Why Bart got benched for C-Tran composition meeting

Vancouver City Councilor Bart Hansen’s earnestness earned him the nickname “Boy Scout Bart,” and he can be counted on to save baby ducks. 

But look at Bart (right, with local dude Jim Mains). He wore a cape to a preview of “Man of Steel.” 


If you didn’t know him, that tough-guy face is pretty convincing.

Hansen has been representing the city on the C-Tran board composition review committee, but at the end of Monday’s city council meeting, Mayor Tim Leavitt announced he would be taking Bart’s seat for the Tuesday meeting.

Apparently Leavitt wanted to turn it into a gun show.


“Tomorrow we have the C-Tran governance meeting,” Leavitt said during council communications. Hansen has served “admirably” on the composition committee, Leavitt said. The mayor had filled in for Hansen once before.

“We have another meeting tomorrow, and thought it prudent that I sit in on behalf of the council for tomorrow’s meeting. Frankly, we’re going to have the discussion about what to do with this court decision on the bloc veto,” Leavitt said.

(Hansen later said he and Leavitt had discussed the issue and he was on board with the decision.)

Smaller cities had been fighting for a bigger voice on the C-Tran Board of Directors, which would mean either Vancouver or the county giving up a seat. A judge ruled that the veto power currently wielded by both the county and Vancouver goes away if the composition of the board changes.

Councilor Jack Burkman supported Leavitt representing the city, predicting a “lively” discussion.

Leavitt said it might be a struggle.

“Our position has been to try and preserve that bloc veto, but the court has pretty much changed the landscape for us,” Leavitt said. “I’m going to be asking for your support to try and preserve as much representation as we possibly can for the city of Vancouver on the C-Tran Board.”

Councilor Anne McEnerny-Ogle brought up the fact the city accounts for 60 percent of C-Tran revenues and 80 percent of the ridership. Also, Vancouver used to operate its own bus system. It invited the county and other cities to participate — at the other cities’ request, Leavitt added.

Leavitt said members of the composition review committee recognize that Vancouver is the major player in C-Tran, but not everyone on the councils they represent get it.

In fairness, the city should have five of the seats on the C-Tran Board of Directors, which has nine voting members.

Leavitt knew the city wouldn’t get five seats.

“But I’m going to do everything I can to see that we have the best representation we can on the board, absent a bloc veto,” he said.

He was successful. In a 7-3 vote, the review committee agreed the county should be the one to give up a seat. 

Stephanie Rice

Stephanie Rice

I cover Vancouver city government. Reach me at stephanie.rice@columbian.com or 360-735-4508.

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