Vancouver Mayoral Race: Debates Begin
October 3, 2013, 1:38 am
In a debate at Clark College current Mayor Tim Leavitt and Bill Turlay began taking on the issues facing Vancouver residents.
The Columbia River Crossing dominated the debate. The candidates couldn't get away from the issue unless John McDonagh, publisher of the Vancouver Business Journal, asked a question entirely unrelated.
Vancouver City Councilor Bill Turlay challenged Leavitt on the CRC, specifically Leavitt back tracking on his campaign promise to fight tolls. Turlay voiced his opinions on the bridge: Anti light-rail, poor design, a funding disaster.
"If were gonna pay out $87-million for three companies mitigation because we don't have the right bridge height, the Woodrow Wilson project in Washington DC has an unrestricted bridge height," said Turlay. "$850-million is coming from transit money, that's money the government can change and put into the bridge portion of it, not light rail. We do not need light-rail, we don't have the population density for it".
Leavitt played defense most of the night saying "Infrastructure investment needs to occur. We have to pay for infrastructure. I have the deepest respect for Mr Turlay and the sacrifice he made [in the Navy] for our country. But, somewhere along the way we seem to have lost the belief in sacrificing for the greater good of our future... And ya know what, somebody has to pay for the project."
Wednesday nights debate was sponsored by the Greater Vancouver Chamber of Commerce, Clark College, the Vancouver Business Journal, the League of Women Voters and CFM Strategic Communications.
Listen to the entire debate: