Vancouver City Council candidate details vision for the city if she is elected
VANCOUVER — At the fourth and final League of Women Voters of Clark County general election candidate forum on Oct., 12, candidates from several Vancouver City Council races were present.
Vancouver City Council Position 1 is currently occupied by Jack Burkman, who is not seeking re-election. Maureen McGoldrick was the sole candidate present at the candidate forum. Scott Campbell had a position reserved at the forum, but he passed away in September.
Campbell will still appear on the ballot in November. If he were to win the election, the Vancouver city council will appoint someone to fill the position.
McGoldrick was first asked by moderator Nancy Barnes what she saw as the two biggest challenges facing Vancouver over the next five years.
According to McGoldrick, Vancouver faces challenges in affordable housing and homelessness.
“Prices are skyrocketing all over the city,” McGoldrick said.
In some cases, she said that no consideration is given to seniors who may not be able to afford rent increases. Also, she said that high rent increases have driven some residents out of apartments.
“Something has to be done and done quickly before the homeless become chronic,” McGoldrick said. To address this issue, she proposed using federal money to potentially convert some of the Vancouver Barracks to housing for homeless veterans.
In a related question, McGoldrick was asked what she would propose as solutions for decreasing homelessness and providing more affordable housing.
According to McGoldrick, the city needs to ensure that there are written agreements for price caps for seniors living on social security so that their rates cannot be increased past a certain percentage. These agreements need to be in place before the city allocates any money to developers for assistance with affordable housing, McGoldrick said.
McGoldrick also said that she would be in favor of small house development, or “tiny houses.”
“Any time that city council can help support something like that,” McGoldrick said, “I think we have to encourage it, we have to support it.”
The issue of public transportation was also brought up at the candidate forum. McGoldrick was asked why she believed busses were not used more, and how the city could encourage ridership.
“Making a city easy to get around is always helpful,” McGoldrick said. She proposed that seniors should be able to obtain a riders card that was good for several years, and only required a low one-time payment.
McGoldrick also said that the cost for most busses has been “prohibitive.” By making busses more affordable or providing more affordable options, McGoldrick said that ridership could increase.
When asked why she wanted to serve on the city council and what qualifications she has, McGoldrick said “I want to help stop the homelessness.”
McGoldrick said her concern for the environment came about after working for an environmental group in California dedicated to cleaning up Santa Monica Bay. McGoldrick also said that she has a history working in law and in computer programming.
McGoldrick was then asked about the effects of parking fee increases in downtown Vancouver, and ways to mitigate those effects.
She said that increased parking fees will make filling apartment buildings and new development more difficult because people may not be able to afford to pay for parking. McGoldrick also said that less people may work downtown because of the higher parking rates, and this in turn would mean that other small businesses downtown would consequently receive less patronage.