County Council candidate Michelle Belkot clarifies her action plan on important issues

Michelle Belkot
Michelle Belkot

Belkot laid out her priorities, which includes Clark County’s recent rise in crime and a problem with drugs

Michelle Belkot, candidate for Clark County Council District 2, clarified her action plan on important issues through an open letter to voters Friday. Belkot is facing Chartisha Roberts in the Nov. 8 general election.

“As Clark County citizens are filling out ballots, I’d like to reiterate to voters what they can expect from me if elected to office,’’ Belkot wrote. “Every voter should know where candidates stand and how those seeking office are held accountable. Moreover, I’ve noticed that my opponent and many other Democrat candidates, seem to be avoiding specifics keeping vital information from voters.’’

In her letter, Belkot laid out her priorities, which includes Clark County’s recent rise in crime and a problem with drugs.

“One of my first priorities is to bring more attention to the drug problem that has reached a crisis level and is the main contributor to our rise in crime and homelessness,’’ Belkot stated. “According to the Clark County Medical Examiners reports drug overdose deaths are up almost 100% with Fentanyl deaths leading the charge, yet very few are willing to acknowledge and discuss this openly. Homelessness is continuing to surge to Portland-like proportions and crime is a problem in most of our communities. 

“I plan to immediately increase awareness of the drug crisis level, which affects other problems we are experiencing,’’ Belkot stated. “If elected, I will ensure both mental health experts and law enforcement are included stakeholders, but I’ll adopt a ‘reduction-based’ approach that analyzes how county funds are utilized to reduce homelessness and provide recovery options. If reduction strategies are found ineffective, funding will be cut or redirected elsewhere to bring results. The Columbian Editorial Board erroneously reported that I would cut homeless services, but the truth is I wouldn’t reduce resources but only redirect them into improved strategies. I don’t believe the public wants to put money into services that might be unintentionally enabling the homelessness problem.

“Secondly, the ‘defund the police’ mentality that has influenced our community priorities will no longer be viable if I’m elected,’’ Belkot stated. “While running for school board I was stunned that Chartisha Roberts openly supported and was endorsed by BLM. I will support and honor law enforcement and first responders, who take the oath to protect and serve our community. I’ll move to make a proclamation of support for our police, something the Council failed to do this year during National Peace Officers Week, and make sure they are compensated and trained to the highest degree possible. I’ll investigate reversing the decision to remove jail services away from the Sheriff, which was handed over to unelected bureaucrats who have even less experience in running our jail. What’s worse is how the jail services takeover occurred with little public input, no plans presented or staff report of budget impact or a public job posting made related to the new jail leadership position.

“Thirdly, transportation is so important to many county families,’’ Belkot added. “The current path is to burden us with additional taxes and new tolls which is unacceptable. As a County Councilor, I will do everything I can to speak on behalf of my constituents that we reject tolls and light rail. I’ll look to accelerate and prioritize transportation solutions that help our families to spend more time together and not in traffic.

“Next, our county government budget and revenue have ballooned over the last ten years, and taxes continue to increase,’’ Belkot stated. “Elected representatives are supposed to look out on the behalf of taxpayers. I will always look to lower spending, taxation, and always reduce government overreach when possible. Most families are trying to make ends meet and dealing with the higher cost of inflation. This should be a time for the government to tighten its spending and look to relieve the tax burden on citizens. If elected, I will look to save money wherever I can.

“Lastly, in order to better serve the public and ensure open communication, I’ll hold quarterly town halls,’’ Belkot promised. “This will allow the public to ask questions, inform me of community concerns, and hear directly from me on important issues. I’m concerned about how current Councilors hardly acknowledge public input, let alone genuinely seek it out. Public input must become a priority again and not something to undermine or minimize as it is being done currently.’’

Belkot vowed to be a citizen representative if elected.

I don’t expect everyone to agree with me on every issue, but I do believe every voter should know where I stand on important issues that we all care about,’’ she stated. “No matter the topic, you can always expect me to be transparent and work to put citizens first ahead of the bureaucratic state. Government serves the people, not the other way around.’’

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