Allowing the CRC to audit itself won’t cut it

“Would we have allowed Enron to audit itself?” ~ Josephine Wentzel (candidate for Vancouver City Council)

 “Why would we allow the same people who wasted all this money to audit themselves?” ~ Corey Barnes (candidate for Vancouver City Council)

by Josephine Wentzel

On Monday, Columbia River Crossing (CRC) chief Nancy Boyd announced that the Washington Department of Transportation was conducting an internal audit. Yesterday, two candidates for Vancouver City Council, Josephine Wentzel and Corey Barnes, challenged Vancouver Mayor Leavitt and the current city council members to join in on their demand that the CRC immediately hire an outside auditor to evaluate the $130 million that has already been spent toward the $8.7 billion bridge project.

“Hiring an internal auditor from the Washington DOT to look into where all the money went just doesn’t cut it,” said Josephine Wentzel, who is running to unseat Bart Hansen on the Council. “Would we have allowed Enron to audit itself?”

According to the Oregonian, since the CRC project began in 2005 it has spent on average $60,000 each and every day, which went to hire “an enormous machine of engineers, architects, biologists, meeting “facilitators,” political operatives and public relations specialists.”

“It’s obvious that the CRC project is out of control,” said Corey Barnes, who is running for the City Council seat, currently held by Larry Smith. “Why would we allow the same people who wasted all this money to audit themselves?”

Despite CRC announcing its plans for the internal audit, Nancy Boyd told the Oregonian “I don’t see any red flags on what’s been spent.”

“That’s exactly why we need an independent auditor. The people in charge appear clueless as to what’s going on with taxpayer money,” said Josephine Wentzel.

The Columbia River Crossing is a joint project of the Washington and Oregon departments of transportation.