Clark County Council District 2 will feature new face

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At least two hopefuls have publicly declared their intent to run for outgoing Clark County Councilor Julie Olson’s seat in the November election.

The district’s boundaries, which finally received approval after months of deliberation, feature much of the suburbs north of Vancouver city limits west of state Route 503.

As of press deadline for The Reflector’s May 18 edition, Michelle Belkot and Chartisha Roberts both announced they would file for Olson’s district 2 seat. Olson announced her decision not to run on April 25, according to The Columbian.

In a campaign announcement, Belkot said she is “a clear front-runner” for the position, going by the slogan of “change is overdue for district 2.”

Belkot will focus on homelessness, an issue her campaign said is “turning Clark County into Portland,” according to her announcement.

“Prioritizing public safety, having well-trained and fairly compensated deputies, along with finding real solutions to our transportation and traffic issues, puts Clark County residents first,” her announcement read. “Portland politicians or bloated government projects that just want to expand light rail are not priorities for Clark County.”

Belkot’s announcement references her run for Vancouver Public Schools Board of Directors last year, in which she was defeated by Sandra Zavala-Ortega.

“Michelle is ready to put her school board run in the Vancouver school district to work and get elected this year so she can restore the ‘people’s voice’ back to the county council,” the announcement stated.

The announcement noted Belkot is a 24-year Navy veteran. It cited she has an “attention to detail” that she would use to find answers for issues like housing prices, taxes, and general relief during the current economic inflation.

“As your representative, I am committed to resolving problems in an effort to minimize the negative pandemic impacts from the last two years. If elected, I will be an ethical, transparent, and always a community-based member of the Clark County Council,” the announcement stated. “I’ve proudly served our country and now I’d appreciate the opportunity to serve my county.”

Belkot will face Roberts, who also sought the VPS seat last year. Roberts lost in the primary, garnering about 22.4% of the August vote.

In her announcement, Roberts stressed her professional experience in human resources and administration, as well as her connection to district 2 and Clark County.

“Clark County is my home. It’s where I live, work and raise my son,” Roberts said in the announcement.

Roberts said her experience, most recently as a program coordinator and recruiter for Legacy Health, would bring “thoughtful, well-reasoned decision-making to the council.”

In the announcement, Roberts said she wants to bolster public health, address homelessness and increase affordable housing, as well as make “smart” decisions on land use.

During her school board campaign, Roberts said voters wanted “to see something different in elected leadership.”

“They want leaders who are committed to honest collaboration, who put partisanship aside, and roll up their sleeves to get things done for the community,” Roberts stated in the release. “That is exactly how I will represent district 2, and how I will serve the entire county once I am elected.”

Those who file for the district 2 seat will also join district 1 and district 5 in primary elections on Aug. 2. The top two from those contests will go on to the general election on Nov. 8.

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