Here is the status of some of the promises listed on David Madore’s campaign website, and where the issues stand.
PROMISE: “Ensure that gas taxes (road user fees) improve roads to relieve congestion and provide for the safe, efficient flow of motor vehicles, pedestrians and bikes.”
RESULT: No actions.
PROMISE: “Light Rail and Bus Rapid Transit are boondoggles for Clark County. Clark County citizens must not become a new tax base for Portland’s monstrous TriMet bureaucracy. TriMet has over $1.3 billion in unfunded liabilities.”
RESULT: Mixed. The county opposes light rail in at least one aspect, due to the resolution it approved in February. But Madore was the only county commissioner to vote against moving forward on Bus Rapid Transit plans during a March meeting of the C-Tran board. Commissioners Tom Mielke and Steve Stuart voted to move forward.
PROMISES: “Remove the excessive permit fees that hinder businesses from growing. Those fees yield very little to our county budget, but are large deterrents to the growth of local businesses. The new growth would provide a more sustainable tax-base for the county in the long run.” … “Developers and builders should be allowed favorable terms for any fees that cannot be removed.” … “The permit process is too expensive, long, complex, inefficient, and undefined. We can fix it.”
RESULT: Ongoing. All three of these issues have been much discussed, and Madore has fought to get things going on this front. Last month, all three commissioners directed staff to find “silly fees” to cut.
PROMISE: “Stop over-regulating. Just as an activist judge should not be making law, the county should not be adding unnecessary burdens that are not clearly required by state or federal law. Revise any existing regulations that fail to provide necessary and practical safety and good environmental stewardship.”
RESULT: Not yet discussed. Madore says this is likely to become a priority through the rest of 2013, and he expects land-use issues to be a major part of future discussions.
PROMISE: “Property taxes are too high. We can improve efficiency and cut costs just like private businesses have done and just like citizens have already done in their homes. We must balance our budgets, not by raising taxes, but by cutting fat and improving efficiency.”
RESULT: No actions.
PROMISE: “Live within our means. Plan ahead and save for projects incrementally to avoid debt. Ensure that we focus on core services. Police, fire, roads, emergency services and parks take priority over nonessential government programs that increase the cost of living.”
RESULT: Mixed. Madore’s first steps on this front include delving into the warrants (expense authorizations) the commissioners approve. He’s spent a good amount of time getting to know the county budget, and he has praised the budget office for its diligence. His resolution to remove parking fees at parks costs the general fund $325,000 per year, but he did identify parks as a “core service” that he is looking to fund. Commissioners have yet to tackle the first budget update, due to take place later this month.
PROMISE: “Invite competition for county services to improve customer service and lower the cost to taxpayers.”
RESULT: This has been discussed on a surface level, but no action has been taken.
PROMISE: “Ensure responsive government. When citizens speak, it should not be limited to one-way communication.”
RESULT: Complete. Madore has made a point to engage those who participate in public comment. However, it’s come to the chagrin of his fellow commissioners. Mielke has made comments regarding the extra time it takes, and Stuart has expressed his concern with starting debates or engaging in county business not on published agendas. Still, Madore has stuck to his goal of communicating with folks at public meetings, and he often gives an explainer after people speak.
These aren’t on his website, but Madore mentioned them in his campaign and after his victory.
PROMISE: Madore said he would return 20 percent of his annual $102,224 commissioner salary to the county coffers.
RESULT: According to County Administrator Bill Barron, that promise has been kept. The county is paying Madore 80 percent of his salary.
PROMISE: Madore petitioned for more transparent government.
RESULT: To that end, he has pushed for more meetings at the county, and on C-Tran, to be recorded by audio or video.