"One River. One City. One Future" is the vision expressed by Vancouver Mayor Tim Leavitt and the city council recently in the State of the City address. It presented ambitious downtown waterfront projects, accompanied by two idyllic photos of the waterfront near the Interstate Bridge. There is scant attention to the behemoth bridge that will obliterate that beautiful waterfront; six years of construction tearing up access to downtown's struggling small businesses; land lost to a bigger freeway; light rail. Why?
The council is proud of the small increase in the city's share of local property taxes over the last 10 years. Future plans will require asking for tax increases. Voters might respond positively, but huge increases in gas taxes, vehicle licensing fees, and highway tolls required to pay for the Columbia River Crossing for the next 30 years will hurt. The council members have their collective heads in the sand if they cannot see the true threat that the CRC poses to their plans for Vancouver's future. They, and our Democratic state legislators, should withdraw their support for the CRC now, while there is still time to save the vision of Vancouver's future so hopefully touted.