Next month the City of Vancouver will vote for Mayor. Sitting Mayor Anne McEnerny-Ogle will face off against challenger Earl Bowerman. The Columbian Editorial Board, no surprise here, has “recommended” Mayor Anne. I can’t say I disagree with the local paper on this one.
Although the office of Mayor in Vancouver is non-partisan, I would take a wild guess that Mayor Anne is likely a Democrat, her Challenger almost certainly is a Republican, having recently served as the local Republican Party Chairman.
Partisanship should not be a factor in this race, after all the position is defined as “non-partisan.” So why would I agree with the Columbian? Simply put; I have a four year track record with Mayor Anne, definable, visible, and measurable. Mr. Bowerman did not have the ‘stones’ to meet with the editorial board and has not shown anything deeper than slogans as far as a plan to execute his slogan based bullet points. The third candidate Doug Coop, who was eliminated in the primary election in August, was utterly destroyed by Mayor Anne in the editorial board meeting. He really didn’t have a clue on the local issues and focused on national issues. Mr. Bowerman shot himself in the foot by not attending that meeting that left our sitting Mayor looking like a champion by contrast.
In typical fashion, The Columbian failed to mention anything positive about Bowerman in their editorial “recommendation” of Mayor Anne. For one, he holds a doctorate degree in plant science from Rutgers University. The Columbian seemed very dismissive and in my opinion unfairly biased against him. I can’t stand what our media has become these days. 20 years ago The Columbian was refreshingly fair minded, today they seem like just another follow the leader media rag with narrative based reporting.
My problem with Bowerman is his lack of details on the issues. I agree with him on homeless camps and on Vancouver’s independence from Portland. But to the Columbian’s credit, they said he had nothing detailed, and there are no details to be found on his website. For such a well educated person, he cannot seem to articulate his actual “PLAN.” He had an opportunity to do so with the editorial board meeting and declined to show up. Mr Bowerman is no ‘dummy’ but he honestly doesn’t seem to be taking this election serious enough. This is one reason why I feel that Mayor Anne is the best choice.
Mayor Anne’s position on these managed homeless camps is supportive, I have to disagree with her. Providing these camps is an enabling exercise that fails to solve the problem at all. It analogous of parents buying heroin for their teenager and then complaining about their kid’s drug problem. The camps plan is simply an effort to hide the homeless, not an effort to help them. There seems to be three broad categories of homeless people and I think they are in order of prevelance as shown below:
- Drug addicted
- Mentally ill
- Temporarily down
The third category of homeless will typically find help either through family, friends, or local charitable and government services. They do not want to be homeless, they want to get back into society. They are not the problem. The second category is part of a national problem we as a nation have with mental illness. The medical field has been terrible here, diagnosing nearly every patient as having some sort of mental issue and prescribing a variety of drugs to them yet broadly ignoring the real serious cases of mental illness. We need to return to institutional mental health care. NO, not the old school “one flew over the cuckoo’s nest” institutions! But managed care for those people suffering serious mental issues that keep them from functioning in society. They certainly should not be on the streets. The first category is also part of a national tragedy. Our country continues to allow dangerous and highly narcotic drugs to flood our cities. The city policy should be no street camping. Mayor Anne is wrong on this issue. But Mr. Bowerman was unable to present much more than a talking point, let alone a viable solution. Mayor Anne has presented a solution, I may disagree with the choice of solution, but it is at least decisive action.
Mayor Anne seems to be doing a great job continuing the positive redevelopment trends over the last 25 years. I have no quarrel here. She seems to be onboard with hi-density infill development which will help control urban sprawl and allow solid and sustainable growth for the decades ahead. I would like to see the Mayor come up with the defined plan to bring more high paying jobs to Vancouver. This is very important, Clark County residents get absolutely HOSED when they work in Oregon and live in Washington. The ONLY reason someone would do that is they can’t find a comparable position locally. She needs to work on that. The Mayor also seems to be working on solid plans for better transit. Overall good job, Madam Mayor.
Mayor Anne is onboard with the city “climate action plan.” I believe climate action should be left up to state level and national governments. Local governments designing climate focused action plans are wasting millions of dollars of local taxpayer money on what amounts to virtue signaling. Local governments have a primary function to provide public safety, ie Police and Fire services, local transportation infrastructure, and community development plans. Climate change is better suited to higher levels of government that can actually make a difference in that matter on a large scale. Every dollar pumped into expensive studies and legislative changes is a dollar taken away from the problems the residents are most concerned about at the city level.
So there it is in a nutshell, Mayor Anne is the best candidate on the ballot for Mayor and frankly she is all but a ‘shoo in’ at this point. I’m keeping my eye on her administration, we shall see what the 2025 election brings.