All along, as your U.S. representative, I’ve said I would take my marching orders from the citizens on how to proceed with the Columbia River Crossing project.
Voters were finally given a chance to be heard on light rail with C-Tran’s Proposition 1, which failed by a wide margin. Consequently, I joined with other elected officials in calling for the CRC to change direction.
In response, Rep. Jim Moeller spoke of “more powerful voices” who “want this project to go through.” (Vancouver) Mayor (Tim)Leavitt characterized our statement as “thumbing their nose at the public.” As an elected official, I don’t consider anyone’s voice more powerful than those of the people I represent — not other Congressmen, corporate CEOs, or anyone else.
And I don’t agree that taking action based on a vote of more than 137,000 Clark County residents is in any way disrespecting the public.
The project’s incomplete Environmental Impact Statement may require a new public process anyway — even if the CRC chooses to keep the exact same design. It’s time to depart from seven years of “top-down” management of the CRC. The most powerful voices in this project ought to be the voters — and they have indicated they want a new direction.
Jaime Herrera Butler