This election season, not unlike the last few, has been wrought with name calling, misinformation presented as facts, and fear tactics that challenge even the most even-keeled candidates. Unfortunately, negative campaigning has proven over the years to be effective. However, it can be overcome if informed citizens actually vote.
That is where I believe the business community can help to bring the results of this election back to a responsible position. If we are to live up to our recent designation as one of the top 100 livable cities in the country, we must actually utilize our right to vote. We must usher into office those who are interested in advancing the community based on a healthy vision of our future.
We can no longer afford to elect candidates who fear growth. Growth will come regardless of whether or not we’ve responsibly planned for it, and too often these ‘no growth’ candidates are successful because those of us who ‘know better’ simply fail to vote.
There are many business considerations that will be influenced by the results of this election: expedited permitting; county-wide Urban Growth Area designations; how our cities and other jurisdictions will balance the need for revenue with the essential services they provide, such as public safety and serviceable roads. Newly-elected officials will also help determine the level of partnership and collaboration that will exist between jurisdictions, which could provide the efficiencies government critics are constantly calling for.
Most of all, we need candidates that are about more than one issue and who can bring logic and reason to the debate about the role our government should play.
Are the candidates you are considering the individuals who bring with them experience meaningful to the position? Will they be open to collaboration? Are they willing to look at the systems blocking businesses from moving quickly from concept to execution and bringing jobs to our community? Are they the kind of person who can build community or are they so steadfast in their position they’ll only serve to divide the community more? Do they have the energy and enthusiasm it takes to deal with today’s challenges facing nearly every jurisdiction in the county?
As we look at the various jurisdictions, along with the topics important to business and the community at large in these coming months and years, we believe the candidates most likely to help build a strong and healthy community are:
Battle Ground Council Position No. 1: Mike Ciraulo
Vancouver – Council Position No. 1: Jack Burkman
Vancouver – Council Position No. 2: Alishia Topper
Vancouver – Council Position No. 3: Anne McEnerny-Ogle
Washougal Mayor: Sean Guard
Vancouver Mayor: Tim Leavitt
Be sure to check your Just Business newsletter as we will be weighing in on additional races as the election day draws closer. Sign up free for Just Business here.