Bill Ward’s 2007 election as Port of Camas-Washougal commissioner was a clear message from voters: Stabilize the controversial port management after a misguided detour toward waterfront development. Ward defeated his opponent by 18 percentage points.
Four years later, the port’s management is on solid ground and Ward has helped increase transparency in the decision-making process. His challenger on the Nov. 8 ballot — professional pilot Neil Cahoon — possesses a wealth of knowledge about the port’s airport operations. Cahoon seeks new direction for the port, and this is one of those races where voters benefit from candidates who are genuinely motivated and highly motivated on multiple issues.
Two hard-working, forward-thinking Vancouver city councilors deserve to be returned to office, and they should be joined by a community activist whose civic involvement is so extensive as to exhaust a casual observer. Incumbents Larry Smith and Bart Hansen and newcomer Anne McEnerny-Ogle have earned endorsements by The Columbian. Here’s why:
Smith knows Vancouver
Both candidates for state representative on the Nov. 8 ballot are familiar to many voters in the 49th District, which includes Vancouver west of Interstate 205 and Hazel Dell. Although Democrat Sharon Wylie is running for this office for the first time, she’s well-known in the district because for six months she has served as the incumbent appointee replacing Democrat Jim Jacks. And although Republican Craig Riley also has not served in this role, many voters remember him from last year when he ran impressively but unsuccessfully against Democrat Jim Moeller.
Both are high-quality hopefuls who heavily research key issues, carefully craft their stances and have built significant support bases. Wylie has earned The Columbian’s endorsement because of two compelling advantages: experience in the legislative arena and a political posture that parallels the traditional character of this legislative district. More bluntly, she’s been there and done that, and she’s a better fit for the 49th.
The state’s largest union would have you believe Initiative 1163 on the Nov. 8 ballot is about protecting services to vulnerable adults. The truth is, though, Initiative 1163 actually is about the union.
This ballot measure calls for something that already occurs, paying for it with money the state doesn’t have, and solving a problem that doesn’t exist. For those three reasons, The Columbian recommends a “No” vote.
Transportation affects everyone. Even if you never left your home, the goods and products you consume depend on transportation. Your relatives, neighbors and friends need a dependable transportation system, and our state has a pretty good one.
Initiative 1125 on the Nov. 8 ballot threatens a greater harm to that transportation system than any proposal we’ve seen in years. If passed, it would block transportation projects statewide, increase traffic congestion and eliminate thousands of jobs. Locally, I-1125, if passed, would delay the new Interstate 5 bridge project and increase its cost.
More than any other single issue, Proposition 1 on the Nov. 8 ballot will be about maintaining Clark County’s high quality of life. It’s not about expanding the local transit system (just preserving it), and it’s certainly not about light rail. Yes, Proposition 1 is about a tax increase: a two-tenths of a percentage point increase in the sales tax, or two pennies on a $10 purchase. But without that increase, the projected cuts in C-Tran and C-Van (for people with disabilities) services are unacceptable.
Although The Columbian typically opposes tax increases during this lingering economic crisis, we recommend a “Yes” vote on Proposition 1 to prevent those dramatic cuts and protect our community’s efficiently managed and highly valued transit system. If Prop 1 fails, C-Tran’s board of directors anticipates these actions:
Last year Washington voters rejected two ballot measures that would’ve privatized liquor sales and distribution in the state. The Columbian endorsed both of those measures. A similar measure — Initiative 1183 — appears on the Nov. 8 ballot, and we again enthusiastically recommend aligning Washington with more than 30 other states that have properly recognized the government’s role. It’s not to sell liquor and wine but to regulate that commerce. No more than we would expect the state to distribute and sell cigarettes (at exorbitantly marked-up prices, mind you), Washingtonians should not expect the state government to sell spirits.
Voters who opposed liquor privatization last year should recognize at least two refinements that I-1183 brings to this issue. First, it would generate a projected $400 million in new revenue for state and local governments (police, fire protection, schools and health care). Opponents quickly point to a 27 percent tax that would be levied on sellers, to which The Seattle Times correctly responded that the tax “replaces the state’s markup of 52 percent” that exists under the current system.