Friday, September 25, 2009

Vancouver Police Officers' Guild Endorses Tim Leavitt for Mayor of Vancouver

Press release issued by the campaign today:

The Vancouver Police Officers' Guild has endorsed Vancouver City Councilman Tim Leavitt for Mayor of Vancouver. The VPOG represents the Police Officers, Corporals, and Sergeants of the Vancouver, Washington, Police Department.

In a letter announcing the endorsement, Guild President Ryan Martin says, “We appreciate [Leavitt's] past and present concerns over the leadership within the Vancouver Police Department.”

Leavitt joined the Vancouver City Council in 2003 and served on the City’s Planning Commission before that. During his time as a councilman, Tim has regularly listened to and spoken with Guild membership, closely evaluated the recent Matrix study of the Department, and held frank discussions about issues affecting both sides of the table.

The VPOG supports Leavitt's message of positive change and forward movement for the City of Vancouver. “Our membership believes there is a time for change within our city government. We also believe there is a time for change within our city's leadership team. We believe that time is now.”

“Our city employees are passionate about the future of Vancouver,” says Leavitt. “We are in absolute agreement that the City must stop cutting budgets for core services like Police and Fire. It’s time to re-prioritize at City Hall. That is what I’ve been fighting for and one of the reasons why I have received support from the Police, who have been repeatedly underfunded year after year.”

Leavitt has also been endorsed by AFSCME Local 307VC (Vancouver City employees) and Amalgamated Transit Union Local No. 757 (C-Tran employees) and has received the informal support of Unite Here Local No. 9 (Hilton Vancouver employees).

Persons interested in volunteering, donating, or learning more may contact the campaign office at 360.609.4846, via email at, or by visiting the campaign website at The campaign also has a Facebook page and group, at “Leavitt4Mayor”.

Thursday, September 24, 2009

Meeting Vancouver at the Doorstep

We've had some great weather this week for our continued doorbelling effort.

Working up a bit of a sweat the last couple of days, I spoke with dozens of neighbors in the Heights of Vancouver. This evening it was a little cooler out, and we went to my old stomping grounds in the Image neighborhood. It was exhilarating to meet and chat with so many people who are excited with my candidacy and the possibilities for fresh leadership at City Hall. We can hardly keep up with the requests for Leavitt yard signs -- they are going like hotcakes!

We'll continue to meet you at your doorstep, where I will be listening to your concerns and asking questions about your interests for the future of Vancouver. I hope to see you soon!

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Setting the Record Straight #1: Police and Fire Services

The primary responsibility of the City of Vancouver is to provide for the safety and welfare of our citizens. Over my seven years as your city councilman, the record clearly shows that I have supported a strong police department and adequate fire resources to insure effective response to our community's needs.

In light of recent attacks on me, and my opponent's efforts to distort the facts, the intent of this blog is to set the record straight. For the curious or doubtful out there, these matters are all in the public record and available for everybody to verify. In all instances cited, you may reference the council proceedings for yourself. By visiting CVTV's website , you may either view the video or request copies of the meetings from CVTV archives.

Regarding the 2009-10 City Budget
(See CVTV Vancouver City Council video dated 11/07/2008, Water, Sewer and Storm Water Utility Tax Rate Change)

The City had an operating budget in 2008 of $121 million, a projected budget in 2009 of $125 million and a projected budget in 2010 of $138 million. Revenues into the city are increasing -- not decreasing.

During these budget discussions, in the middle of a deep recession that only seemed to be getting worse for our citizens with each passing day…the incumbent mayor argued in favor of raising your utility taxes to 20%.

While our citizens were struggling to pay bills, losing jobs and losing homes, the incumbent chose to raise taxes.

While our local businesses struggled to keep their doors open, with an already unfriendly local business climate, the incumbent chose to raise taxes.

Even worse, his threat to the City Council was to cut Police and Fire services if taxes weren't increased!

Instead of trimming 4% of the city budget in areas OTHER than Police and Fire, the incumbent placed emergency response services on the chopping block. Let me say that again: instead of making a 4% cut in the City budget – a cut similar to the same cuts we've all had to make in our own homes – the current mayor offered the ultimatum that we either raise taxes or cut core services.

I fought to keep the Police and Fire budget whole.

No cuts, no trimming, no more hiring freezes.

I fought to 'tighten the belt' around other city programs, or fill the budget gap temporarily with reserve monies (rainy day fund). Review the video of our discussion to hear for yourself.

In other words, I was the leader that stood up against governance by ultimatum and fully supported emergency response services. It was your sitting Mayor who threatened to cut Police and Fire if we didn't raise your taxes.

Under his watch over the past 20 years, police and fire staffing has failed to keep up with our population growth and national standards.

Under his watch over the past 20 years, our fire stations have deteriorated so badly that they are in danger of falling apart during an earthquake.

Under his watch over the past 20 years, police investigations have been severely limited and now some investigation of property theft may never happen.

Vancouver, you deserve better.

And with your support on November 3, we WILL do better.

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Disappointing, But Not Surprising

In moments of desperation, we tend to show our true colors.

For some politicians, when talking honestly about the issues doesn't prevail, when their back is against the wall, that desperation sets in.

And in politics, a sign of desperation is a candidate's willingness to leave his integrity at the door and start "slinging mud."

With your support, we won the Primary Election. And we did it by going out into the community and meeting with Vancouver residents. I spoke candidly and honestly about the issues and my voting record, and listened to fellow citizens' broad range of concerns.

The same approach didn't work for my opponent, so we knew to expect he'd turn "negative" as soon as the pressure increased. We just weren't sure when, nor how.

We got our answer as soon as the push poll phone calls occurred over this past weekend. Thanks to each and every one of you who called our campaign to express sincere disappointment in the sitting mayor, and appreciation for our above-board, respectful campaign.

In push polls, the facts are typically distorted, or altogether left out, in order to make the opponent look bad. That is what occurred this past weekend. A Pollard push poll to make me look bad.

What you know and I know is that this community doesn't tolerate those low tactics. We're TIRED of politics-as-usual, and City Hall needs a breath of fresh air! It's a shame our opponent didn't realize that this negative campaign trick only serves to make HIM look unsavory.

Focusing on the issues facing our community, defending voting records and leadership style, and outlining a Vision to move our City forward. That's what I offer you, and those matter-of-fact talking points? Well, they simply didn't work for the incumbent.

In fact, even stretching the truth and claiming accomplishments for many things that have happened in our community due to others' efforts, and spending thousands of dollars to send out multiple mailers with these skewed statements -- even that still didn't work for the incumbent.

The General Election is quickly approaching, and we will continue working hard.

I will continue to meet you at your doorstep.

I will continue to focus on issues and my positions and my vision for the next four years in Vancouver.

I will continue to listen to your concerns.

And very importantly, I will not allow our campaign to be drawn into the negativity that is now the strategy of my opponent.

Vancouver deserves better than that.

In 42 days, we will move on. I look forward to serving our entire community as the next Mayor of Vancouver.