July 16, 2012
How many times have we heard that one person can’t make a difference? Or, you can’t fight City Hall? Even when it comes to voting, many feel their one lone vote will not make any difference in an election and opt not to vote at all.
The non-actions of the complacent within our country and community is why we now have the lousy government we have and why nothing it getting done, far too many just throwing their hands up and letting whoever sits in office do as they please.
I’m here to tell you that the notion of one lone voice not making a difference is very wrong. One voice is making a big difference out in Battle Ground, Washington. It’s not a major policy shift or anything that will ever make National News, but is an excellent example of how one voice is making a big difference in Battle Ground.
A little over two months ago, a young Democrat and former candidate that I once opposed for office and who I now consider a friend, approached me to ask about an idea he had. It seems a road that sees quite a bit of traffic through neighborhoods has been in disrepair and through several years, nothing was done.
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January 4, 2012
Battle Ground citizens woke up today to news that the city has gained a new mayor, the first female mayor ever appointed by city council, Lisa Walters, who has served as a city council member since 2001. Lisa replaces Michael Ciraulo as mayor who stepped down as mayor due to an increasing workload in his day job position as division chief for Clark County Fire and Rescue, but will remain on the city council.
Ms. Walters had the support of the other council members going into the Tuesday council meeting, her appointment all but guaranteed with the final vote being unanimous.
Lisa was reelected to the Battle Ground city council over challenger Michael Dalesandro by a 53.23% to a 46.45% margin. At the time she was coming under fire from other council members for her standing against the mayor on occasion. She didn’t actively campaign and when asked by Clark County Conservative for information supportive of her reelection bid replied, “I do not have any flashy campaign info,” and “I have elected to not seek support from any group.”
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November 29, 2011
In a move that seemed to surprise many this afternoon, Clark County Commissioner Marc Boldt sided with Commissioner Tom Mielke in not supporting slapping a 5% admissions tax on county entertainment venues to pay a significant portion of a proposed new stadium.
Boldt had previously indicated support for this project and the tax, but today stated he simply could not support it due to concerns of whether or not the Vancouver City Council would also sign on to it.
In a lengthy public hearing this morning and into the afternoon, citizens were pretty evenly divided over support and opposition, much support coming from members of Identity Clark County, The Greater Vancouver Chamber of Commerce, the Columbia River Economic Development Council and the Downtown Vancouver Association as well as a few private citizens. Nearly all opposition was expressed by private citizens who would be left on the hook for this stadium, should it turn into a white elephant as did the Amphitheater, the Hilton and a golf course in North County.
Seeing Identity Clark County and many others with high hopes of reaping personal side benefits from construction of a stadium with taxpayers taking the risks is not unexpected. We see much of that with Identity Clark County and their “vision” for our community, often leaving us, the struggling middle class out of the loop, but holding the bag.
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November 6, 2011
Like many other people, I am one who doesn’t appreciate being manipulated, not by anybody, especially government or agencies set up and maintained by government. What with the recent release of an independent audit of C-Tran Finances pertaining to Proposition 1, another demand for more tax dollars and copied emails between the auditor and certain elected officials in Clark County, all I see is pure manipulation on the part of C-Tran Board of Directors.
We’ve seen the article in the Columbian here of forensic auditor Tiffany Couch’s independent audit that leans heavily on C-Tran’s refuting her work and the Columbians refusal to post Ms. Couch’s point by point rebuttal of their assertions here, but the email exchange between Ms. Couch and County Commissioner Steve Stuart is a real eye opener.
Beyond the Columbians efforts to discredit her analysis due to her being hired by David Madore to independently audit CRC finances to see where over $140 Million of our tax dollars has gone, a task completely separate of C-Tran finances, commissioner Stuart, who ran for reelection with the promise of we would be given a vote this year on light rail operations and maintenance that he promptly joined others in preventing after winning, comes across as accusatory towards Ms. Couch and her analysis.
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November 4, 2011
As we know, Forensic Auditor Tiffany Couch issued an analysis recently critical of C-Tran finances and their claims of needing more revenue they seek in Proposition 1. It goes without saying that the Columbian, our local mouthpiece for any pro-Democrat, pro-CRC, pro-Light Rail or pro-C-Tran measure would do what they could to discredit it, which they did in their hit piece, Analysis questions C-Tran’s financial claims; agency fires back
Included in the article is C-Tran’s critical response here, in essence labeling her a liar while the article itself seeks to taint her work due to her being separately hired by local businessman and the Columbian’s ‘boogieman’ David Madore to perform a Forensic Analysis of the Columbia River Crossing, a completely separate agency.
Ms Couch’s report is here
Tiffany Couch has now issued a rebuttal to the C-Tran claims of her not using complete numbers, numbers they provided to her and their effort to label her work incomplete that you can read here
Rebuttal of C-Tran claims:
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October 19, 2011
The local newspaper, the Columbian, better known to locals as “the mouthpiece of the Democratic Party” once again puts their leftwing bias on open display for all to see.
