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Thursday, December 7, 2023
Dec. 7, 2023

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County to sue C-Tran over board composition meeting

Action aimed at halting changes to agency's board

By , Columbian Transportation & Environment Reporter

Clark County commissioners on Wednesday voted to seek a court injunction against C-Tran, alleging the agency didn’t properly give notice of a November committee meeting that rearranged the C-Tran board’s membership.

The commissioners’ action aims to halt the changes to the transit agency board, which cost Clark County one of its three seats at the table. The new board is expected to be seated in January.

The commissioners claim C-Tran didn’t give the required 20 days’ notice before the Nov. 18 meeting. But according to email received by The Columbian, C-Tran publicized the time, date and location of the meeting on Oct. 8, more than a month in advance. The announcement went to all C-Tran board members, The Columbian, The Reflector, the Vancouver Business Journal and others. An official legal notice for the meeting was published in The Columbian — C-Tran’s newspaper of record — on Oct. 15.

In a post on his Facebook page, Republican Clark County Commissioner David Madore also argued that C-Tran didn’t give enough notice on its website. However, the meeting was added to an online calendar more than a month ahead of time, and an agenda was posted the week before. Madore contended the earlier notices should have included the “business to be transacted” at the meeting, but did not.

Madore said notice of the meeting should be given again and it should be held again.

“This time, County Commissioner Jeanne Stewart can vote to support Clark County,” he wrote.

During the Nov. 18 meeting, Madore had asked that a decision be delayed so the newly elected Stewart, a Republican, could participate. Instead, interim Commissioner Ed Barnes, a Democrat, joined the majority in approving the new board composition by a 7-3 vote.

Madore, Stewart and Republican Commissioner Tom Mielke all voted to file the injunction against C-Tran during Wednesday’s board time meeting.

“Got to follow process,” Madore said after the vote. “It’s our friend.”

The county hadn’t yet filed the injunction late Thursday afternoon. C-Tran spokesman Jim Quintana said his agency hadn’t been served with the court challenge.

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