Frank Decker, City of Vanouver City Council Pos. 3

1. What has motivated you to step forward and run for office?Decker.jpg

I’ve been watching the direction our City Council has been taking Vancouver and I’m very concerned with that direction. I believe there needs to be new leadership that will take our city in a direction that encourages business growth, job creation, priority spending, and responsiveness to the will of the voters. I am that leader.

2. What makes you better qualified for this position than your competing candidates?

I am the only true conservative in the race for Vancouver City Council position 3. I am better qualified than my opponents because I both understand and believe in the concepts of limited government, sound fiscal responsibility, and taking a priorities approach to spending and debt.

3. If you are running to affect change, what is it about the incumbent and/or the governing body that needs changing?

I am running against the incumbent Jeanne Harris. Ms. Harris has consistently shown blatant disrespect towards the citizens of Vancouver, both in Council meetings and outside of that chamber. I want to change the tone of the City Council from one where council members openly mock and laugh out loud at citizens when they speak, to one of dignity and atmosphere of respect it should have.

4. In your opinion, what is the proper role of city/county/board (whichever one you are running for office in) government?

The role of the City Council is to create city policy, enact zoning, and approve the biennium budget. I believe all of those decisions must be made based on the will of the people, not special interests or block voting by ideology. The role of the City Council is to do what their boss, the voters, wants them to do.

5. Is there a difference between powers and rights?

Absolutely. Power is simply the ability of someone or group of people to do something that effects someone else. In a Constitutional Republic, the power of the government exists only because it has been given by the will of the majority. Rights belong solely to the people. They inherently exist by virtue of morals, or they are established and protected by law.

6. Do governments have rights?

No. Government only has power, which is provided either by force of will, inheritance, or some form of democratic process in which the people exercise their right to provide power to the government.

7. Where does the power of the office you are seeking come from?

The power of the City Council comes from the voters who have exercised their right to lend that power to the Council members.

8. Can you define what the word "liberty" means to you?

Liberty means that I alone control my life, actions, and behaviors. It means being free from any external control, except where the majority has created a set of laws and restrictions for the common good. It also means accepting personal responsibility for my life, actions, and behaviors.

9. As a trustee of the public's funds how would you prioritize spending?

Specific to the Vancouver City Council, prioritizing spending means adhering to the city charter and the responsibilities of city government outlined within. The first responsibility of the city is public safety, so the adequate funding of police, fire, and EMS must be considered first. The second priority is the quality of life issues like road and street maintenance as well as parks maintenance. My approach to priority budgeting is to fund the mandates first, then consider new capital investments as appropriate and only in the best interest of the public good.

10. What projects should local government avoid?

Projects that involve a significant amount of financial risk, require long term bonding, or so-called public-private partnerships.

11. What is your stance on the proposed CRC project?

The CRC as proposed is a disgrace. I do not and will never support it. Vancouver does not need, want, nor can it afford light rail. The CRC should be immediately disbanded and new leadership appointed to look at real alternatives to transit between Clark County and Portland, including but not limited to: Seismically retro fitting the existing I-5 bridge, a lift on the railroad bridge, creating a new bridge to the West of I-5 and a new bridge to the East. The city of Portland needs to take responsibility for the congestion issues on the I-5 corridor, which have absolutely nothing to do with the existing bridge, its lift, or its six lanes.

12. Should the public have a right to vote on the light rail - tolling project called the CRC?

Absolutely. When elected to the City Council I will seek an appointment to the C-TRAN board where I will never, under any circumstance, vote in favor of funding light rail or BRT without first getting the approval of the voters. Period.

13. What do you think motivates those on the C-Tran Board who are denying the public's right to vote on light rail in Clark County?

Special interests and ideology.

14. Will you unilaterally oppose any CRC proposal that includes light rail?

Yes, as long as that is the will of the voters.

15. Is it ever proper for an office holder to go against the majority if he/she feels the majority to be wrong or misled?

If this question is intended to mean the Majority of voters, then my answer would be no. If it is to mean the majority of the City Council, then absolutely yes.

16. What are the most important issues facing the city/town/county/ board (whatever entity you are running for office in) today and in the future?

First is jobs. Vancouver has an effective unemployment rate of 21%. We need family-wage jobs. Government cannot create those jobs. However, government can help create an environment that is business friendly so our existing businesses can grow and expand and so that new businesses can
relocate to Vancouver, thus providing those private-sector jobs. Second is spending and debt. The city must stop spending tax dollars on new, unnecessary capital projects like parking garages, hotels, and waterfront projects. We must prioritize our spending and focus on M&O of what we already have and are mandated to maintain.

17. What do you feel is the job description for the office you are seeking?

To be a voice for the people in city government, making decisions based upon the will of the people.

18. What ideas do you have to promote job creation and make our community more business friendly?

-Reducing the permitting red-tape and processes for creating or expanding business. -Reducing or eliminating fees, like TIF, for new businesses. -Providing or expanding tax incentives to businesses. -Zoning decisions that have a balance between retail and industrial to ensure medium to large businesses have suitable location options to encourage new businesses to relocate to Vancouver.

19. Ultimately, who or what is responsible for creating jobs?

The private sector.

20. How much influence will the U.S. Bill of Rights and Washington's Constitutional enumeration of rights have in your decision making when dealing with issues?

Where applicable, the Constitutional rights provided by and/or protected by the Bill of Rights trump everything else.

21. What will be your greatest challenge if you are elected?

Finding the time to properly research each week the items in the City Council agenda, having a full-time job.

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