Posted by Jonathan Maus ( Publisher/Editor ) on December 2nd, 2009 at 11:24 am
(Photo © J. Maus)
[Note from publisher: After commenters brought it to my attention, I realized my initial headline for this story “Leavitt flip-flops…says he’d be OK with CRC tolls” was not an accurate characterization of the situation. I’ve edited the headline and the story to better reflect Leavitt’s position. — Jonathan Maus]
Vancouver Mayor Tim Leavitt, who based his successful campaign against incumbent Royce Pollard on being vociferously opposed to tolling the new I-5 bridge, has now laid out a tolling plan.
Here’s a snip from an editorial published in The Columbian this morning:
The apparent evolution of Vancouver Mayor-elect Tim Leavitt’s bridge toll policy has all the earmarks of political expediency.
On July 13, Leavitt told the local council of the League of United Latin American Citizens, shortly before winning its endorsement: “No tolls, absolutely not. Tolls simply have too much of an impact.”
Two days later, when pressed repeatedly for an answer at a meeting with The Columbian’s editorial board, Leavitt said he would accept tolls as a last resort for funding a new Interstate 5 Bridge…
On Friday, less than a month after winning the mayoral election with a vigorous anti-toll campaigning strategy, Leavitt presented a tolling plan…
Everyone has understood for a long time that tolls were imperative for the Columbia River Crossing (CRC) project to happen. Former Mayor Royce Pollard supported them and Leavitt made it clear in his election campaign that he did not. This difference of opinion made the CRC toll issue a pivotal component of the recent campaign.
Ironically, many people opposed to the CRC project were happy with Leavitt’s strong anti-toll stance because they understood it would make progress on the project even tougher than it already is. Even with Leavitt’s new tolling plan, the project is far from regaining the momentum it needs.
Leavitt is on the CRC’s Project Sponsor’s Council which meets Friday in downtown Portland.