Sunday night Representative Liz Pike, 18th LD called for protest at the next C-Tran meeting. A statement from her Facebook page follows:
"Join like minded citizens for a massive protest at the next C-Tran board meeting - one hour prior!
Last week was a terrible time for citizens in Southwest Washington who rightfully want to have a say in their government.
First, our own State Attorney General releases a letter to the U.S. Coast Guard giving support for Oregon to proceed with the flawed bi-state Columbia River Crossing (CRC) project absent of any legislative authority from our State. Then the Coast Guard capitulates under pressure from special interest groups to approve a substandard permit that will cost taxpayers $86 million in mitigation costs while violating its own navigational standards to severely impact current and future river commerce. Finally, to make matters worse, local officials ignore the will of the people by rushing into an ill-conceived agreement that marries our local C-Tran transit agency with financially beleaguered Tri-Met to operate a prohibitively expensive light rail extension between Portland and Clark College.
While I am disappointed by Washington State Attorney General Ferguson and Admiral Papp for their misguided actions, I strongly condemn the resolution approved by five members of the C-Tran Board of Directors. At an emergency meeting held on September 26th in a 5-4 vote, Clark County Commissioner Stuart, Vancouver Mayor Leavitt, City Council Members Hansen and Smith and Ridgefield Mayor Onslow approved a flimsy proposal that includes financial gaps and unidentified funding sources to pay for this light rail boondoggle. Without disclosing important contractual details, these board members put Clark County tax dollars in financial peril and at great risk.
In more egregious moves, C-Tran lawyers executed the agreement without any opportunity for C-Tran Board members to make amendments. The hastily signed contract requires C-Tran to pay Tri-Met millions of dollars in damages if C-Tran fails to support everything specified in the agreement and even worse, C-Tran cedes eminent domain authority to condemn and transfer all properties demanded by Tri-Met. How can a local transit authority give away the sovereign rights of one state to another? From where do they gather this authority? Further, these reckless Clark County officials granted Tri-Met the right to unlimited breach of contract penalties against C-Tran and its taxpayers.
This rogue behavior by five C-Tran board members violated several tenants of C-Tran bylaws and written policy. Most notably, C-Tran rushed ahead to enter into a light rail agreement without a vote of the citizens of Clark County and violated bylaws by taking action even though board members representing four cities voted against the faulty plan.
It is actions such as these that foster a deep contempt for special interest politicians and corrupt bureaucrats. It is no wonder so many of our citizens are unplugged and tuned out of local, state and national politics. I have never before in my life lost so
much faith in those who have sworn to uphold the law and protect the rights of the citizens they serve."
The next scheduled meeting is October 8th.