Madore stays up late, attacks C-Tran again

Clark County Commissioner David Madore isn’t backing down from his accusations that C-Tran has mishandled public meetings and public records. In fact, he’s escalating them.

Madore’s most recent attack on the transit agency whose board he serves on came in a Facebook post published at 2:07 a.m. Friday. (Some would say it’s not a good idea to put anything online after 2 a.m.)

In the post, Madore repeatedly accuses C-Tran of violating state law and misleading the public. The Republican commissioner cites C-Tran’s handling of a series of massive records requests filed by state Sen. Ann Rivers, R-La Center, and others. Madore argues the agency has wrongly withheld some records in response to the requests, which mostly related to light rail and the Columbia River Crossing.

He ended the late-night soliloquy this way:

“Many good people are employed by C-Tran. Clark County citizens deserve great public transit that is well managed. But this is not the way. A return to the core mission and a recommitment to due process and transparency would go a long way to salvaging this transit agency.”

This isn’t the first time Madore has attacked C-Tran on his Facebook page or elsewhere — far from it. He’s called C-Tran a “rogue agency” and repeatedly threatened legal action before without specifying how.

At this week’s C-Tran board meeting, other board members defended the agency. Legal counsel Tom Wolfendale said he took “strong exception to some of the factual characterizations by the honorable commissioner with regard to the way public records were delivered to any of the requesters.”

Wolfendale said attorney-client privilege is “expressly recognized” as an appropriate exemption under the state Public Records Act. And he pointed out that requesters were given logs describing what was withheld so they knew enough about them to challenge their exempt status if they wanted.

The person who asked for the most records, Rivers, apparently didn’t object to how her request was handled. C-Tran never heard any follow-up from her after the request was filled, Executive Director Jeff Hamm said at Tuesday’s meeting.

Madore implied C-Tran handles records requests differently than Clark County by having all documents reviewed by legal counsel before they’re released. County Commissioner Steve Stuart — or at least his voice — informed Madore that county records actually are reviewed by the Prosecuting Attorney’s office. But that work is covered by that department’s budget and salary, not a contract with an outside firm like C-Tran.

“They cost time and money (at the county),” Stuart said. “All you have to do is ask the PA’s office.”

I’ve said this before: Remember when C-Tran meetings used to be boring? Me either.

Eric Florip

Eric Florip

I'm the environment/transportation reporter for The Columbian newspaper in Vancouver, Wash. Contact me at or 360-735-4541.

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