Voters have a clear choice in November about the direction they want Clark County to take, in hopes of pulling out of the worst recession in decades.
In Marc Boldt, Joe Tanner David Madore and Tom Mielke, voters have four candidates, all with different ideas about how the county can prosper once again. But just two, incumbent Boldt in east county and challenger Tanner in north county, have the ability to mesh good ideas, a willingness to work across party lines and a proven track record in crafting solid plans of action, to achieve success.
Boldt, of Brush Prairie, the incumbent commissioner representing east county for the last eight years, has been an effective voice for most citizens due to his calm, low-key but deliberate approach to the issues at hand. He has been a fiscal conservative, partly because of philosophy but also out of necessity, making tough choices on services the county simply cannot fund as it has in the past. Yet he has done so in a way that does not alienate his fellow commissioners or constituents. And like the other candidates he gives priority to making the county a much friendlier place for small businesses.
By contrast Boldt’s challenger, Madore of Vancouver, CEO of a Clark county company U.S. Digital, takes a far different approach to the county’s problems. His comments on the campaign trail indicate that, as a businessman and taxpayer advocate, he would unmercifully go through county departments with a hatchet, despite the genuine need for many services. And he would withdraw all county support for the Columbia River Crossing, despite the need for some traffic relief along the I-5 corridor. His “my way or the highway” approach would not mix well in a three commissioner county board that has to find common ground to be effective.
Tanner, of Ridgefield, has a long resume that shows just how bright his potential is, if elected to the board of commissioners from north county. He is in senior management in medical device, electronics manufacturing, and retail and consumer products firms. He has been a state representative, state senator, a small business owner and president of the Columbia River Economic Development Council, as well as a military veteran. With his education, varied background and specific plans he hopes to implement if elected, Tanner offers a new hope for a well rounded county board that can be effective by working together.
The incumbent commissioner from north county, Mielke of Battle Ground, has been a huge disappointment since being elected to the county board. Mielke admittedly has very few achievements he can point to since being elected. Instead, he seems to take pride in simply voting “no” on many key issues the commissioners are faced with. Yet he will rarely offer much insight to his “no” votes, or show that he has done much homework on the issues. Citizens cannot afford to have someone just warm a chair on the county board when there is real work to be done.
The Post-Record enthusiastically endorses Marc Boldt and Joe Tanner for county commissioner in their respective races, because of their track records in business, government and in working across party lines for the common good.