A proper start to a new year in Clark County politics should begin with the opening line of our state constitution: “All political power is inherent in the people, and governments derive their just powers from the consent of the governed ...”
Resolution number one is for our elected officials to remain mindful they work for the people. They should have our approval before they enact new policies, ordinances or laws.
Resolution number two is for politicians to keep the promises they made on the campaign trail.
Resolution number three is for government to live within its means. State legislators should reject Governor Jay Inslee’s proposed $54.4 billion two-year state operating budget that includes a new $3.7 billion capital gains tax. This represents a whopping 25 percent increase over the previous $43.7 billion state budget. A robust economy has resulted in historic revenues. Budget writers should craft a no-new-taxes budget and sock a little away in our state’s rainy day fund for when things aren’t so rosy.
Resolution number four is for elected city and county officials to stop raising property taxes by rejecting the annual 1 percent property tax hike. More money is rolling into government bank accounts from unprecedented growth in new construction. Local governments see increases in their portion of sales tax and more revenue from higher property values when new construction replaces bare ground.
Resolution number five is for all of the new residents who moved here from California and Oregon. They should remember why they left their home state to come here, and then vote accordingly in Washington.
Resolution number six is for our elected community leaders to start planning new bridges today that actually relieve traffic congestion.
Resolution number seven is for Clark County leaders to get off the dime and implement the Freight Rail Dependent Uses policy now allowed under Washington State law. In 2017, this Growth Management Act reform bill passed the Legislature with unprecedented bipartisan support. It was like handing a silver platter of new manufacturing jobs to Clark County. It’s not the only magic bullet but it’s a good start to bring thousands of new jobs to our region. It’s been 15 months since the effective date of this measure. Let’s get it done!
Resolution number eight is for citizens to re-engage in local government. Ask your neighbor to join you at an upcoming school board meeting, city council or county council meeting. Pay attention to what your elected officials are doing. Thank them for their service. In a respectful manner, let them know when you agree and when you disagree.
Resolution number nine is to return civility to our public discourse. One of the best things about serving in the Washington State Legislature was the decorum and genuine respect for the institution by its members. Civility starts with us. Conduct political discussions with intellectual honesty and cogent arguments. Leave the insults and name calling behind. Let’s be the change we want to see.
Resolution number 10 is for all of us to do our part to keep this great economy rolling. Shop at a local hardware store. Dine at a neighborhood restaurant. Use local financial institutions. Support the businesses that are the backbone of this community. Lastly, have a little bit of fun, every day!