Once again, Vancouver, Washington’s Mayor, Tim Leavitt found himself in hot water with the citizens of Vancouver over words he carelessly spoke. Unlike his flip/flop over supporting citizens in opposing tolling of the Columbia River Crossing boondoggle, this time he took a direct slap towards a fellow council member who did side with the citizens, Jeanne Stewart.
Some citizens, displeased with Leavitt’s comment and allegation that appeared in the Columbian here and here emailed city manager Eric Holmes calling for an ethics investigation against Mayor Leavitt.
Last evening, obviously fully aware of those calls, since mine and at least one other were copied to the Mayor, Tim Levitt, sort of issued an apology.
I say sort of because, as you can see, his words were not direct and were issued more in a general manner when anyone reading the Columbian and indeed the Columbian itself saw clear as day who he was referring to with his “pandering” comment.
To her credit, Jeanne Stewart, after trying to clarify the apology was indeed meant for her, graciously accepted it and called for this to end the matter, saving the Mayor from an ethics investigation.
Also of note, council woman Jeanne Harris of ‘Gavel Down’ fame, bewilderment of the comment or the discussion of it on Victoria Taft’s program. Harris was present when 4 citizens stood up in defense of Ms. Stewart and didn’t ask what they were speaking of then, if she were listening.
Then again, maybe just like Mayor Leavitt, she too doesn’t read the Columbian very much.
April 28, 2011 was the date I sent my email complaint to city manager Eric Holmes. Today, 6 days later I received the following from him,
Mr. Waters –
Thank you for your inquiry.
During last night’s Council meeting (May 2), Mayor Leavitt offered an apology to Councilor Stewart for the use of the word “pander” in his remarks recently quoted in the Columbian. Councilor Stewart accepted his apology and the rest of the City council indicated a consensus that Mayor Leavitt’s apology sufficiently addresses the issue.
With that, the matter is considered closed.
If you have any further questions, please do not hesitate to contact me.
Best regards –
Eric J. Holmes | City Manager
CITY OF VANCOUVER
P.O. Box 1995 • Vancouver, WA 98668-1995
P: 360.487.8640 | F: 360.487.8625
Yes, the matter is now closed, thanks to Jeanne Stewart taking the high road and graciously accepting Mr. Leavitt’s apology.
Citizens are watching now, Mayor.