We saw it just days as as they published 10 favorable articles on the local “Occupy anything but a bar of soap” rally at Esther Short Park Saturday, with 3 0r 4 personnel apparently assigned to cover it, including editor Lou Brancaccio, credited for some of the photos taken of the event.
That the April 17, 2010 Tea Party Tax Day event did not merit a single mention in the mouthpiece, even though it drew nearly twice as many participants is overshadowed by Brancaccio’s claim of “we have ‘mentioned’ Tea Party over 800 times.”
I’ll leave it to the reader to imagine whether or not “over 800 times” is a gross exaggeration or how favorable any of those mentions might have been.
Now we see one of the understudies for John Laird, the acerbic political page editor who sees citizens who disagree with having light rail shoved down our throats as “Ankle Biting Hounds from Whinerville” taking yet another shot at the right with the Andrea Damewood piece, How ‘Republican’ are nonpartisan local candidates? They ask, should it matter?
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September 28, 2011
The following Press Release was received today from incumbent Battle Ground City Council Member, Paul Zandamela:
DISCLAIMER: Clark County Conservative neither supports or opposes this candidate. This page is presented for your information only.
Click on image for larger view
Visit Zandamela.com for more information
September 27, 2011
I find it ironic reading many comments in Columbian articles disparaging Vancouver Businessman David Madore for donating funds to some candidates in the Battle Ground city council race. Some seem to think Mr. Madore’s constitutional rights end at the city limits of Battle Ground and do not apply there.
I know there is a bit of contention in this race on both sides. As in all races, even non-partisan positions such as city council, some support incumbents and some want to see changes. Some supporters don’t even live in Battle Ground, which seems to be the main sticking point when it comes to Madore.
He is accused of trying to buy influence by donating the maximum amount he is entitled to by law. As a successful businessman, he can afford it and last I heard has the right to donate to any candidate he desires, just as the rest of us do.
So far, only one candidate in the Battle Ground council race has made all of his donations public, Adrian Cortes. He is the only one not to have filed “mini report” with the Public Disclosure Commission and all of his donations and expenditures are available to the public.
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September 16, 2011
Battle Ground, Washington continues to grow and along with that growth comes controversial elections and candidates. Even though Battle Ground still retains some of that small town flavor, controversies and questionable acts by candidates becomes public knowledge.
Three seats are in play this election and two of them seem to be plagued with controversy.
Shane Bowman is again trying to win a seat on the Battle Ground city council. He filed to run against Phil Haberthur for position 2. In 2009 he lost to incumbent Bill Ganley by over 9%.
I’ve never met Shane and have only met Phil once briefly at a council meeting. Phil has an informative campaign website here and seems to have a pretty decent record on council. He also received the honor of delivering the State of the City Address in Mayor Ciraulo’s absence this year and by all accounts, filled in very well.
I’ve never met Shane Bowman and cannot find a webpage for his campaign. In fact, strangely enough I find very little on him anywhere, considering this is at least his second run for city council in Battle Ground. I find only mentions in the Columbian of him filing for another run, advancing to the general and scheduled to attend a recent campaign function for Battle Ground city council member Paul Zandamela who is also the subject of more controversy.
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June 21, 2011
After the attack of 9 year-old boy by unlicensed pit bulls, many in Vancouver have called for a complete ban on pit bulls, joining in with the hysteria once seen directed towards other breeds such as Doberman Pinschers, German Shepherds and others.
The subject came up in the June 20, 2011 city council meeting with one council member adamant about holding a “discussion” on such a ban.
As shown here, while there is a call for banning certain breeds of dogs, many are coddling wild predators known for even more vicious attacks
May 1, 2011
I recall the day I enlisted in the U.S. Army, February 6, 1969. It was a sunshiny day in South Florida, like most are. I had my sister and her soon to be husband drop me off at the AFEES (Armed Forces Entrance and Examining Station) in Coral Gables, Florida. There we went through our final physical, processing all day long and late in the day, rode over to Miami International Airport to board a plane to fly us up to Columbia, South Caroline for Basic Training at Ft. Jackson.
Nothing special, no crowds either from anti-war people or supporters, just a business as usual day from most everybody, except that plane load of young men entering the Army.
Fast forward to April 30, 2011.
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December 20, 2010
The Battle Ground City Council met this evening, December 20, 2010 to hear allegations of ethics violations brought against fellow council member Paul Zandamela by council member Lisa Walters.
As was outlined in a November 17 Columbian article, Zandamela was “accused of violating two sections of the city’s ethics ordinance, which was unanimously adopted by the council Aug. 16. The first allegation is Zandamela provided false information to the city council, leading the members to make decisions based on non-factual information. The second allegation is Zandamela tried to influence administrative decisions, which are to be made by the city manager.”
At tonight’s proceedings, Mr. Zandamela exercised his right to an attorney for the proceedings to argue his defense, which ended up turning the scheduled one hour meeting into just over 2 hours. The attorney presented a very effective defense, at times reminding me of older black & white episodes of Perry Mason. But still, his attorney, Jeff Lindberg, gave a very effective defense, focusing often on just what was the status of meetings Zandamela was alleged to have made the statements claimed he made.
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