Vancouver, Washington

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Meetings Y
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Elected Officials
Administrative Officials
Permits, zoning
Contracts P
Lobbying N
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Public Records Y
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Local Taxes P

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Transparency grading process
Vancouver is a city in Washington. The estimated population in 2012 is 163,200.[1]

Website evaluation

Last rated on Jan. 31, 2012

The good

  • Excellent Performance Site, complete with targeted outcomes, progress indicators. All community surveys for past 8 years available. Kept up to date.
  • Budget page has current and past budgets, other financial reports. CAFR is on line.[2][3]
  • Audit reeports are on the web site and easy to find.[4]
  • Public meetings, both planned and past are accessible. All are recorded and streamed.[5]
  • Ways to access all services and elected officials are available[6]
  • Public disclosure & public records access are available.[7]
  • Interlocal agreements with other agencies are disclosed.[8] Labor contracts are also disclosed online.[9]
  • Building permits can be applied for online.[10]
  • The contact information for city hall and e-mails for city administrators are disclosed.
  • Posts information about property taxes, but not other local taxes.[11]
  • Bids are posted.[12]

The bad

  • Web site is not as user friendly as it could be.
  • The different departnments and services are available, but vary widely in their look and feel as well as ease of navigation.
  • Contracts and City checkbook are not on web site.
  • No reference to lobbying efforts.
  • Building permits are fast (see performance measurement information) but online process is not entirely clear.
  • While discussed in meeting minutes, no designated area that discloses lobbying activity.

Elected Officials

City Council

The City Council is made up of seven members elected to four year terms with one being elected at-large to serve as mayor.[13]

First Last Position Term Expiration
Timothy Leavitt Mayor 2013
Jeanne Harris Member 2013
Jeanne Stewart Member 2013
Larry Smith Member 2015
Jack Burkman Member 2013
Bart Hansen Member 2015
Bill Turlay Member 2015

The Mayor and City Council are paid a monthly salary that is set through the 2013-2014 biennium.[14]

Position Monthly Salary
Mayor $2,220
Councilmember $1,781
  • Sales Tax Increase
    • In June of 2012, the City Council voted 6-1 in support of an increase in sales taxes to help pay for light rail in Clark County. The issue will likely be on the November ballot.[15]

City Manager

The Vancouver City Manager is Eric Holmes and the Assistant City Manager is Dave Mercier. The City Manager oversees daily operations of the city and works with the City Council to develop the budget and manage city departments.[16] Holmes received a 3.5% pay increase in 2012 increasing his salary to $167,152 from $161,500.[17]


Vancouver's former Fire Chief, Don Bivins, retired in 2011 after 35 years of service and is now earning $94,000 a year in pension benefits. The pension is equivalent to 70 percent of his final pay. Bivins was 54 when he retired and will earn roughly $1 million in pension benefits before he starts collecting social security benefits at 65.[18]


The 2011-2012 biennium budget totals $817.5 million in Operating and Capital costs.[19] The Budget in Brief outlines expenditure and revenue information.[20]

Function Expenditures Percent
Public Safety $134,839,644 31%
Public Works $140,838,200 33%
Parks and Recreation $18,794,836 4%
Community Development $23,767,297 6%
Legislative and General Management $30,340,869 7%
Support Services $27,693,484 7%
Debt Service $52,172,410 12%
Total $428,626,740 100%
Revenue Source Percent
Property Tax 32%
Utility Tax 30%
Sales Tax 18%
Charges for Goods and Services 11%
Miscellaneous 7%
Grants 2%
Total 100%


According to, Vancouver spent $20,000 on lobbying in 2012.[21]

Year Amount Spent on Lobbying
2012 $20,000
2011 $80,000
2010 $80,000
2009 $80,000
2008 $80,000

Emergency personnel

The Vancouver website has entry level police salary as $4,644-6,223 a month and benefits information is posted here.[22]

The labor contracts between the City of Vancouver and fire and police employees can be found here.

External links