Posts tagged ‘Charlie Stemper’

October 11, 2009

Good News For Tim Leavitt: Columbian Endorses Pollard

by lewwaters



Tim Leavitt Vancouver Washington’s mayoral candidate Tim Leavitt received some good news, along with more endorsements today. The financially troubled Columbian has endorsed the aging incumbent, Royce Pollard, showing just how out of touch with the community our local ‘paper of record’ currently is.

Pollard for Mayor

I am astonished that they could print, “Incumbent has solid record of achievement; Leavitt fails leadership test on voting record,” with a straight face.

Pollard’s achievements include, but are not limited to plunging the city $48 Million into debt, threatening council members who may not vote his way, desiring more taxes and bridge tolls on an already struggling community in the county with the highest unemployment in the state, resisted attempts at forming a Business Advisory Council, utility taxes, sales taxes, electricity taxes, business license fees and employee head taxes and pretty much ignored much of the community outside of the downtown area.

Pollard will not listen to Vancouver citizens who say they do not want Portland’s max Line light rail extended to Vancouver and insists it will be part of a new I-5 bridge, or no bridge at all.

Who does that benefit monetarily? Portland, Oregon of course, not Vancouver, Washington.

Tim Leavitt says he

“will form a Mayoral Business Advisory Council, comprised of a diversity of employers within our community. Meetings will be held in public, with all residents encouraged to attend. Further, Tim will empower City Council to better know and understand the businesses and workers within the city, so that they all may act more responsively to the needs of this economic driver.”

He is opposed to imposing tolls on Vancouver citizens who must cross the river twice daily to work in Portland. He understands that the real need to bring good paying jobs to Vancouver, not ship our citizens over there, where they still must pay Oregon Income taxes and receive no representation nor a voice in Oregon at all.

5 things that WILL happen when Tim is Mayor, and 5 things that WON’T happen

Vancouver needs to be more attractive to businesses and instead of shipping our citizens over there, how about we attract their businesses, and jobs, over here?

Showing their bias towards Pollard, the Columbian states,

“The Vancouver Firefighters Union announced that Leavitt missed voting in 16 elections in 10 years. A statesmanlike leader would acknowledge the statistics, express regret and vow to correct the flaw. But Leavitt, after voicing regret, launched into an attack on Pollard. “How does this sleazy maneuver help our struggling communities today?” he asked. The answer: It exposes as delinquent the voting habits of a man who is courting Vancouver’s voters, and reasonable voters don’t see truth-telling as a sleazy maneuver at all.”

Ignored by the Columbian is Pollard’s sleazy attacks on Leavitt after finishing second in the August primary election.

What also cannot be ignored is that the financially failing Columbian built a new building they could not afford and now need bailed out. The city of Vancouver has “expressed an interest” in paying the $41.5 million asking price for the building that county assessor Linda Franklin assesses at $24.52 million.

Mayor Pollard was a very outspoken advocate of the “deal,” but as election season grew closer, stopped commenting on it.

Tim Leavitt, along with fellow council member Jeanne Stewart, were the only two from the council that came forward questioning the “deal.”

No conflict of interest there, right?

I can’t honestly say Tim’s slogan, “A Better Idea” is one I’d choose, but reading through Tim’s website, he does give us something more than Pollard has, representation and choice.

In what I take as an attempt to taint Tim’s candidacy a little, they take a swipe at his endorsements with

“Yes, he received a few more votes than Pollard in the Aug. 18 primary, but Vancouver’s political landscape is littered with wannabe mayors who tried and failed to topple Pollard. Yes, Leavitt is endorsed by the police officers union, but Pollard is endorsed by the firefighters union. Yes, Leavitt is endorsed by all three county commissioners, but Pollard is endorsed by a broad array of state politicians who have worked with him on many projects. His relationship with federal agencies is sturdy and productive.”

Are we to believe that state politicians and federal agencies will only work with Pollard?

And, “wannabe mayors who tried to topple Pollard?” Is he a king or dictator?

Perhaps the Columbian editorial staff should think about those “few more votes than Pollard in the Aug. 18 primary.” Also running was Charlie Stemper at the time whose ideas reflected many of Tim’s and Charlie has endorsed Tim Leavitt and encouraged all who supported him to support Tim Leavitt.

