Letters to the Editor for Aug. 24, 2017

Where is the parking?

We need more parking at our new waterfront development at terminal 1 and its surrounding properties (at the Port of Vancouver).

I encourage the city (of Vancouver) and Gramor to consider increasing parking by 100 percent of what their current plans call for.

I propose a safety corridor on the south side and north side of the BNSF rail going through downtown by building 2 parking structures adjacent to the rail line.

This solves two critical and crucial safety issues for our downtown Vancouver, parking for those who want to visit downtown and the new waterfront and providing a safe buffer zone for cars traveling on the rail.

The city of Vancouver and the Port of Vancouver should be partnering and working with contractors who want to support safety in our community and convenient parking for travelers who will frequent such a wonderful waterfront community.

Kudos to Vesta for incorporating almost 160 new parking spaces in their hotel! The Port of Vancouver Commissioners approved their lease, which will help simplify the parking needs of our community and those seeking to visit Vancouver, which is becoming a destination city.

I know there are discussions going on, and I understand there are plans for 800 parking spots in addition to the 160 Vesta plans to build — it’s not enough!

When I become commissioner at the Port of Vancouver, I will continue to work with our city planners to develop broad-based plans to improve safety and convenience for those visiting our vibrant city; our residents who want to experience a waterfront in our hometown; and all of the folks who build the infrastructures that are crucial to our community’s future successes.

Kris L. Greene, Vancouver

To the baseball umpires

At last the baseball games are almost over and the kids, coaches, parents and family members have had their closing barbecues and parties for the season.

Never noticed the Umps celebrating at the local pizza parlors or ice-cream shops.

Just wanted them to all know that they are appreciated for the time that they spend on those hot and sometimes rainy days.

Sometimes, it is hard to find a base ump who is willing to stand out on the field and call a player out or safe, but they do and they should be thanked for making the time to help out.

So, a big thanks to anyone who is willing to call out balls and strikes, and if you are safe or out.

From a former player, coach, parent and now grandparent.

Thank you, and have a great rest of summer — ’til next season.

Ernie Suggs, Washougal

Time to bring informed leadership back to Washougal

The future of Washougal will depend on the upcoming vote this fall for Mayor and City Council Position No. 6.

Let’s compare the candidates for mayor:

Dan Coursey: Conservative. Prior to winning the council race in 2015 against Molly Coston, he regularly attended council meetings, gaining information on the inner workings of policies introduced by the Mayor. All of his votes since becoming a councilor have been to improve Washougal’s future. Dan Coursey’s background and voting record have prepared him to be Mayor and when elected, the budgets he will present to council will be understandable and transparent so any citizen will be able to see where their money is spent.

For more information about Dan Coursey’s plans for our future check out his website at www.dancoursey.net.

Molly Coston: Liberal. Prior to, and since her defeat in the last election, seldom seen at council meetings.

Coston’s questionable voting record during her six and a half years as a councilor include;

1. Voted yes prior to 2010 for two roundabouts on Highway 14 even though the statistics used by the former Mayor Sellers (2006-2009) were fabricated, even to the degree of outright lying. (Proven to Council in 2011 with correct statistics provided by WSDOT.) The correct statistics did not justify any traffic control changes. Council in 2011 voted the two roundabouts out of the transportation plan by a 4-to-3 vote. Coston again voted for keeping them in the plan, disregarding the factual information from WSDOT.

2. Voted yes to Mayor Guard’s agenda item in 2011 to create a new full time position for an aide to the city administrator paying over $50.000 per year including benefits. During council deliberations Councilor Morris asked the mayor about the 2012 financing for the position. The mayor replied, “It’s in the budget.” Very strange, because the mayor’s budget apparently had not yet been given to the council. Coston stated: “I have reservations about this,” but still voted yes, resulting in a tie vote of 3 to 3. Our RINO (Republican in name only) mayor, Guard, then voted yes to break the tie and get his full-time aide. This single, full-time $50,000 position resulted in eliminating one of the two police vacancies created in 2011, causing, for a period of four years, one less officer on staff than in 2010 and 2011. Was the salary for the necessary additional officer used for the mayor’s administrative aide?

Could this have been one of Coston’s unspoken reservations? It could be surmised that Coston thought the mayor needed an assistant more than the citizens needed a full police staff to provide citizen safety. Other votes by Councilor Coston were: Yes to reduce “E” Street to two lanes and yes on all proposed traffic roundabouts. Also, yes to the extension of the south sidewalk of “E” Street, from Sixth Street to the Highway Fuel car wash. I believe the tax dollars spent on this sidewalk could have been better spent on more important needs of the city.

It’s time to bring reasonable, informed and qualified leadership back to Washougal. Join me in voting for Dan Coursey as Washougal’s mayor and Julie Russell for City Council Position No. 6. Both will bring the same values to the city that Washougal was founded on.

Harvey D. Olson, Washougal