Dave Bell for Wheeler City Council

Submitted By: dave@captainbell.com – Click to email about this post
I’m Dave Bell and I’m running for election to the Wheeler City Council.
I have been asked about whether I support development in our community. Without going into a lot of detail, my bottom line is that I support ideas that will contribute to our economic well-being. It’s no secret that our town is barely getting by on an extremely limited budget and yet we have several items that absolutely must be completed for us to continue and even thrive as a community. I support a number of things, but the reality is that some of them conflict with other ideas. That’s where compromise comes into play. We cannot adhere to any single policy without taking the larger picture into perspective.
Now, let me address what I do not support. Some of the other candidates for this office have cited the Wheeler Vision as the document that must be followed when considering any development in the city. Now, I believe the idea of documenting the resident’s vision is a good one. I was a member of the City Council that approved that document and placed it in our Comprehensive Plan. But the fact is, several of those items contradict each other. The document is meant to be a guide for development in our community, but we must use some common sense when we address those contradictions. Most of us know how the Vision is being used by those opposed to development in one part our town, but let’s look at the flipside. I’m just going to look at some of the phrases in that document.
• We need a bigger tax base.
• Focus on things that can be accomplished. Do not micromanage.
• Focus on eliminating noxious weeds like Knotweed, Scotch Broom and Blackberries.
• Ordinances should not be obstacles designed to control people and their property rights.
• Manage development, do not control development.
• Do not stop growth and the jobs it would create.
And perhaps, if any of the items in the document can be singled out as most important,
• Support a vital economy. Improve commercial property. Maintain and expand the business core. Support economic growth and business development.
Those points all relate to the current proposal, and all join the items being used to oppose the plan. These are all equal parts to our Vision Plan. If you support the Vision, you must support the entire document. Again, I support the Wheeler Vision. But in doing so, I also recognize that we must also follow the regulations that are placed on any potential development in our community by all of the regulatory agencies. As much as we may like to, we cannot simply “cherry-pick” parts of the Vision to oppose the proposal.
I have said that we need to negotiate and compromise to accomplish the things we need to do to return our city to financial health. We cannot take a hard line using only the Vision. There is so much more involved. We need to get back to a City Council that is working for everyone, citizens and developers alike, to allow our community as a whole to prosper. That is going to take some common sense and we need to return that to our council.
Thank you for hearing me out.
Dave Bell Wheeler