If the November 3 election will be like the August 18 primary, with many of Stemper’s supporters jumping in behind Tim, Pollard is in trouble.

While Pollard might have added some nice looking areas to downtown, Vancouver is much larger than downtown. Areas of downtown still look depressed and not where I like to take my family.

A vote for mayor Royce Pollard, who doesn’t seem to realize he is no longer an Army Officer ordering around enlisted men, is just more of the same. More taxes, more ignoring citizens wants and needs and less money in your paycheck.

A vote for Tim Leavitt is a vote for change, a vote for fresh ideas and vote for someone willing to listen to you and be accountable to you.

It’s time for a change, Vancouver. It’s time for Tim Leavitt, Mayor of America’s Vancouver.

July 31, 2009

Tim Leavitt Speaks Out

by lewwaters

Many in our country and even the city of Vancouver seem to have become lackadaisical in regards to voting and personally, I can’t blame them. We have become a very polarized community politically and neither major party has performed all that well in the past few years.

However, such an attitude just perpetuates the problem we complain about often.

Over on, Chief, the blog owner, displays such an attitude in a thread he put up, For Vancouver Mayor: None of the Above!!.

While I can understand such a sentiment, given that the current Mayor has led the city into severe financial difficulties, higher taxes and is hell-bent on forcing Light Rail on us, including tolls to pay for it, throwing your vote away will only secure another term for Royce Pollard.

The challengers, Charlie Stemper and Tim Leavitt met with Pollard for a Vancouver Mayoral Forum, July 28, 2009.

The Clark County Republican party sponsored event may be seen at CVTV Video if you missed the July 30 airing.

Many view the candidates as pretty much the same, with Charlie Stemper not standing much of a chance. As much as I like some of Charlie’s ideas, he had trouble articulating his message Tuesday evening. Still, many have said there is little difference between Leavitt and Pollard. To that end, Tim left the following comment on Chief’s blog,

Well…as much as I have tried to enlighten with facts (including on Clarkblog with previous posts), it appears those efforts here have been fruitless, based on the remarks posted by Chief and Waterbuffalo. I thought Chief was paying more attention than most to the ongoings of the Vancouver City Council.

Factually INCORRECT is the statement that I voted in support of a city budget last December. That budget included hammering citizens and businesses with a 20% utility tax (mind, you…during an economic recession). Those that were paying attention recall my remarks as such during our deliberations, and that the City needed to tighten it’s belt. I voted in opposition to the utility tax increase, and in opposition to the budget.

I will remind you that several years back, I voted in opposition to the sales tax increase that the incumbent pushed for, again in my comments noting that taxing isn’t always the answer to budget problems.

Several years back I fought against an effort by the incumbent to re-implement a local Business & Occupation Tax. You may remember that your current mayor was part of a city council that agreed to do away with the local B&O some dozen years back, in order to get approval from the Vancouver Mall to annex into the City. (The County doesn’t have a local B&O…so why would businesses want to come into a city and pay more taxes?). Promise made, and attempted effort to break that promise. As you might imagine, the folks at Westfield and the hundreds of businesses in the mall area were quite upset with the current mayor for pushing for a re-institution of the local B&O…feeling (rightfully so) that they had been swindled. Here they agree to annex, city agrees to drop the B&O (in order to benefit from sales tax revenues…and be a larger city), but a decade later, the same Mayor attempts to put the tax in place again!?!

In any event, I know memories can be short. Thus my attempt to remind you, as well as rebut the baseless assertion that there is no difference between me and the current mayor.

On the bridge issue, I refuse to submit to the higher-ups that we must pay tolls to get a project. If you want to roll over to tolls, then you know who to vote for.

How about this for a fresh idea: Feds pay for the bridge and immediate interchange improvements — like they should for their asset — to the tune of about $1 billion. Feds pay for the LRT — as they said they would — to the tune of about $1 billion. The remaining five interchanges are built as the money becomes available from — imagine that! Pay as you go! You see, the purpose of tolls is to have a funding source to pay for bonds for financign the whole project financed and built now. How about we do away with the tolls, and build the remaining five interchanges as cash flow — from the feds, state and local — allows? Might be another decade before they are all reconstructed, but there would be no tolls. The claim is that the bridge and LRT is necessary for the economic prosperity for our children and grandchildren and businesses. Well, what if our children and grandchildren can’t even affort to live in Vancouver and Clark County? Then, what’s the point of having a shiny new bridge and LRT? We’re following the path of another nearby large city — running local and small businesses into the ground.

