Washougal council votes on C-Tran board issue

Composition board could decide Sept. 10

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Washougal wants to level the playing field when it comes to the composition of the C-Tran board.

With a unanimous vote Monday, Washougal councilmembers opted for a proposal that would give Vancouver and Clark County two votes, take away their bloc veto, and give one vote each to Camas, Washougal and Battle Ground. La Center and Yacolt would share a seat.

Councilman Brent Boger did not vote, citing a possible conflict of interest because he’s an attorney for the city of Vancouver.

Right now, the C-Tran board has nine voting members: three Vancouver City Council representatives, three Clark County commissioners, and three seats shared in pairs by Camas/Washougal, La Center/Ridgefield and Battle Ground/Yacolt. The board also includes a nonvoting labor representative.

A big sticking point was the bloc veto, which councilmembers consider unfair to small cities.

“Frankly, if the bloc veto is retained, any other changes are meaningless,” Washougal Councilman David Shoemaker said. “We go wherever Vancouver and Clark County want us to go.”

Last week, Camas City Council supported a different plan.

Councilmembers there supported giving three seats to Vancouver, two to Clark County, and separate seats to Washougal, Camas and Battle Ground. The bloc veto would also go away. Yacolt, Ridgefield and La Center would share a seat.

The C-Tran board will re-address its composition during the second week of September.