Public safety if first step to restored quality of life
Gresham is at a crossroads.
Livability in Gresham has become almost untenable due to crisis-level crime and exploding homelessness, exacerbated by the lowest level of police officers in over a decade.
This crisis is fueled by the current council majority's "defund" the police mentality. It is further fueled by the divisive attitude of Gresham-City politics where its governance is supposed to be nonpartisan; unfortunately, it has become very partisan due to the majority of council that excludes all those outside of their tight circle.
Gresham deserves and needs a body of governance for all of its citizens, not just those serving special interest groups.
The first step in restoring Gresham's quality of life is to fully fund and staff the Gresham Police Department. They deserve the full support of the Gresham City Council and should be provided the tools they need, including mental health liaisons that can help de-escalate and mitigate many of the calls that dominate their time.
All new budget initiatives and pet projects should be deferred until the necessary funding becomes sustainable. No new taxes, fees or levies should be imposed upon the backs of our citizens right now; we are all navigating through an economy of hyperinflation, looming recession, price-numbing housing, raising interest rates and crashing stock market.
The city of Gresham must first tighten its own belt before they can expect any further tax support from its citizens; my opponent has publicly stated twice in the last few weeks that he, "likes taxes, fees and levies!"
The next step is to increase the support given to our homeless-service team in order to help provide the assistance necessary to our houseless population; to be compassionate, but firm. It is a significant public safety and health issue for all Gresham citizens. While previously on Council I helped create and pass the ordinances that currently set us apart from the permissive attitude of Portland's electeds. But they need
more support and not the attitude of some on council that have remarked, "What's one more RV?"
Some say this is the most important election in Gresham's history because so much is at stake. I think most of us can agree that Gresham is at a crossroads. The current Gresham City Council majority would have us continue our course to become exactly like Portland, with their radical, nonsensical and failed public policies. Or on the other hand, do we take the high road of autonomous governance away from the disastrous governance of Portland, controlled by their special interest groups.
My opponent will tell you that all is well, that Gresham has never been better, but one only needs to drive around Gresham to see it slipping towards the plight of Portland, a broken city. One only needs to listen at night to the gunfire that happens almost on a daily basis to realize something has to change. Please vote for change.
Jerry Hinton is a former member of the Gresham City Council. He is seeking election to Council Position 4.
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