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Camas Mayor Steve Hogan Makes Case For His Re-Election This Fall


Lacamas Magazine interviewed Camas Mayor, Steve Hogan, who is running for re-election this Fall. Here are the questions we asked, and his responses:

What have been your successes as Mayor of Camas?

  • Filled five strategically-important positions left vacant by my predecessor (police chief, fire chief, city administrator, IT director, community development director).
  • Finalized the North Shore Subarea Plan to ensure the area is developed responsibly.
  • Initiated the Downtown Camas Subarea Plan to develop a template for how our downtown will remain the heart of Camas for the next 50 years.
  • Established the Lake Management Plan for Lacamas, Round, and Fallen Leaf Lakes to develop a long-term strategy for lake cleanup.  
  • Overseeing Lacamas Lake Water Quality three-year study
  • Supported the Camas Library with legislative lobbying that secured significant funding for future plans and upgrades.
  • Championed the Riverside Bowl Skatepark renovations and modernization. 
  • Camas was the first city in Clark County to supply police officers with body-worn cameras.
  • AAA gold bond rating awarded by Standard & Poor’s, reflecting our strong economy and management. This improved rating also saves taxpayer money by reducing borrowing costs.
  • GFOA Distinguished Budget Presentation Award for clarity and transparency for the city’s $100 million budget. Reestablished partnership relationships with key groups: Camas Schools, Clark      County, Washington State Legislature, U.S. House, Senate, and Commerce Department, Port of Camas-Washougal, Columbia River Economic Development Council, Washougal and other area cities, Private and non-profit sectors.
  • Camas rated #1 safest suburb city in Washington State.
  • Camas rated#18 most affordable safe suburb city in the U.S. Learn more here
  • Rated best city to raise a family and retire in Washington State.
  • Camas rated #2 safest city in Washington State (2022).

Why are you running for a full second term?

Camas is a safe, beautiful, and welcoming place to live, work, and play. There’s a sense of community, as small town feel, and a closer connection to nature. Top-ranked schools, a charming downtown, year-round community events, and easy access to trails, lakes, and green spaces are among the many reasons we have chosen to make Camas our home.  I am running for mayor to help make sure that we continue to make this City great for our grandkids in the future.

What are your priorities for the next four years?

Why should the voters re-elect Steve Hogan?

The past two years have proven that my 40 years of business experience have both stabilized and made significant improvements to our City.  In our Strong Mayor form of government, experience handling complex government organizations can mean the difference between effective government and chaotic operations.  It is important to elect people who have experience on day one.  In the past 5 years, we have seen how easy it is to create chaos when Mayors are not prepared for the job.  I am prepared for the job and the past two years clearly show how experience matters for good governance.

What are you most proud of in the city of Camas?

The things that make me proud of our City include:

  • Our smart growth
  • Our financial management
  • Our school district
  • The national and international companies who have made their home here
  • The access to nature throughout the City for all of our citizens.
  • Our downtown restoration and flourishing over the past 20 years.

What is your vision of Camas over the next 20 years?

My vision for Camas includes retaining its charm and safety while restoring and protecting natural resources for future generations. Among the priorities:

  • Ensure Camas remains an open, inclusive community with a “home-town” feel.
  • Keep Camas a safe placefor all citizens.
  • Attract and retain companies that provide living wage jobs for our citizens.  If you live in Camas, you will have the opportunity to work in Camas.
  • Provide housing options that are affordable to citizens.
  • Restore Lacamas Lake to enable a full range of recreational uses. 
  • Implementation of sensible land use plans with smart development rules.
  • Provide and protect our trails and greenspaces, ensuring a sustainable balance of land use that supports healthy outdoor experiences that Camasonians cherish.
  • Provide public parks and facilities that meet the needs and budgets of a family-based community.
  • Maintain high standards for environmental cleanup of abandoned industrial land in compliance with state and federal law.
  • Support the Camas Library literacy program and facility upgrades, and the maximization of funding from legislative lobbying, including:
    • Plans for a Children’s Learning Hive in the Children’s Library with an Early Learning Center, STEM lab, and outdoor creative space.
    • Upgrades to the library facility including roofing, life safety, and accessibility. 

What are you doing to help clean up Lacamas Lake?

  • The first algae blooms appeared on Lacamas Lake in 2020.  Since no other government agency was reacting to the blooms, I proposed to the City Council that our government agency should become the first responder to the safety issues within the lakes.  The Council agreed that our City should take the lead to try to eliminate the algae issue.
  • We began by working with Clark County since they technically were in charge of the lake.  The County made their staff available to help us understand the history of the lake.
  • The County also helped us to bring in other agencies that could help us try to understand potential ways to improve the lake water quality.  These groups the County brought in to discuss the issues included:
    • Clark County water quality staff
    • Clark County Health Department
    • Washington State Department of Ecology
    • Washington State Department of Natural Resources
    • Washington State Department of Fish and Wildlife
    • The Army Corps of Engineers
  • Our City staff met several times with these agencies.  They were very helpful.  But, at the beginning, they did not have money available to help us.
  • We attempted to get Clark County to form an Interlocal Agreement with the City of Camas.  The County offered to help but, when they put together the Interlocal Agreement, they declined to offer any funding.  As a result, the Mayor at that time decided we might as well work with the State legislature and the Department of Ecology to get funding to help our efforts.
  • I personally got involved with lobbying the State Legislators to seek money to help us deal with the algae issues within the lake.
  • The legislators came through and secured money from the Department of Ecology.  It was the Department of Ecology who defined how we would move forward to clean up the Lacamas Lake system.
  • The Department of Ecology decided that the City of Camas would test the water in the Lake system and that the Department of Ecology would examine the 67 square mile watershed leading into Lacamas Lake.
  • The City of Camas has just completed the water quality assessment using the testing techniques defined by the Department of Ecology.  Unfortunately, the Department of Ecology did not complete their portion of the study of the watershed.  We are awaiting their completion and presentation of their report.
  • The City is in the process of explaining to the City Council and the community what our portion of the study has revealed.  Unfortunately, we need the testing reports from the Department of Ecology to complete the actual plan on how to address the restoration of the Lake.
  • We are hoping to partner with multiple agencies to address the restoration and improvement of the Lacamas Lake system.  Here is a partial list of who we would like to partner with us on restoration of the lake:
    • Clark County
      • Health Department
      • Water Quality Department
      • Stormwater Department
    • Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife
    • Washington Department of Natural Resources
    • Washington Department of Agriculture
    • Army Corps of Engineers
    • Conservation organizations
    • Nonprofits associated with preservation wetland, critical areas and improvement of water 
    • Camas school district
    • WSU Vancouver
    • Clark College

So, we are beginning to seek better understanding of the root causes of the lake problems as well as both short-term and long-term steps we can implement to restore of lake system for future recreational uses.

Are taxes too high in Camas?

For some Camas citizens, the taxes are too high.

Learn more at https://www.electstevehogan.com/#

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