Voters thought they'd chosen a champion of the people, a guy who would be in their corner, somebody who wouldn't compromise.
But before you can say "Gavel Down!" Leavitt had gone native and proclaimed getting rid of tolls would be too hard.
(See Mayor Leavitt's latest installment below the jump)
His change of position gave rise to the NOTOLLS.COM group, lead by businessman, David Madore, who said of Leavitt's change of position at the time,
“He’s out of the closet, or should I say, out of the toll booth. He was elected on a no-tolls platform and he reversed his position as soon as he was elected.”
With that background I give you today's installment of Leavitt's take on the CRC and tolling. My first exclusive from the Vancouver Mayor came yesterday (find it here). Today the Mayor has given his unvarnished take on tolling and his first sentence will prove to be a laugher to anyone who has been following the story. His comments have not been edited for content.
Tomorrow: Leavitt says tolling won't change if the bridge is altered.Memories are short....I understand that. But it was way back in 2010 when I made it clear that if tolling was the only viable means to cover the local-local* share of the CRC project, then fairness and equity for our commuters must be considered.
For example, I spoke of (and continue to advocate for) discounts for regular commuters, caps on total paid in tolls per day (e.g., for businesses such as couriers and others that cross many times per day), consideration for low-income where use of public transit is simply not an option, as well as analysis of capturing Oregon commuters in the corridor that don't cross the bridge. I'm pleased that the County Commissioners have recently sent a letter to the WA Transportation Commission re-affirming many of those conversations that we had two years ago.
*I say "local-local" share because, technically, any funding not federal is considered "local". That means that the states contributions to the project are also considered "local". So, "local-local" means to refer to that share coming direct out of the pockets of residents of our region -- or at least partially out of residents of our region.