How about this for a fresh idea: The largest public works project in the Pacific Northwest — projected to put thousands to work for the next decade — is a poster child for a ‘stimulus’ project!!! Obama, please send a couple of billion our way, amongst the billions of $$$ going in all directions, for this poster-child stimulus project! That is the purpose of the letter.

If what you’d like to see for our future — more taxes, tolls, and loss of local businesses and jobs — well, keep the status quo.

My experience in our community for 29 years — as a product of the Vancouver School District, as a graduate of Clark College and Washington State University, as a neighborhood association chair, as the president of my homeowners association, as president of the local chapter of the American Society of Professional Engineers, as a Board Member of the Vancouver Rotary Club, as a Board Member and Chair of the CTRAN Board, as a Vancouver Planning Commissioner, as the Director of Civil Engineering Services for a local small company (managing staff, clients and projects), as a member of the Lower Columbia Fish Recovery Board (past), as a Clark College Alumni Association Board Member, as a member of the Pacific and Haagen Park Citizen Steering Committee, as a member of the joint County/City Infill Ordinance Steering Committee, as the first chair of the city’s Critical Areas Ordinance development Committee, as an alumni of the Leadership Clark County Program, and…well I guess as a city councilman for the past 6.5 years — tells me that we can do better at City Hall.

You might think I’m a novice…but then please do tell me then what other experience you deem necessary to be the Mayor of Vancouver.

I’m happy at anytime (as I’ve noted before) to answer questions you may have.


In all, I think Tim gave the best showing of him self Tuesday evening, neither displaying the arrogance of Mayor Pollard nor having trouble articulating his stance. Since I don’t live in the city, I won’t get to cast a vote for either nor will I endorse any that is up to those of you who live in the city.

But, I will remind you. Throwing away your vote out of exasperation or thinking there is no difference will just guarantee another term for Pollard.

You already know what Pollard stands for and if you desire more of the same, vote for him or throw your vote away.

On the other hand, if you feel Vancouver is ready for a change, vote accordingly and choose another Mayor.

The choice is yours to make. Make your vote count.

July 29, 2009

Mayoral Candidate Forum Video

by lewwaters

For those that may not be able to watch the CVTV airing of last nights Mayoral Candidate Forum on channel 23 Thursday, the video is now available.

Mayors Forum

July 28, 2009

Vancouver’s Mayoral Forum, July 28, 2009

by lewwaters


As scheduled, the Clark County Republican Party hosted a forum this evening featuring all 3 of Vancouver’s Mayor candidates, Incumbent Royce Pollard, Council member Tim Leavitt and challenger Charlie Stemper.

Over 30 questions were submitted to Party Chair, Ryan Hart. The full list of questions was submitted to all 3 candidates with each candidate allowed to choose 3 questions they favored.

Each then gave answers to 9 questions in all, 6 of which were favored by the other 2 candidates.

Questions ranged from the decaying condition of downtown to proposed tolls on bridges to pay for construction of a new I-5 bridge to include light rail.

Leavitt and Stemper both are opposed to tolls while Pollard advocates adding tolls of some amount. At one point, Mayor Pollard expressed that “tolls were the way of the future.”

I found Stemper and Leavitt both composed and respectful while Pollard performed his usual antics of shaking his head, rolling his eyes and other displays of disagreement when the other 2 spoke, particularly Charlie Stemper.

I find that a distasteful way for a sitting Mayor to act towards those running against him in an election.

It was worried that turn-out would be slight due to triple digit temperatures, but attendance exceeded 80 people who all sat through the forum listening to the candidates.

Members of both parties were in attendance to hear what they said and the Clark GOP made bottled water available to help with the heat.

Ryan Hart opened the forum with announcements of upcoming events, and then turned the forum over to the moderator panel consisting of Ann Donnelly, Karen Washabaugh and Camas attorney, Shawn McPherson.

CVTV was present taping the event, which is scheduled to air Thursday, July 30 at 4:45 PM on channel 23.

Be sure to tune in if you can or view afterwards and see how the candidates did.

Above all, be sure to vote in the August 18 Primary and again on November 3.

Our government is no better than those we vote in. Be an informed voter and know who or what you are voting for.

