot just come along and consolidate or eliminate one. Which, has been suggested with regards to the dept of ecology in order to dump Benton. These dems would actually shut down an environmental branch of government rather than have it run by some one other than an environmental kook! I might just add here that the last guy who ran this office failed so miserably at it we have been paying the fines and economic losses for three years now.

  2. I tried several times to warn this Home Rule Charter was nothing more than the Democrats effort to undo the 2012 election.

    Charter No & the CCGOP ignored it.

  3. Yeah I just went through a serious debate round with them. They aren’t going to listen to reason and they aren’t going to win this one.

  4. I tried to warn on this group in control too and also was ignored.

    So I’m content to just sit back and watch them implode

  5. Lew, what is being lost in all the bickering and posturing and backbiting and infighting and partisan foolery is that the people who live in the unincorporated areas of Clark County just lost another precious voice on the CTran board and David Madore, Tom Mielke and now Jeanne Stuart are fighting for all they are worth to get it back for us.

    This is what I wrote elsewhere:

    I echo all praise of David Madore for standing up for the people who live in the unincorporated areas of the county.
    Did you know that those people are not served by CTran or CVan even though they pay taxes like everyone else?

    CTran and CVan are services that we all provide to the few who need it most (5% of us is a number that gets bandied about). In 2011 CTran threatened to cut rural routes and CVan services if we didn’t increase the sales tax – we did it; we increased what we pay in sales taxes so the people who need it would be served by CTran.

    Now, the City of Vancouver, and even some of our small cities, are taking that money promised for rural routes, and CVan services for the needy, and using it to buy a $50 million upgrade to a City of Vancouver urban arterial, 4th Plain.

    Looks to me that the people who live in unincorporated areas of Clark County need more voices on the CTran Board, not fewer.

  6. The Republicans have an integrity plank in their eye. They filed this complaint before the results of the election were known. They filed the complaint against a fellow Republican. They called for the investigation win or lose. The Democrats should be ashamed to sit and gloat in their victory without also demanding integrity from our elected officials?

  7. Supposedly, the PA was advising the Auditor throughout. If the Auditor followed bad advice from the PA he is immune from prosecution. If he strayed from the PA’s advice, or contravened it, he loses immunity. Golik was right to recuse his office

  8. “Lew, what is being lost in all the bickering and posturing and backbiting and infighting and partisan foolery…..”

    Not my problem, Robert. I am not a member of the Republican Party and call them as I see them.

  9. Didn’t anyone on the C-TRAN board question the ethics of ramming a vote through before Commissioner Stewart replaced Barnes knowing that the outcome would most likely be different than what they got?

  10. Your first mistake would be expecting ethics from the C-Tran Gang of Five that has been selling us out for several years.

    Tim ‘the Liar” Leavitt would be at the head of that list.

  11. I agree that expecting ethical behavior from Leavitt or Hamm is asking a bit too much. But still, someone (Madore, Mielke, Burkman, etc.) should have raised the issue.

  12. Craig Sayre, yes is the answer. Commissioner Madore requested that this be tabled until Jeanne E Stewart was sworn in the following week. He was ignored and put down for it. The goal of pushing it through to cut a seat at the county was in sight of Leavitt so that was all that mattered.

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