Key Issues

Considerate and Action-oriented

As a patriot of this country, Michelle has clear and common sense positions on all the issues our community cares about.

Reduce Homeless Camping

Homelessness in the County is quickly getting out of control. Michelle Belkot plans to address the homeless crisis head on, putting an end to camping, and taking a closer look at where the money is going and assisting those struggling with addiction and mental health issues. We must be compassionate to those who struggle with illness. There are already many programs available for drug and mental health treatment. Part of the cleanup process must be helping to connect those in need with available resources. I believe that the necessary infrastructure already exists. We just need to take a serious look at where public funds for homeless “services” are going and restructure or eliminate unproductive agencies.

ACTIONS MICHELLE WILL TAKE:

– Adopt a “reduction-based” approach for all services

– Bring more focus on the drug problem of homelessness

– Invite Mental Health & Law Enforcement leaders in as major stakeholders to finding solutions.

Increase Public Safety

This whole “defund” movement is producing terrible outcomes of morale and crime in our community. It’s clear that new leadership is needed on the Clark County Council. The sheriff’s Guild has not been listened to, as well as the public overall. There is a significant staffing shortage in the Clark County Sheriff’s Office due to budget cuts, a struggle to hire new sheriff’s deputies, and retain existing ones. The Clark County Sheriff’s Office has .56 working officer (not equivalent to a deputy) for every 237,955 residents. This is the lowest ratio in decades, and well below the national average. That leaves ALL County communities vulnerable to crime. Michelle not only encourages better funding, but better public services and support for Clark County Sherriff’s Office. When law enforcement is respected and supported as a vital piece of our community, all community members win. This can be done AND maintain high standards of conduct.

ACTIONS MICHELLE WILL TAKE:

– Advocate for commensurate pay for deputies

– Bring back public support and proclamations for Public Safety issues and Law Enforcement

– Make the drug crisis a priority and look to bring more existing resources and attention to this exploding problem.

– Look to reverse the recent Jail Services takeover and bring it back to the supervision of the County Sheriff.

Transportation and Tolling

In March of 2021, the Interstate Bridge Replacement (IBR) replaced the failing 2013 Columbia River Crossing (CRC) project. Despite CRC costing taxpayers over 200 million it produced nothing. During multiple elections, voters were against extending Portland’s light rail as part of the Interstate bridge replacement with a resounding “NO”. Washingtonians that work in Oregon already pay one of the highest state income taxes in the nation, with zero voting representation. The IBR also proposes a two-way toll on top of the state income tax, costing commuters double the expense of working in Oregon. No means no! I pledge to represent the people on this issue and support a third bridge now.

ACTIONS MICHELLE WILL TAKE:

– Oppose ALL TOLLS

 – Advocate for a 3rd bridge

– No Light Rail

Less Government, Fewer Taxes

Our County Government budget and revenue have ballooned over the last ten years and it seems that taxes keep going up.  Elected representatives are supposed to be looking out for the taxpayer but many are only looking out for government employees and unelected bureaucrats.  I will always look to lower spending, and taxation and always reduce government overreach.  Most families are dealing with higher costs and are trying to make ends meet.  This should be a time the government tightens its spending and looks to relieve the tax burden on citizens. 

ACTIONS MICHELLE WILL TAKE:

– Evaluate every spending proposal to reduce costs

– Reduce regulations, fees, and taxes whenever possible

– Prioritize the public over the bureaucracy.

Clark County’s Drug Crisis

One of my first priorities will be to bring more attention to the drug problem that is at a crisis level and is a main contributor to our rise of crime and homelessness, yet very few are willing to acknowledge and discuss this openly.  Drug overdose deaths are up almost 100% based on the 2018-2021 Medical Examiners reports with fentanyl deaths leading the charge.  Homelessness is continuing to surge to Portland-like proportions and crime is a problem in many of our communities.  I plan to immediately bring higher awareness of how drugs are at a crisis level, and which is driving other problems we’re facing. 

ACTIONS MICHELLE WILL TAKE:

– Bring more attention to the unfolding drug crisis here in Clark County

– Look to start a drug task force to bring recommendations to the Council for actions to take.

– Engage more resources and attention from Public Health department.

Public Input & Hold Quarterly Town Halls

In order to better serve the public and ensure open communication, I’ll look to have quarterly town halls that will give the public more access to ask questions, inform me of how they feel about topics and concerns and to hear directly from me on important issues as well.  I’m kind of shocked on how current Councilors hardly acknowledges public input let alone genuinely seeks it out.  Not only will I schedule these quarterly town halls, but I’ll actively invite other Councilors to join me.

ACTIONS MICHELLE WILL TAKE:

– Always advocate for proper public notice and invite input on every decision.

– Hold quarterly town halls so people can be heard and to better explain issues that are coming up or at hand.

 

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