Carolyn Crain needs a history lesson


As the attendees of countless public meetings, we mavens consider ourselves the peanut gallery of the peanut gallery.

After three years of sitting through Vancouver City Council meetings, I can say I’ve gotten to know the M.O. of frequent fliers to citizen communications.

And Legislative candidate Carolyn Crain is no exception. I admire her passion, and her willingness to take the city council to task for what she thinks is right.

She also goes on rage spirals. Bear with me: She starts out often speaking of the weather or other pleasantries, and ends with shouting and storming off. (Mayor Tim Leavitt often doesn’t help the situation).

Last night was no exception.

Crain took the stand and began talking about energy.

Then, she criticized the Department of Ecology, which “wants no net loss in our waters.”

She moved on to criticize stormwater standards that ask for absorbtion to be “pre-European settlement in the Northwest. So I guess that’s before Leif Ericson landed here.” (emphasis mine)

We have a problem here.

You see, Leif Ericson never landed in the Pacific Northwest (he left that to his buddies Lewis and Clark). The Norsemen landed Labrador, Canada. In the 10th Century.

The stormwater regulations Crain is working against relate to the early 1800s. When Lewis and Clark came here.

So, there’s that.

Ultimately, Crain’s comments finished with words for the city council, criticizing them for changing a light industrial overlay district downtown. (It’s where biomass was going to go before the project tanked.)

Leavitt, ever in his “poke the bear” mode, said: “I’m a little confused. You’re telling us we sholdn’t follow energy programs… but you just criticized us for not allowing a biofuel plant downtown that is heavily subsidized.”

Crain countered adamantly that is not what she was saying. She is against the city changing zoning laws, even after a hearings examiner ruled the biomass plant proponents were right in saying the city’s zoning allowed it there.

She asked: if she wanted to build a chip factory (Fritos anyone?) that used too much water, would the city keep her out by changing the zoning?

“You changed the plans, that’s not OK.”

More back and forth, until Leavitt dismissed her with a, “I’m going to continue to do what I feel is right for Vancouver, and my fellow council members will do the same.”

“Never tell me what I know!” Crain shouted, walking away and then saying something about smacking someone upside the head as she took her seat.

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