Letters to the Editor for April 2, 2013

Washougal should stay neutral on CRC

As a concerned citizen of Washougal, I am opposed to have my city create any kind of a resolution, pro or con, concerning the CRC project. This is a collaborative project that is 11 years in the making, legislatively it concerns the state of Oregon and the state of Washington and our federal government.

The project’s future, at this very moment, lies with the State of Washington legislation. Within a short time, possibly 30 days, the fate of this important project will be known with the state either passing or rejecting the current CRC funding package. The rejection will mark the end of the CRC project and for any bridge project for many years to come due to the lack of further federal support and the lack of any sponsor to try again.

For the relatively small city of Washougal to create and forward an unsolicited and legislatively non-binding resolution is not only wrong, it is a waste of Washougal’s meager financial resources and energies. I see no gain in this for Washougal and only possible severe downside repercussions.

1 - This is not a city of Washougal project. This is a State of Washington project.

2 - The city has not been solicited to give its opinion by the state.

3 - No city, in any state, has been asked to give its opinion to the state.

4 - The city does not have the jurisdiction to issue any comment upon this collaborative state project.

5 - The following communities have either said they are not going to take a position on this project or have decided to stay neutral (and I believe this is wise): Camas, Battle Ground, Ridgefield, La Center, Woodland, Kalama, Longview.

6 - Washougal’s personal opinion can have no legislative effect on this project.

7- The 18th District’s three legislative representatives, Sen. Rivers, Rep. Vick and Rep. Pike, have already stated in print they are not for the CRC project. They do not need to be reminded by Washougal where they stand on this issue.

8 - Washougal is in desperate need for more business to our community.

9 - The business community is overwhelmingly in support of this project.

10 - Our ports are for a new bridge: The Port of C-W, Kalama, Longview, Vancouver, Woodland.

11 - Labor is in support.

12 - Washougal has joined in with Camas and the Port to create CWEDA, to help locate and bring business to our city. Why would the city on one hand spend money to support business recruitment, but on the other hand issue a resolution clearly against what business truly wants?

13 - Washougal has been making many inroads to work along side with its neighbor Camas. I have seen this with the recent successful merger of fire services, CWEDA, the cooperation between police departments, the camaraderie between the mayors, etc.

Washougal has made it known that it wants to be a good and supportive business partner with Camas and all of East Clark County.

Why then, would Washougal now create such a resolution, which would fly in the face of this new-found cooperation? What could Washougal gain?

More to the point — what could Washougal lose?

I am 100 percent in favor of every single citizen contacting their state representatives and making known their wants on this project. This is what our local representatives are for.

But what is not the correct path to take is to have the small city of Washougal, being pressured by outside interests, push forward a resolution to the State of Washington.

Washougal City Council, do not create any non-binding and unsolicited resolution against the CRC project. It is not necessary, can legislatively do nothing, and has the real potential of doing harm to the city I cherish.

Washougal — just stay neutral.

Mike Briggs, Washougal