Jennifer Senescu, Executive Director of the Camas-Washougal Chamber of Commerce, was appointed to Camas City Council in February, and is now running unopposed for Camas City Council, Ward 3, Position 1. Lacamas Magazine asked her several questions, and here are her answers.
What are your priorities as a City Council member?
Public safety. We should not be looking at most consulting contracts that are for wants and not needs when we can’t fully fund our police and fire. Public safety is my highest priority. We need to fully fund our first responders.
Following that is being fiscally responsible, and to be good stewards of taxpayer money.
I also represent my constituents who continually express to me their concerns about budgetary issues. They want us to hold the line on taxes, and work within our budget. They tell me they’re tired of tax increases and many can barely afford to live in Camas anymore. I hear this often from our Camas citizens.
Infrastructure. People are concerned with the streets, storm water drains, which keeps causing basements to flood in certain areas.
What’s your vision of Camas?
My vision is to act on what the citizens have expressed to me. The citizens want to keep the look and feel of a small town as we rapidly grow.
What have you learned since being appointed to Council?
I’ve learned the department directors work really hard, and I appreciate that. I’ve learned how involved and committed the people of Camas truly are.
Why does the City have a revenue shortfall?
I believe some projects should be put on hold while we prioritize public safety. Our fire and police departments are not fully staffed right now because there’s been a hiring freeze. Camas is growing and we’re not supporting that growth.
I believe that Crown Park improvements, which will cost $6+ million, should be a phased-in project starting with making the park ADA compliant, as well as building a new bathroom, and new playground equipment. The other improvements can be phased in as we have money to pay for them all.
There is a $500,000 grant to go toward Crown Park improvements, which is a far cry from $6 million. I’m not a fan of saving $500,000 when we charge the taxpayers the remaining $6+ million.
As director of the Camas-Washougal Chamber of Commerce, I see daily the true magic of Camas, and I feel a great responsibility to keep what we have for generations to come. I was born and raised here, I raised my family here, and I want families to keep enjoying the spirit of Camas.
I ask for your vote.