Vancouver City Council Position 3 hopefuls outline stances

Glover, Beardshear seek city council seat

By Katy Sword, Columbian staff writer

Published:

 

The candidates

Name: Michelle Beardshear

Age: 39

Political experience: chair of East Mill Plain Neighborhood Association

Endorsement: Clark County council Chair Marc Boldt

Funds raised: $1,470

Website: www.votebeardshear.com

Name: Linda Glover

Age: 68

Political experience: ran for city council in 2015

Endorsement: National Women’s Political Caucus of Washington

Funds raised: $17,275

Website: www.lindagloverforvancouver.com

Vancouver Races

Mayor: Anne McEnerny-Ogle, Jonathan Sauerwein (write-in)

Position 1: Maureen McGoldrick, Scott Campbell (deceased)

Position 2: Alishia Topper (incumbent), Justin Forsman

Position 3: Michelle Beardshear and Linda Glover 

Two people are running for Vancouver City Council Position 3. The position is currently occupied by Anne McEnerny-Ogle, who is running for mayor.

The position will pay $1,947 a month in 2018. Councilors enact ordinances or resolutions, adopt rules, regulations and the budget, as well as appoint or remove the city manager, approve salaries, control indebtedness and issue bonds.

Michelle Beardshear and Linda Glover are running for the position. Glover took the lead in the August primary with 61.95 percent of the vote.

Here’s what they had to say about a few key issues. Responses have been edited for clarity.

Most important issue in Vancouver

Beardshear: I see the No. 1 issue facing the city of Vancouver being the inadequate amount or lack of living-wage jobs in our community. Lack of jobs that pay a living wage is the root for many (not all) of the other issues we as a city face. If a person is working full time with the current economic factors, no fault of their own, their job needs to pay at least $15 per hour to pay their monthly expenses.

Glover: I believe transportation is the No. 1 issue because it touches everyone. With housing costs rising in central downtown, people are having to move out farther, making trips to work longer. We have to replace the I-5 Bridge as soon as possible.

Solutions to homelessness

Glover: The solutions will demand collaborative efforts from city/county governments, social agencies, religious groups and individuals. The city has been a leader in addressing tenant/landlord issues, incentivizing developers of multifamily housing and funding for low-income housing in the future. I plan to support these efforts.

The solutions or paths to independence are not a “one size fits all” approach, but rather, programs that fit the needs of the individual. Thus, I will support programs that can evaluate those needs and provides the direction and the support needed.

Beardshear: My plan would start by creating a team that involves partnerships with the city, the county, companies, nonprofits, and organizations that are all working towards combatting this issue.

I would immediately get emergency shelters in place. Vancouver hasn’t expanded on emergency shelters in years, the winters are getting colder and the 2017 winter is near. These shelters wouldn’t be housing but used for winter emergency shelter to get human beings out of the freezing outside elements. This is just the minimum I feel we as a city we should be doing. Public restrooms in the downtown corridor, lockers and a day center that can actually be used is something that can immediately be organized. I would safeguard and commit to assuring the affordable housing funds that our taxpayers have agreed on are used efficiently and as effectively as possible.

Addressing affordable housing

Beardshear: I would offer zoning code amendments that would allow developers to build more affordable apartment or condominium units per acre. Allowing them to build more units for more revenue in their pocket at the end of the project. Tiny homes are the new thing, make smaller units for those who are looking for a smaller unit.

Glover: Because free market enterprise does not respond quickly when the profit margin for housing projects is slim, the solutions need to be cost efficient and will be accomplished through private, public and nonprofit organization partnerships. That is where my strong community networks will be useful to develop partnerships between these different groups.

Transportation

Glover: I do think it is important to expand the BRT lines. Improving efficiencies and services on regular bus lines will be important, also. As downtown grows a circulator rubber-tired trolley or bus will be needed to move tourists and employees around the city center. The solutions to moving more people around our community will be multi-modal.

