As a combat veteran it is a point of pride for me to be able to say that I served my country honorably in multiple branches of the military.
I chose to pursue a career as a military officer largely because I believe in the values that our great nation was built upon. Those values as set forth in our Declaration of Independence outline the moral foundations of the free society that built the most successful nation in the history of the world: The United States of America. Those values are worth fighting for and defending, both overseas and here at home in Clackamas County.
As Clackamas County Commissioner these core values will guide my performance of duty every day. I will use them as part of my decision-making process for any and all matters relating to county government. These values are the indispensable cornerstones of the American Dream.
Part of that American Dream is homeownership. A huge part of the social contract that binds us together is the understanding that if you work hard and play by the rules, you should be able to own your own home someday. You should be able to pass that property on to your children to help them build for their futures. A critical function of government is to protect the rights that you have over your property from any infringements by that government.
Another cornerstone of the American Dream is entrepreneurship. Anybody who is willing to put forth the requisite effort should be able to start their own business. They should be able to offer products and services to customers and clients and reap the rewards of their efforts without excessive taxation, fees or regulation.
Government actions can either help or hinder citizens’ efforts to achieve their true potential and own their homes and businesses. For example, excessive regulations can limit the amount of land available for housing, making it more expensive. High property taxes can also prevent young families from affording to qualify for their first house. The right government policies can encourage people to start businesses and make it easier for them to do so, while too many bad policies currently hinder our progress.
I was fortunate enough to be able to build my dream home just outside of Sandy in the 1990s and to start a small business that helps others do the same. As I’ve campaigned around Clackamas County, I constantly hear from younger people who are concerned that the high rents they pay make it harder to save for buy that first home. I also hear from small business owners who talk about how government actions are impacting their bottom line, and adversely affecting their ability to give their employees raises or hire more of them. Excessive regulation and high taxes already have many business owners looking at moving out of the county to find relief.
The bottom line is Clackamas County residents are increasingly anxious that they may miss out on the American Dream. This is partly due to the county leadership taking us in the wrong direction.
My years of military leadership experience, combined with my education and small business owner perspective, enable me to see what the county can be doing better to encourage home ownership and entrepreneurship. Together we will get Clackamas County moving in the right direction again.
I value your opinions and ideas. Let me know what they are. I am listening.