Promises made – Promises kept!
Three years ago, I shared a vision and a plan to breathe new life into our community for a healthy prosperous future.
You honored me with your trust to do what I promised and commissioned me to diligently work to make that vision a reality.
The unaltered original text from my 2012 campaign is preserved below in RED so you can see exactly what I said I would do. I am accountable to you, my bosses. The BLUE text shows the progress made on each task.
If you approve of my track record and agree with the positive healthy vision and values, then I ask for your continued trust and support to build on that solid foundation. We’ve come a long way and we can do even better!
* Opening the floodgates to local private jobs, unleashing free enterprise in Clark County.
Since June 2013, we made Clark County the most business friendly community on the West Coast by adopting our Fee Waiver Program that waives all fees for all new and expanding business. We traded in our old Ford Pinto at the back of the pack for a shiny new Ferrari to lead all other communities in the economic race. Hundreds of millions in new local wealth is being created. Our cash balances are healthier than ever as new revenue is lightening the tax burden for everyone and providing for better county services while we keep a lid on taxes.
* Streamlining the permit process to remove the pain, to define the job description of the staff to make their customers successful, to make life easy for their customers (Clark County citizens).
We completely rebuilt our building permit center (it’s beautiful and efficient) and adopted new next generation web friendly permit management software to replace our outdated Tidemark system (paid cash – debt-free). We streamlined our processes and lowered our costs. Cost savings have increased our cash balances to be very healthy. Our customer friendly staff is now better equipped as enjoy making our customers successful.
* To restore the free use of our parks.
We removed all park entrance and boat launch fees and restored outstanding lifeguards to Klineline in 2013. Park Fee Collectors were retrained as Park Ambassadors to help our guests. We started managing our own county parks instead Vancouver City and saved hundreds of thousands in the process. Our parks are better cared for and beautiful. We built two new parks last year and are planning to build two more next year.
* To defend our community from being steamrolled by the Light Rail tolling forces. We will make smarter decisions to move us forward and strengthen our economy.
We provided a county-wide vote on the CRC Light Rail Tolling project. 223 out of the 228 total precincts voted against it. We respected the people’s voice and fought hard to kill the CRC. That disaster wasted $200 million before the gross waste was stopped. Some rascals are still trying to revive the zombie. We will continue to diligently defend our community from be exploited. Clark County citizens will not become a new tax base for Portland TriMet. Not on my watch!
* To improve county and C-Tran services while cutting cost and taxes (yes it is possible to do both together)
We lost that battle so far because we were outvoted on every hand by the majority of the C-Tran Board Members that keep voting against the majority of the people. C-Tran’s costs continue to skyrocket. Ridership continues to decline. Special interests signed our local control over to financially troubled Portland TriMet with absurd contracts that are costing Clark County citizens millions. Voters that trusted C-Tran’s promise to “save our buses” and not use our taxes for BRT have been betrayed as C-Tran failed to improve our bus service. They are using our entrusted taxes for BRT instead even though the people voted to oppose funding BRT. A number of citizens are suing C-Tran in several suits. We could still have great local bus service that more people would use for a fraction of the cost. But to improve C-Tran, our community will need to elect more local representatives to faithfully represent the people.
* To ensure that private property rights and voting rights are respected.
We are in the middle of correcting a zoning map that is 20 years out of date. The mismatch between our current zoning map and the actual rural properties is so bad, that 6 out of 10 of the Rural properties are nonconforming, 7 out of 10 of the AG properties are nonconforming, and 8 out of 10 of the FR properties are nonconforming. Our Comprehensive Growth Plan includes Alternative 4 to recognize reality. More flexible options should be restored to citizens as we fulfill the Growth Management Act that requires our plans to provide enough useful, affordable, manageable land, able to be more productive. In addition, some property owners have been in Limbo for many years in Urban Holding or Urban Reserve. Such long term uncertainty needs to be corrected.
* To find practical workable solutions for development that satisfies the State Department of Ecology while moving ahead to provide new facilities where people can live and work.
Storm water permits to that were needed build anything were very difficult, slow, and expensive to obtain (if at all) prior to 2013. Our county was also out of compliance with the DOE standards and we were sued as a result. We lost that suit on all counts and are paying $3.6 million in consequences (It could have been much worse.) Since early 2013, we have been in full compliance and storm water permits are much easier and faster to obtain. The ease of obtaining full compliance permits is one reason that our county is working again and building is progressing at a very healthy pace.
These are a start. Now that the election is over, I will buckle down and get to work to do what I can now and to be sworn into office at 8:30 am January 2.
Some have said that this is a part time job. I assure you that this is more than a full time job if it is done well. We must not presume that our community will prosper and thrive without committed diligent hard working leadership. Autopilot status quo effort is not an option. I hope and pray that other experienced capable leaders, especially from the private sector, will step up and take their turn serving our community to make it the best possible place to live, work, and play.
And yes, I will cut (refund back to citizens) my commissioner salary by 20% as I promised. I will work to honor your trust. My cell phone# is 360-601-3056. I am here to listen to and to serve you.
From the beginning, I arranged for all my paychecks to be reduced by 20%. I don’t turn in expense reports. I waive the $700 per month car allowance, use my own car, and waive all benefits (health insurance, retirement, Etc). I do this to lead by example because I cannot expect others to be thrifty with our public funds if I am not willing to sacrifice first.
I plan to keep you updated and welcome your interaction on my public Facebook Page.
I continue to report to you, my bosses, every workday. It’s been my practice to post every Monday through Friday to keep you tuned in. We’ve got dozens of projects going at any given time. It’s a lot of work, but very rewarding.
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