Stewart gives Mielke a run for his money

We know the Columbia River Crossing is confusing. But we’re not sure what happened last night when Vancouver Councilor Jeanne Stewart started asking about CRC topics that were covered in a two-hour presentation to the council just two weeks ago.

She asked about the sequence in which the local agencies — C-Tran and the Regional Transportation Council — will approve signing off on the draft Final Environmental Impact Statement (that monster document that the feds approve to give the project the OK).

C-Tran and RTC will both sign the thing in August (on the 9th and 2nd, respectively).

“And when will that come to this council?” Stewart asked.

“I believe it already did at our last meeting,” City Manager Eric Holmes answered.

“We had a workshop but didn’t approve the FEIS,” she responded.

Thing is: That’s exactly what the council spent two hours talking about on June 27.

“The council doesn’t approve the FIES but gives direction to councilors on other boards,” as happened two weeks ago, Holmes answered.

“I missed that understanding, but I’ll get a copy of the tape and go back and see,” Stewart said.

Stewart then went on to ask about why the city of Vancouver isn’t a signatory of the document, asked if other jurisdictions will review the FEIS and give their members similar marching orders and also about who makes the final decisions at the federal level.

Finally, Councilor Bart Hansen, who usually stays out of these sorts of exchanges, stepped in: “Not too long ago, (a CRC representative) covered all of that.”

Holmes sent an email to the entire council today that included a PDF file showing the exact timetable of who signs the FEIS when.

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