"Burlington, Vermont is dirty," broadcasted Royce Pollard of his hometown.
I didn't like it when he talked about my hometown, Vancouver, Washington in that way...especially since he is the Mayor of it!
Pollard had to move here in 1985 because he was assigned to by the military. "It was a dump," he said about when he laid eyes on it, "dirt in the streets...filled with transients." He said, "If you don't think it was a dump, you look through dark glasses."
Pollard indicated in a recent mayoral debate that in order for any city to be good enough for him to like it that it needed to have a library, park, schools, "services" and be "friendly." We may assume that "services" means "firemen", as they are the sole union supporting his re-election campaign in 2009. We may have other definitions of "friendly."
Regardless of the past of the city, Mayor Pollard wants to bring Oregon's TriMet into Washington State. He fought to rid downtown of C-Tran's 7th Street Transit Center and the "bums" he said that congregated there because of it. However, he is fighting now to bring the Yellow Line Max straight through Main Street.
The C-Tran drivers have the same union as the TriMet ones. C-Tran drivers had been promised the new Vancouver train positions until recently. Now, TriMet will be exclusive.
When the local newspaper, the Columbian, asked the mayor about the rumors of his wanting to eliminate C-Tran entirely and start his own city bus system for downtown, he didn't say no.
Until the Vancouver Mall opened, there were jobs and shopping opportunities galore in both Downtown Vancouver and over the bridge at Jantzen Beach Mall. JC Penney's at Evergreen Street closed in 1981, leaving only the 88 Cents Store and a couple other small businesses to struggle on for the next decade.
If a great leader would get one major business to return to downtown, like Nordstrom's, perhaps it could revitalize that area's economy. Although the weekends have a growing farmer's market near Esther Short Park, a New Seasons grocery store would help a lot.
Right now, however, Mayor Royce Pollard has allowed and promoted paying events to completely fence-off Esther Short Park, keeping the taxpaying citizens from enjoying any portion of the park that they paid to restore.
For the record, Vancouver, Washington has NEVER been "a dump." I resent that. Vancouverites and citizens of Burlington, Vermont should demand an apology before the primary. Perhaps a vote for City of Vancouver Councilman Tim Leavitt would also do the trick?