Letter: Advisers may serve up mayor’s view

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Is Mayor Tim Leavitt’s light rail operating cost advisory group really “open to the public”? A Dec. 4 Columbian story reported “Scandal: Leavitt meets with advisers.” How many times will it have met before the Dec. 9 C-Tran retreat? How many meetings are scheduled after the retreat? What is the name of the advisory group, and what are the times and locations of its meetings? The whole thing smells of unethical.

I think City Councilor Jeanne Stewart’s concern “about what she felt was a lack of public notice and process for this group” is right on target. The responses of other city council members, including the mayor, appear to be extremely self-serving.

Having said that, I’m not surprised to hear that Leavitt and the C-Tran board are looking for alternatives to letting us vote on a C-Tran tax to support light-rail operation.

When the possibility of a vote was reported in The Columbian several months ago, C-Tran representatives stated that, should a vote fail, they would just find other sources to pay for light-rail operation. I don’t believe the source has ever been in doubt (it’s our pockets), only the name they use to take it from us.

Perhaps an admissions tax would work?

Russell Williams

Vancouver