More than two-thirds of Clark County residents who have responded to Jaime Herrera Beutler's mail survey so far would like the opportunity to vote on light rail in the I-5 bridge replacement process.
In March, Jaime mailed surveys to residents across Clark County asking them to answer a brief questionnaire on the I-5 Columbia River bridge replacement process. Of more than 1,800 responses that have been counted so far, 68% support giving Clark County residents a vote.
"The reason I sent this mail survey was to make sure my efforts to secure a vote for Clark County residents were on track," said Jaime. "So far, the County has made a very clear statement: give us a voice in the bridge replacement process.
"Elected officials aren't obligated to agree on every issue. But we are absolutely obligated to listen and respond to the will of the people we represent. Replacing the I-5 bridge is the largest, most critical infrastructure project to the folks in this region. Clark County residents will rely on it the most, they will be asked to provide significant funding -- and they would like to have a say in how it is designed and paid for.
"We continue to receive new responses each day, and I will share what I learn as we continue to collect and count them. While this isn't a scientific poll, it represents the most extensive effort by an elected official to gauge Clark County residents' thoughts on this process. It would be a mistake to ignore what thousands of Clark County residents are saying."
Jaime's flyer was sent to households across Clark County in early March. The survey portion read as follows (followed by response % to date):
I am an advocate for a safe, affordable bridge across the Columbia River that meets our region's transportation needs.
I also believe that the people in Clark County should get to decide through a public vote whether they will pay more in taxes for light rail. What do you think?
_I agree that Clark County residents should have a vote on whether to pay for light rail as part of this project. (68% marked this answer)
_We should move ahead on a new bridge without a public vote. We should be willing to pay what it takes to expand light rail into Clark County. (22% marked this answer)
_We don't need a new bridge at all. (5% marked this answer)
_Other. (5% marked this answer)
Survey response cards were addressed to Jaime's Washington, D.C. office, where they are subject to extensive Congressional security screening procedures that can delay delivery time. As of today, responses were still being delivered. Surveys were sent to all Clark County households with at least one resident who has voted in two or more elections since 2008.