All Politics is Local

Vancouver mayor demands more local input on tolling plan

Mayor Anne McEnerny-Ogle is taking Oregon’s consideration of tolling into her own hands.

McEnerny-Ogle serves on the 25-member Portland Metro Area Value Pricing Advisory Committee, which most recently met Feb. 29. At that meeting, she asked the committee why none of the next six community outreach events were in Southwest Washington, especially as the last meeting in Vancouver on Jan. 30 was the most well attended with more than 160 stopping by to learn about tolling possibilities.

She was told people could comment online. At the meeting, McEnerny-Ogle asked to make sure at least one session is scheduled in Vancouver before the committee’s next meeting April 11. Her request was not confirmed.

As she gave the Vancouver City Council an update at Monday’s meeting, McEnerny-Ogle stressed the quick timeline Oregon faces and how important it is for Southwest Washington to have a voice in the discussion. A recommendation is due by June.

“If we don’t get a response by this week that they will have one then I will ask for support that we provide our own engagement if they’re not going to do it,” she said. “We’ll provide that opportunity for engagement to at least show the data we were given.”

Speaking of that data, as a former math teacher McEnerny-Ogle pressed WSP, the engineering firm working with the committee, for specifics on their data and analysis. She was told they don’t entirely believe what the data shows. The northbound I-5 proposal, for example, found that the project failed five of 11 criteria used to evaluate the scenario.

“I was not real happy they spent a great deal of time on statistical analysis then to come back and say we don’t believe the statistics in it,” McEnerny-Ogle said.

Katy Sword

I cover the city of Vancouver and federal politics. Reach me at katy.sword@columbian.com.

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