The out-going Clark County Board of County Councilors made a series of strong statements in its Dec. 22 meeting.
That meeting, the last before the three-member council expands in January to a five-member commission, gave existing councilors one last chance to express their feelings about two things that some of them really hate: tolls and light rail.
The council considered eight resolutions dealing with various aspects of transportation improvements proposed or contemplated to address traffic congestion between Portland and Vancouver.
A bi-state partnership to address that congestion, the Columbia River Crossing project, collapsed last year after more than a decade of meetings and planning that cost $200 million.
Part of the problem was a fundamental disagreement between constituencies for the project: On the Oregon side of the Columbia River, proponents wanted to extend light rail to Vancouver and finance the project with tolls. On the Washington side of the Columbia, there was staunch opposition to light rail and tolls.
No voice of opposition was louder than that of current Clark County Chairman David Madore.
On Dec. 22, Madore introduced eight resolutions relating to transportation.
The resolutions are more akin to statements of principle than legally binding restrictions, but the flavor of them is evident from this one, a transportation policy.
"[C]onsider adoption of Clark County transportation policies that support tollfree roadways, congestion relief, and free flowing private motor vehicles," the resolution says. "In contrast to a 'war on cars' such as 'Complete Streets' agenda that seeks to force people out of their cars and worsening traffic congestion by shrinking roadway capacity, this policy supports our roadways for motor vehicles in appropriate proportion to other modes of transportation."
That resolution and the others regarding transportation all passed 2-0, with Chairman Madore and Tom Mielke voting for them and Councilor Jeanne Stewart abstaining.
The new five-member council will hold its first meeting Jan. 5 at 6 pm at the county's Public Service Center, 1300 Franklin St., in Vancouver.