Beardshear: I believe the region would benefit from expanded Bus Rapid Transit. The Vine costs less to operate than the service it replaced. The Vine saves riders up to 10 minutes on each trip and the service frequency increases to 10 minutes per trip in the peak hours compared to 15 minutes on the old route.

Public transportation is something I will always advocate for and insist continues throughout the city and county. As a disabled person and as previous daily rider, I understand the dire need for reliable transportation when income is limited.

Congestion

Beardshear: Traffic congestion will forever be an issue here in Vancouver. We are no longer the small community we were 25 years ago. We are now part of the 23rd largest metropolitan area in the nation and growth is expected to continue. Our land development opportunities for building new roads is rather slim so our focus should be keeping up with the maintenance and availability on streets we currently have.

Glover: The challenge is not just how to move cars through roads and highways more efficiently, but how to move people to their jobs, schools, shopping, and recreation.

The solutions will be in city planners collaborating to reduce distances between homes, work, shopping and play. Planning must include bikeways and the ability to walk for services and amenities. Expansion of BRT and other bus lines will be important.

Waterfront

Glover: This reconnection to the Columbia River after 100 years is a catalyst for development of office and retail space, restaurants and residential. The 7-acre park will create beautiful space for many kinds of recreation. The beautiful, riverfront park and unique pier alone will draw visitors. Adding the restaurants and retail will strengthen the attraction and provide the opportunity to capture more tourist dollars.

Beardshear: The downtown area is reliant on tourist and pedestrian activity; the economy is set up as such with the small eateries, the boutiques, and small businesses along the downtown corridor. Unless you are familiar with the friendly quaint atmosphere, honestly who wants to stop and see what is available? We need something that will draw people in and my vision is that the pier and the waterfront restaurants will do that. The new waterfront attraction will draw the pedestrian and tourist activity into the downtown area which will help our overall economy.

Revenue

Beardshear: I feel we should start with something that is frustrating to many Vancouver residents; cars registered in Oregon with out of state plates living at the house next door.

Glover: With our community growing at such a rapid pace, it is inevitable that the city will have to increase funding in critical areas, like public safety. A group of community leaders (known as Vancouver Strong) will hold conversations across the community to identify the level of services expected and the mechanisms to fund those services. I am looking forward to learning what the citizens thoughts and expectations are for our community.             

Business and operations tax

Glover: Not only would a B&O tax deter new businesses but may cause the loss of our current businesses. Many of our larger corporations with a large number of employees operate with a very slim profit margin. We could be risking the loss of those employers with this form of taxation.

Beardshear: A business and operations tax would be revenue coming into the city yes, however we should save this option for a later time. Right now, re-implementing a B&O tax would be contradicting to what we are trying to do, attract new businesses to our area to help build and make our economy strong.

First thing you’d do if you win?

Beardshear: One of the first things I would like to do if I win the position is publicly thank people who stepped up and voted to break up the inner circle of the elite in Vancouver.

Glover: I will study, ask questions and work to understand the complexities of my responsibilities.     

What should voters know about you?

Glover: For more than 20 years, (I have) worked hand-in-hand with people across the community to make positive changes and improve quality of life in Vancouver and Southwest Washington. (I) was a teacher and elementary school principal before moving to Vancouver. (I have) been an active volunteer and champion of all that Vancouver has to offer.

Beardshear:  My qualities (and sometimes to a fault) are my loyalty, my blunt honesty, and my reality based focus on facts and what is. I have experienced both the amazing and the horrific sides of life, and am willing to share a diverse perspective from experience. I am an advocate for equality who offers diversity and compassion. I have very strong values, morals, and beliefs and am not willing to sell out for political gain or endorsement.

I am middle class, an average person who isn’t part of Vancouver’s elite inner circle. I am not a person who will simply agree because the majority of council does or wants me to. I will stand up and question if something doesn’t sound or feel right, and I am the person that isn’t afraid to take action in best interest of the community when needed.