July 14, 2009

Clark County GOP to Host Mayoral Candidates Forum

by lewwaters

Ryan Hart, Chair of the Clark County Republican Party invites the public to a Mayoral Candidates Forum, July 28, 2009 to be held at the Clark Public Utilities office, 1220 Fort Vancouver Way, at 7 PM.

The forum will feature the three Vancouver Mayors candidates, incumbent Mayor Royce Pollard, Council Member Tim Leavitt and candidate Charlie Stemper.

The Vancouver Mayors position is a non-partisan position. Ryan Hart says, “There is a great amount of interest in the Vancouver mayoral race this year.”

Given the condition of the economy, proposed I-5 Bridge replacement, Light Rail and a proposed city budget deficit, Hart is correct as the next Mayor will have a formidable task as he maneuvers through the options available.

All three candidates have their supporters in the Republican Party, but the party is not planning on endorsing any.

Party members will submit a series of questions to the 3 candidates and each will be given time to reply.

The forum is open to the General Public and all are invited.

Now is your chance to have all 3 candidates seated together and see where they stand on issues of importance to Vancouver and to you.

Mark your calendars and please make every effort to attend.

Again, it will be held at the Clark Public Utilities office, 1220 Fort Vancouver Way at 7 PM.

July 13, 2009

Charlie Stemper – A Game Of Chance

by lewwaters

Received in email from Mayoral candidate, Charlie Stemper;

For the Overburdened Taxpayers of Vancouver Washington
July 13, 2009

A Game of Chance!

You probably noticed in yesterdays Columbian an article concerning the waterfront development. Some of the statements by my opponents especially in their poor judgment to spend 15 million dollars on a development that has no sign contract with the city. It is indicative of pass performances of these two leaders that beg the question, “If their judgment were so good in the past why do we have so many failed projects in the city of Vancouver.

A list would begin with the people’s Hilton. There was a campaign to deny the people a vote as to whether the hotel should be built with 73 million taxpayers’ dollars. The Mayor repeatedly said that once built downtown would be teaming with people 24/7. He and his Clone, Councilman Leavitt is apparently still OK with feeding the Hilton Hotel with almost two million a year. Since a vote was circumvented in this instance will the same tactics be used when the subject of light rail is presented?

The proposed Hockey Rink upon which hundreds of thousands of taxpayer dollars was spend studying the idea and was a gigantic public relations failure when incomplete documents were presented and proved to be false. City own downtown parking garages which are subsidized to the tune of $280,000 per year. Giving away publicly owned property with a no bid system in place because of back room deals.

Some statics on debt are as follows:
2009 total debt is a -214.3 million
1997 total debt is a -165.9 million
This is an increase of 48.4 million

Please look at all the mayoral candidate’s interviews at CVTV. You will see that my opponents won’t hesitate to increase your taxes, especially property taxes or any other “dedicated revenue tax stream” which equates to more taxes.

Leadership is when you listen and work for all the people, not just your friends who are contributing to you campaign. Burning questions are who will my opponents owe and who will they serve?

Other candidates or supporters are welcome to respond, if they desire.

July 7, 2009

Charlie Stemper says, “You Decide.”

by lewwaters

Received in email from candidate for Vancouver Mayor, Charlie Stemper,

For the Overburdened Taxpayers of Vancouver Washington
July 7, 2009
You Decide

In the July issue of the Arnada Neighborhood Association newsletter, Tim Leavitt, candidate for Mayor of Vancouver gave some interesting answers to questions asked. Tim is in my Opinion a reasonable Clone of Mayor Pollard who has over the past six years voted in Lockstep with Mayor Pollards Tax and Spend policies.

In reading the newsletter I found his responses consistent with the past and current wasteful spending of your hard earned tax dollars.

At one point, he recommended that if the neighbors were compassionate about issues they should work together to make their voices heard, especially Light Rail Alignment. I find it interesting he, as an ardent supporter of light rail, only mentioned light rail alignment. He did not offer advice to those who are anti-light rail. Which reminds me that at one of the neighborhood light rail forums he told us that local tax payer funds would not be needed to bring light rail to Vancouver, because the Feds had 750,000 dollars set aside for that project or words to that effect.

