Economic development and transportation are topics of interest among the candidates for the Board of Clark County Council, District 4.
Roman Battan, a Democrat, and Eileen Quiring, a Republican, will compete in the Nov. 8 general election. Ballots are being sent to voters this week, and they have to be postmarked by Nov. 8.
The winner in the District 4 race will succeed Tom Mielke, a Republican who did not seek re-election.
During a recent phone interview, Battan said he would like to readjust the county organization, to get the best services.
“Contentious attitudes filter down to the organization,” Battan said.
“Employees are filing lawsuits against councilors,” he added. “We need to take the politics out of it and spend money on essential services — law and justice, health and human services, building permits, housing, septic inspections, building roads and public works.”
Battan, of Camas, said he believes in good governance, streamlining operations, prioritizing the way the county spends money and being more accountable to people.
Clark County Council public hearings are held Tuesdays, at 10 a.m., in the sixth-floor hearing room of the Public Service Center, 1300 Franklin St., Vancouver.
On the first Tuesday of the month, hearings begin at 6 p.m., at the same location.
“We should reach out to the east and north side of the county and potentially have meetings at night in the Camas-Washougal area and Battle Ground,” Battan said.
He would like to see an increase in economic development, with the Columbia River Economic Development Council actively engaging businesses to expand the area’s tax base.
Battan, 35, wants cities in East Clark County, including Camas and Washougal, to have some say in how they grow geographically, in a sustainable and environmentally friendly way.
Battan said he is an advocate for the replacement of the I-5 bridge.
“It is an aging piece of infrastructure,” he said. “Sixty-thousand [Washington] residents go across the bridge to Oregon to work.
“We need more business investment here, so fewer people have to commute,” Battan added.
He said if it is affordable, he thinks there should be light rail service extension from Portland to Vancouver “or at the very least build the infrastructure [for light rail] for a later addition.”
Battan, a 1999 Camas High School graduate, owns Northern Media, a Camas company that provides video production and web and software development.
His previous occupations have included sales director for a software company and manager for Komet USA and York/Johnson Controls.
Battan has a bachelor’s degree in business administration, with an emphasis in finance, from WSU-Vancouver.
In addition to being a Watershed Steward, he feeds homeless people as a volunteer with Human Solutions, and he maintains the website for Mostly Mutts Animal Rescue. He is the communications and technology director for the Clark County Democrats.
Attracting industries with good paying jobs to Clark County would be among Quiring’s priorities, if elected.
She said, during a recent phone interview, another issue of interest is private property rights for urban and rural residents.
Quiring, of Vancouver, talked about making government efficient and looking for ways to remove redundancy and waste.
She said the Sheriff’s department is having difficulty recruiting and training personnel.
Sheriff Chuck Atkins has requested budget authority from the Board of County Councilors to replace current inmate jail beds with suicide resistant beds.
“The justice system is a high priority, to be funded and addressed at the county level,” Quiring said.
She serves on the Clark County Planning Commission and the Clark County Board of Equalization.
“I have been a policy maker before,” Quiring said. “The planning commission makes recommendations to the county council on land use issues.
“That experience will help me be a good policy maker and advocate for people in the county,” she added. “I would listen to all, take issues into account and make a decision based upon core principles and the voice of the people. I have experience in the public and private sector.”
Quiring, 68, is a former Oregon State representative (1995 to 1997) and a former Oregon State senator (from 1997 to 2001).
She is a real estate broker for Re/Max Equity Group.
Previous occupations have included appraiser with the Clark County Assessor’s Office and president/ owner of Hairtel International, Inc., of Portland.
“I have owned a small business and met a payroll,” Quiring said. “I’ve been the first one there and the last one to leave.
“I care for employees and the burdens placed on you by local, state and federal government,” she added. “I have concern for employees and employers — particularly small business owners — they make up a majority of businesses.”
On the subject of transportation, Quiring said the I-5 bridge still has structural strength for 60 years.
“So rather than replace the bridge, I would support an additional bridge,” she said.
Quiring said she does not support light rail extension from Portland to Vancouver.
“The people of Clark County have made their statement through an advisory vote clear [in November 2012],” she said. “They do not support light rail either.”
Quiring has a bachelor’s degree in management of human resources from George Fox University, in Newberg, Oregon.
Her community involvement has included serving on the boards of the Pregnancy Resource Centers of Greater Portland, Metro Policy Chaplaincy, Portland Rescue Mission and Capitol Ministries of Oregon.