Camas, WA — Gary Perman, a local businessman and Camas native, is campaigning for the Camas City Council Ward 1 seat currently held by retiring council member Melissa Smith.
As with every candidate, #lacmag asks each individual why they’re running for their specific office. Perman, who was born and raised in Camas, has deep Camas roots. His father worked at the paper mill (specifically at the bag factory).
Question: What are the top reasons you’re running for Camas City Council?
Answer: Reason one is business, or rather lack of business. Lack of tax-based businesses and we have a lot of high tech firms that are leaving and nobody is recruiting right now. We need to help focus on our area. The Port of Camas-Washougal just wants to put people in the port and that doesn’t directly help the city of Camas tax base.
Cities have to get their tax dollars from somewhere. As the Camas mill slows down, our revenues will dwindle. We need to recruit companies that have higher paying jobs. You do that by going into companies, and talking to them. We’ve lost Karcher, Sharp, and Underwriter’s Laboratories. You see these companies moving out and we need new companies to replace them.
Reason two is the lack of leadership at City Hall. They don’t communicate as well as they need to. They do a lot of backdoor business. You never know what’s going on. They need to communicate better with their constituents. If you go to the workshops at city council they’ve worked out what to do before the main meetings.
They want residents to go to www.engagecamas.com and have us fill out a form to even engage to find out what’s going on in Camas. It used to be you’d get newsletters in the mail, and a lot of older people are used to that. They’re not communicating properly what’s going on.
The pool bond was bad. Their survey just included 300 people. I think they’re making some poor decisions like the bank building. They threatened to imminent domain the Bank of America building to make the purchase happen. I don’t like the idea of them threatening imminent domain.
Reason three is the Lacamas Lake fiasco, and now they have this lawsuit. If it’s true the source of the problem is coming from the mismanaged Lacamas Shores biofilter, then we need to fine the HOA until the bio filter is fixed. I think the Department of Ecology is there to deal with the pollution. We need to take more advice from EPA and DEQ.
Question: Where is Camas headed?
We have the opportunity for stable leadership and to attract higher paying jobs. I don’t like seeing the urban growth where they are taking people’s acreage away. A lot of people in Fern Prairie are being targeted to subdivide property. These new developments are too tightly close together. We need to zone better. I want to see some light industrial firms added into the mix, which will provide a good tax base. There are good advantages to those service types of business.
Question: Who do you support for Camas Mayor?
I’m not sure at this time. I think both Jennifer Senescu and Steve Hogan both have good qualities about them.
Question: Why should Camas citizens vote for you?
I bring to the table business experience. I’m a head hunter in technology, and own Permantech. I work with alternative fuel vehicles, so we focus mostly on trucks and last mile deliveries. I recruit director level and above. I’ve done this for 25 years. I also bring a deep history of Camas.
I bring transparency, integrity, and I don’t blow smoke. People pay me to be open and honest with them. I get things done.
Perman has served as chair of International Electronic & Electrical Engineers (IEEE) for four years. He’s also served on the board for the National Truck Equipment Association (NTEA), and serves as a member of the following organizations: Rotary International, Lions, IMPACT (a faith-based homeless organization, and Share House.
You can learn more about his campaign at www.votegaryperman.com