Politics 2021: Marilyn Boerke Running For Camas City Council


Camas, WA — Marilyn Boerke, who is currently employed as Director of Talent Development for Camas School District, is running for Camas City Council, Ward 1, Position 2. She is currently in a four-person primary race for this seat.

She answered several Lacamas Magazine questions about her campaign.

1) What are the top three reasons you’re running?

I’m running for City Council because I believe citizen voices are crucial to having a successful, healthy city environment. I have lent my leadership voice to many institutions, including our school district for the past 20 years (10 years as principal of Liberty Middle School), and as a regional, state, and national representative and board member of multiple organizations. As a community member, I have a strong commitment to service, and have served as a volunteer for the Camas Education Foundation, a partner in service with the Camas-Washougal Rotary, and have led Girl Scout troops for years, as well as served as a community sports coach. I’ve also served as a board member and officer for the Camas-Washougal Community Chest and currently serve on the Downtown Camas Association board of directors.

I’m running for City Council because I stand alongside planned, monitored, and measured growth as our population continues to grow rapidly. I believe in being part of the solution to challenges organizations face, and having raised my three children from birth to adulthood in Camas, appreciate the trials and tribulations growth can bring to a community. When I was considering entering the race for City Council, I began to research our history and strategic plans. This mission of our city resonates loudly with me: The City of Camas commits to preserving its heritage, sustaining and enhancing a high quality of life for all its citizens and developing the community to meet the challenges of the future. This mission is more poignant now than ever, as we face and embrace challenges together as a community.

Finally, I’m running for City Council because I was approached by many stakeholders to share my leadership and negotiation skills to our City. My experience, my citizenship, my service to our community, and my passion for our city to be successful financially and societally has been reflected back to me through the outreach from constituents, and I hope to serve them well and would do so with diligence and pride in our municipal government.

It’s all about service, I have a sphere of influence. I’ve lived here a long time. 

2) How does your professional work experience make you a good fit for City Council? 

I’m prepared to tackle challenges, and I embrace problem solving. Through energetic community and school service I’ve navigated our city’s growth. I’ve experienced our community’s path from unity and shared identity to recently being at odds. Broad leadership and educational experiences have honed my focus on respectful and productive conversation and a strong commitment to asking sometimes uncomfortable questions, which will benefit our town. As a life-long learner, educator, principal, and now as the Director of Talent Development of the Camas School District, I have over 30 years of experience navigating through and mediating unrest. I have been the chief negotiator for all labor contracts in our district, and we have sound agreements in place that were born through collaborative inquiry and interest-based bargaining. I have strong relationships with all of our labor groups, which I cultivate with care, because together we are educating our students and preparing them for life, whether in our town or wherever their strengths and desires take them.

3) Have you held elective office before? 

Yes, multiple times. I have always sought leadership roles in organizations with which I’m affiliated. I am a learner at heart, and I have learned the most effective way to overcome steep learning curves is through becoming involved at the institutional level, learning from those with more experience, and then leading the way for those who join us next. I am proud of my elected service, and hope to extend that service to the Camas City Council.

Elected offices in private organizations:

Association of Washington School Principals: Regional Leader, NASSP Liaison
Camas Washougal Community Chest: Vice President, President, Past President
National Association of Secondary School Principals (NASSP): Western USA (nine states) Lead Coordinator, National Board Member
Washington Association of Career and Technical Education (WA-ACTE): Guidance Team President
Washington School Personnel Association (WSPA): Regional Leader

4) What’s your vision of downtown Camas urban development and north shore over the next 5-10 years?

As a resident for more than three decades, I have enjoyed watching our downtown area become a gem of a gathering spot. I have been able to serve our community through the Downtown Camas Association as a board member and volunteer to participate in the careful orchestration of building a vibrant commercial core that is recognized statewide and beyond. I’ve participated in lobbying for Camas initiatives, and my vision for downtown includes the repurposing of waterfront property to provide recreation, dining, and play places. Being mindful of recruiting differing businesses to serve our community has been an important piece of that puzzle, and I’m proud of my service. My vision for downtown would be to continue to cultivate businesses that contribute to the economic stability of our city as well as bringing community members and families together regularly to enjoy, participate, and be a part of our community. To feel we all have a place we call home, that everyone is seen, heard, and celebrated.

The north shore question is excellent. I favor careful and measured growth that maintains the integrity and beauty of our lake and the surrounding area. Having development that is mindful of protected areas while providing our citizens quality recreation and living spaces, that is planned rather than reactionary, is my vision. I am ready for those tough conversations and decisions, and have passion and experience around negotiations that leave all parties feeling satisfied and heard. I feel my experience working with thousands of community members and family over the years, along with my active community service, will serve our city well.  

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