In response to a question concerning the loss of the Neighborhood Transportation Safety Alliance he mentioned that some of his priorities were traffic safety, sidewalks, pot hole repairs and neighborhood police officers. He went on to say the voters need to have the opportunity to vote parks and recreation, capital development and construction of fire stations. Although he noted that the city does not have the funds to support those projects, he responded in response to a question, how do we get funding to support these programs, INCREASE PROPERTY TAXES AND PRIORITIZING SERVICES.

There was no mention of eliminating wasteful spending such as the Hilton hotel, the Highway 14 Bridge to nowhere, the new downtown library parking garage, and 30 billion dollar Boise Cascade floodplain fiasco.

Answering a question regarding how business is done in Vancouver, behind closed doors, Leavitt said he did not disagree that business could be done differently, nor did he say he would, if elected, eliminate the backroom deals.

And last but not least, when asked where he would get the money to support programs such as the Fourth Plain Redevelopment, he responded with typical political double-speak, a dedicated revenue source, better known as more and higher taxes.

Having closely followed the mayor’s tax and spend polices over the past 16 years, Leavitt has learned well from his mentor over the past six years. If either he or the current mayor is elected it will be business as usual.

We can’t let that happen, that is why I urge you to vote for me Charlie Stemper to be you next mayor. Together we can make the changes that will return your city to you.

I urge all Vancouver residents to pay close attention to the Mayor’s race this time around. Listen closely to all 3 candidates.

There is an upcoming public forum featuring all 3 together, speaking their positions an ideas to improve Vancouver and the quality of life. I will post a more definite post on it as it becomes confirmed.

Mayor Pollard’s record speaks for itself, as does the condition of the city’s economy.

That leaves two candidates, Tim Leavitt and Charlie Stemper.

Vancouver is in serious economic woes, as are many communities. We are going to need a strong leader and someone willing to make hard choices to pull us out.

I urge you to listen to these candidates and vote accordingly.

June 25, 2009

Meet Charlie Stemper

by lewwaters

NOTE: The following is not an endorsement of Mr. Stemper at this time. I post this to let readers know he is running for Mayor of Vancouver and how they may contact him to find out more about him.

Meet Charlie Stemper

Who is Charlie Stemper? First and Foremost, I am not a Power Hungry Career Politician. I am like you a Concerned Citizen who would like to return to you, the people of Vancouver, a voice in how our city is run. I also want all citizens to have a voice in how and why taxes levied and how and why they are spent.

I grew up in Chicago, Illinois. Although the draft had ended, I did, upon graduating from high school join the United States Army because I felt obligated to serve my country. After completing my tour of duty where I specialized in financing, I was employed by United Airlines where I began a 35-year career in United’s Customer Services Department. In the late ‘60’s United Air Lines transferred me to San Francisco. While in the San Francisco area and employed by United Airlines, I decided to further my education. In my off duty hours I attended San Mateo Community College and San Jose State. Rising through the Ranks of United Airlines Customer Service Department, I was in 1989 transferred to United’s Hub in Portland, Oregon where I served as Customer Service Director. I retired from United Airlines 1997.

Upon arriving in the beautiful Pacific Northwest my wife, Donna and I settled in Vancouver where I became active a community member. Currently I am the president of the Marion Neighborhood Association, President of the United Airlines Retirees (Portland/Vancouver Chapter) and an active member and officer of the Knights of Columbus of the Holy Redeemer Parish in Vancouver. I have served on the Mill Plain Safety Corridor Steering Committee, helped host Neighborhood Associations’ Light Rail Forums, and frequently testify at the Library Board of Trustees, Park and Recreation Committee and Vancouver City Council Meetings.

Why am I running for Mayor? I am concerned that many of Vancouver’s Citizens are, at the expense of Downtown Redevelopment being taxed out of their homes. To correct this injustice I will when elected work hard to:

· End the expensive current City Council “Portland Envy Syndrome”,
· Eliminate negotiated contracting and return to the open bid process,
· Put a stop to Smoke Filled Backroom deals that “gives away”, to developers, publicly owned property.
· Use some of your hard earned tax dollars to maintain and develop neglecting areas of the city that are outside the “Down Town” area.
· Reduce taxes
· Prioritize Spending and Balance the Budget.

“To achieve our goals and objectives I will need your vote and financial support”

· Please Contact me with your questions, issues and concerns
· I am available to speak to you, your group or organization
Contact me at

360 823 9202 or