- Jobs and Economy
Clark County needs to be a place where businesses of all sizes can thrive. We must support policies that encourage growth and innovation, attracting new businesses to the region while also supporting the businesses that are already here. Businesses in Clark County need to know that they can get permits quickly, navigate regulations and red tape easily, and find top-quality employees at all levels. Clark County must work with local employers and educational institutions to invest in workforce training, apprenticeship, and education. Our workforce needs well-paying jobs that encourage them to stay here and be an active part of the community.
- Affordable Housing
As Clark County grows, housing has become increasingly scarce. Our most vulnerable citizens are in crisis, and mid-income residents are increasingly feeling the squeeze as well. Clark County needs to work for ALL of the people who live here, not just the most privileged. The County must develop policies that encourage new construction of mid-range homes, take an active role in permitting and zoning that allows for sensible development of low-income housing, and actively engage in public-private partnerships that will help meet these needs more quickly and effectively.
- Growth Management
Clark County’s rapid growth is a wonderful opportunity to grow our local economy, but it must be managed carefully. In Clark County’s not-so-distant past, unplanned growth led to sprawl and congestion that continues to be a problem today. As the agency that leads and manages land-use policy, Clark County needs to build and maintain a realistic growth plan that acknowledges that our area is becoming increasingly urban, while also preserving and protecting rural and agricultural space. It is imperative that we plan transportation and utilities infrastructure with realistic projections and an eye toward high quality of life for residents today and 20 years from today.
Shortages of affordable housing combined with increased demand on social service agencies have led to a homelessness crisis that can be seen every day in Clark County, especially in the downtown area of Vancouver. Clark County as a public entity has remained largely quiet on the issue, refusing to take a leadership role in helping these most vulnerable citizens. This is a problem which affects all of us. The unhoused need places to live and services to help them become self-sufficient. The housed need to know that their streets and parks and backyards are safe and clean and welcoming. We all deserve to live in a community that is accessible to all of us, recognizing that everyone needs help from time to time, some more than others. Clark County must take an active role in building public-private partnerships that give all of our residents a hand up.
- Aging in Place
As the Baby Boom population ages, how we accommodate and embrace our older population becomes increasingly important. As people stay healthier longer, they often want to age in place. And for many, the financial reality is that they cannot afford to leave their homes as their health needs increase. Clark County should lead the way in making Universal Design a priority, supporting permits and regulation changes that make adaptive renovations achievable, and thinking comprehensively about infrastructure and land use planning, to meet our residents where they are now and where they will be in the future.
- Fiscal Responsibility
As Clark County continues to grapple with a structural budget deficit, our leaders must embrace creative, contemporary thinking in order to address these challenges. As budgets have steadily been cut, our talented county staff has been trying to do more with less, but the reality is that we are having to do less with less. Our elected leaders need to make a priority of closely reviewing budgets and practices, recognizing what needs to change, and ensuring that taxes and fees are used as effectively as possible to do as much good as possible for our residents.
- Parks & Outdoor Space
As the former Executive Director of the Parks Foundation of Clark County, Temple has an unparalleled understanding of the importance of parks and open space, and the value of recreation programs for all ages. Clark County must work to promote sustainable growth, plan for adequate parks and open space, and encourage responsible stewardship of our public lands.
- Transportation Infrastructure
Fixing the I-5 bridge is a crucial component of Clark County’s transportation future. A congested I-5 corridor has negative impacts throughout our community, and must be addressed NOW. At the same time, there is much more at stake than one single project. Our transportation system has suffered years of neglect, which increases expenses, decreases productivity, and hinders quality of life. Clark County must continue to think about a complete transportation future, which includes a functional I-5 Bridge crossing, increased and expanded public transportation, “Complete Streets” which make roads and sidewalks manageable for all modes of transportation, and planning which considers not just how people get around now, but how they will commute and recreate in the future.