Vancouver council chides mayor xx

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Portland flexes muscle in I-5 bridge debate

o What: The Vancouver City Council will have a workshop on the proposed Interstate 5 bridge construction process.

o When: 3 p.m. Monday.

o Where: Council Chambers, City Hall, 210 E. 13th St.

Tim Leavitt may have been the one to send a letter, but Vancouver City Council members had their own message to send Monday night: They want their say on any action he takes regarding the Columbia River Crossing.

The five members of the council called Leavitt out, saying he blindsided them by mailing a letter last week — signed jointly with Portland Mayor Sam Adams, Metro Council President David Bragdon and Clark County Commissioner Steve Stuart — that outlined concerns the four local leaders have over the proposed Interstate 5 bridge replacement construction process.

Councilor Pat Campbell waited until the end of the meeting to chastise Leavitt.

Portland flexes muscle in I-5 bridge debate

“If we’re going to enter into new agreements, it has to be with the consensus of the council,” he said.

Campbell and Councilor Jeanne Stewart both wrote e-mails to the mayor and council following news of the letter, expressing their dismay at not being consulted before Leavitt put pen to paper.

“We need to assess the impact of that letter and what it means to the process of the Columbia River Crossing,” Stewart said, adding that she wanted to make sure it was written “in our best interests on our side of the river.”

Leavitt said Monday that he felt the letter does represent the needs of Vancouver.

“There’s no change in policy from before,” he said.

o What: The Vancouver City Council will have a workshop on the proposed Interstate 5 bridge construction process.

o When: 3 p.m. Monday.

o Where: Council Chambers, City Hall, 210 E. 13th St.

Still, the council directed City Manager Pat McDonnell to schedule a workshop to discuss the crossing — and the letter — for next week.

Leavitt said Tuesday that for the council to find out about the letter’s existence through the newspapers was “a mea culpa there,” but added the document came together so quickly he did not have time to speak with them.

The letter called for performance targets on design of the bridge and traffic management; a financing plan that protects “local taxpayers and road users”; protection of businesses and neighborhoods on Hayden Island; and independent evaluations, funded by the states, to evaluate a wide range of effects the bridge could have.

“I’ll be looking for specifics of (the council’s) concerns,” about the letter, Leavitt said, standing behind his actions. “Otherwise, we’ll have to evaluate the motives behind some of the concerns expressed.”