- Category: Top Stories
- Published on Wednesday, 24 October 2012 17:00
- Written by Nicholas Shannon Kulmac
With Election Day on the horizon, the Vancouver Business Journal asked candidates to respond to a series of business-related questions with an emphasis on specifics. Below, you will find responses from Clark County Commissioner District No. 2 candidates Marc Boldt and David Madore.
Q: The Clark County Economic Development Strategic Plan calls for jurisdictions across the county to play an active role in assuring infrastructure is in place that will allow existing businesses and those considering Clark County to grow and prosper. What plan do you have to see the county is honoring its responsibility and participation in the execution of the strategic plan?
Boldt: Washington’s constitution and laws severely limit what we can directly provide to businesses coming into our state. Knowing that, first we must make sure we have enough land for jobs. That is where our growth planning process guides us. Then we must be even more determined to make sure our environmental regulations protect our environment with real actions, not just create polices and paperwork.
I have recommended to all the cities that we form a council of governments to help make all of our planning efforts more unified. In this plan, the chair of the Clark County Commissioners and a board of all mayors would meet to ensure unity within our county in our growth plans as well as our codes.
Also, this next year I will be the president of Washington Association of Counties – a respected organization that represents all counties within the Washington state. This gives me access to all the state executives and legislative leaders. It puts me in position to lead our legislative agenda and strongly represent Clark County’s needs.
Madore: The goals outlined in the plan fail to identify the root problems of Clark County’s stagnation and decline. The goals are lofty, but wholly impotent to provide the tangible solutions needed to open the floodgates to local private jobs. Rather than trying to “win the lottery” by recruiting large companies from outside, we should be focusing on changing our policies that make us noncompetitive. We must stop doing the wrong things that continue to stifle businesses of all sizes. When we take those steps, we turn the free enterprise athlete loose to create wealth and create the opportunities that need little government intervention to spawn and grow.
Some basic corrections are as follows:
- Eliminate impact fees. They discourage job creators and confiscate the start-up cash required for businesses form and grow. Those excessive fees are like sky-high prices in a store that do little except drive business elsewhere.
- Streamline, simplify and speed the permit processes. The county needs to provide the staff with new job descriptions that focus on making customers successful and making life easy for customers.
- Government should never do what private business can do better. The county needs to do government smarter by welcome competition from private business in some departments such as maintenance of parks and roads.
- Stop growing the size and cost of government at the expense of local businesses and residents. We must stop spending millions on nonessential projects and refocus on prioritized infrastructure that provides more bang for the buck.
Additional responses from these candidates and others will be featured in Friday’s edition of the Vancouver Business Journal.