Why Is Light Rail Being Discussed Again?

by lewwaters

Clark County voters defeated a measure to extend Portland’s light rail line into Vancouver in 1995 by a 2 to 1 vote. Beginning in the early 2000’s, light rail became a growing issue and by 2008 it became the “Locally Preferred Alternative” chosen by the C-Tran Board of Directors, Vancouver City Council and the RTC.

One Comment to “Why Is Light Rail Being Discussed Again?”

  1. In 2012, CTRAN put a proposition on the ballot on light rail and bus rapid transit, and it was rejected in every city in Clark County, and the county area that was allowed to vote. The CTRAN board majority ignored their own 2012 public vote results and proceeded to sign a contract with Oregon TriMet for light rail services in at a hastily announced “special meeting ” in 2013, just BEFORE results on another public light rail vote were in. This sneaky TriMet light rail contract was an end run around the voters, and is why we are discussing light rail. Liz Pike was on the 2013 committee advocating the for public vote requirement prior to light rail being started in Clark County. “Voting ‘yes’ lets the people decide and ensures that we, the people, are given the facts before billions of taxpayer dollars are spent.” page 94 http://www.clark.wa.gov/elections/documents/2013/NOV_5/2013GenCompleteVotersPamphlet.pdf 68.39% of voters agreed with Pike.
    The TriMet light rail contract was pushed by the democrat county commissioner Steve Stuart and Vancouver Mayor Tim Leavitt, details on this blog. http://lewwaters.com/2013/10/25/corruption-at-the-c-tran-board-of-directors/ Commissioners David Madore and Tom Mielke did NOT vote to authorize the light rail contract, and DID put the light rail advisory vote on the 2013 ballot.
    Former county commissioners were asked to hold a county-wide advisory vote on light rail in 2011, but refused. The Columbian reported on this, “A few weeks ago, lawmakers from the 17th District asked commissioners to put an advisory vote on the November ballot, and commissioners said they could not legally have an advisory vote on a matter over which they lack the authority to decide. This time, Commissioners Steve Stuart and Marc Boldt made it clear they did not even care if what the 18th District lawmakers were suggesting was legal.” http://www.columbian.com/news/2011/mar/31/boldt-stuart-reject-call-for-advisory-vote-on-crc/ TriMet cites this light rail contract as binding, and plans to bring light rail to Clark County regardless of the public vote. Just like they did in Milwaukie, OR even though voters there rejected that costly light rail extension that worsens traffic. In August 2011, both the democrat Clark County Commissioner Steve Stuart and CTRAN Chair Marc Boldt voted FOR tolls and light rail when they voted FOR the CRC FEIS with tolls and light rail. A lengthy presentation by a large group of CRC staff to the C-Tran board elicited few question from the chair Boldt, which was typical for him. I attended that and other CTRAN meetings, which were not covered by CVTV. At the time, CTRAN had already announced that a public vote on high capacity transit light rail vote had been postponed until 2012. In 2011, Boldt was working overtime on the committee to promote an unnecessary CTRAN tax hike http://www.clark.wa.gov/elections/documents/2011/2011GeneralVotersPamphletpamphlet.pdf (page 76) Democrat commissioner Steve Stuart had to recuse himself from a CTRAN board vote, giving the reason that his wife was paid to work for a PAC promoting CTRAN tax hikes, a conflict of interests. http://www.pdc.wa.gov/MvcQuerySystem/CommitteeData/contributions?param=S0VFUENDIDY2MA%3D%3D%3D%3D&year=2011&type=single The democrat also promoted the CTRAN tax hikes repeatedly in a local newspaper.
    CTRAN told voters in 2011 that funds would not be used for light rail, and the CTRAN board adopted a policy prohibiting the use of CTRAN funds on light rail with great fanfare prior to the 2011 CTRAN tax hike supposedly for buses and vans. Turned out that policy was just to fake out the voters. in 2013 under the guise of getting more information, the democrat county commissioner put forth a motion to erase that policy at the “special meeting” to authorize the TriMet light rail contract Had the policy remained in place, the contract could not have been signed.

    True leaders would have suggested that it was premature to vote on a CRC with light rail in 2011,since CTRAN had not put the question of light rail to the voters yet. A public light rail vote on light rail was a condition to the “locally preferred alternative” of light rail adopted by CTRAN in 2008.The light rail vote was purposely delayed and delayed, until AFTER the CTRAN board approved of light rail. In the end, the vote results were ignored, the former democrat county commissioner/councilor pushed through the contract for voter-rejected light rail with the aid of Vancouver Mayor Leavitt ,Vancouver City Councilors,the City of Camas, and Ridgefield Mayor Ron Onslow.

    Edit: Deleted candidate promotional link as this blog is neither supporting nor opposing candidates this election.

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