Dissatisfied with the direction of City of Camas leadership, 15-year Camas City councilor Melissa Smith officially announced Wednesday she is challenging incumbent mayor Shannon Turk with a write-in candidacy.

“It hurts my heart to have to do this, but I cannot abide by what is going on,” said Smith. “I feel truly bad for Shannon, and this may be uncomfortable for a while, but I just want the citizens to have a voice.”

Smith went on the record for about 90 minutes answering several questions. Here are the questions asked and her direct answers.

Question: Does your candidacy mean you have no confidence in Shannon Turk?


I wouldn’t have put in for it if I did have confidence in her. I don’t see any leadership in the current mayor. The appointment process was council’s decision. I knew Shannon would probably get it, but this time is a citizen’s choice and I trust the citizens to make the right choice. This is my home and just like everyone else who lives here, I want to take care of her. I want to see Camas be prosperous and collaborative; a place where opposing views are heard as long as things are done in a civil manner. You can’t totally shut people out.

The October 2 Open House for Proposition 2 was not good for the voters. People were so upset they didn’t have the opportunity to speak. People were angry and residents kept saying they all got different answers from council members. We on council didn’t get any information prior to the meeting. That’s very troubling.

Question: Does this mean you have no confidence in Camas City Administrator Pete Capell?

Absolutely none.

Back in 2016, I begged former Mayor Scott Higgins to fire Pete. I think a majority of council would support firing him. Higgins refused to fire him. That’s when Higgins starting coasting when he went into the real estate business. I know that when we lost Nina Gregore (the prior city administrator) it really affected Scott and when Pete got hired Scott really leaned on Pete, and Pete just picked up the pieces for Scott. And Scott gave Pete complete free reign. When Scott left working as mayor 40 hours a week then Pete ran amuck and just started creating a hostile environment for staff.

Shannon has had a year to deal with him, and she hasn’t. She was supposed to do an evaluation on him with our input and she hasn’t done that. That was due last January.

Question: You said last year that you would spend 40 hours a week as mayor, and that this time commitment is crucial. You said: “We need a mayor who can commit to 40 hours a week. The staff is phenomenal, but we’re at a time in our city’s history where we need a full-time mayor. There are so many important issues happening in our growing city.” Why did you say that, and do you still believe that?

I said that because I look ahead. I talk to staff, I don’t always just rely on the agendas. I’m always researching and connecting with people. What is it that concerns citizens? We are growing and we have to bring in more living wage jobs for families. We do have a great staff. The role of mayor is supposed to be held in reverence. Held in esteem. You set yourself up because you’re the leader of the city or organization. This is regardless of pay — you’re responsible for the lives and the future and the economic development for the city.

Being there 40 hours a week you are more accessible. Shannon works full-time. She works for the city of Vancouver. I like her as a person, I truly do but she’s not very responsive. That’s hard. It has a negative effect. If the staff doesn’t have their leader there isn’t a rudder. That happened with the last 18 months of Scott’s term — he just wasn’t there very often. I can right the ship and create stability. This Prop 2 shows there’s a lack of communication going on. I want to get in there and fix it and correct and move in a positive direction.

From 2018: The four mayoral candidates. From left: Councilor Melissa Smith, Georerl Niles, Councilor Shannon Turk, and former Camas Mayor, Dean Dossett.

Question: What are the top reasons you want the job?

Leadership: I don’t see true leadership in the current mayor, and I think I have the skills sets to do this job.

Life Experience: For me it’s not a status thing, or a money thing. $22,000 a year isn’t much. I have a lot life lessons. I have traveled extensively throughout the United States with my job and personal life. I’ve been to foreign countries. I have a broad outlook on life. I’ve seen a lot. I’ve seen real racist things in the South, and I’ve been serving the city of Camas for many years. I know how things work.

North Shore: We need to build a good infrastructure for that part of town.

Collaboration: Everyone has 24 hours in a day. Because of health issues I’ve learned that how you manage your energy is more valuable in the long-run because it makes you more productive, more efficient, more balanced. Energy is more important than time. I’m very much about closing the loop on projects because of the different work experiences I’ve had. From conception to completion, you need to look at the glitches, then analyze them and so you need critical thinking. It’s having the ability to bring the right people together and do the what/if scenarios.

Building the New Camas Pool: I’m very much for a new pool, and I’m very open to the competitive part of swimming. I applaud what they do with football, but there are other sports that need the same support. I think the mill’s R&D property needs more research. There are other properties we need to research. The people don’t want it at Fallen Leaf Lake. We just need to get it done and put together a smarter, cost effective package.

Question: Why are you a write-in candidate for Mayor?

I can jump in and make quick changes. This would be a shock for council if I win but we would come back together whole. I am who I am. I would give Pete Capell the option to resign first, and if he didn’t leave I would fire him. I would go in a different direction. We’ve gone without a city administrator for many months before. I’d be in the office each day to support staff. We’d then get the replacement process started. I would implement business people, development people, school leaders, community leaders to form a diverse group for an interview panel. The mayor stays out of it until you have the final two.

Question: Why did you not file in May and be placed on the ballot?

I wasn’t thinking about it then. I had told Shannon that I would not run a campaign against her. This is really painful to me to break my word. I know she’s hurt by it, but I’ve just been looking back over the past four years and I see the same leadership continuing from Higgins onto Shannon. No one is steering the ship.

Question: Are you upset with the rollout of Proposition 2, even though you voted to push it out as a bond? Did Mayor Turk push it out too fast? Is it too bold of a bond?

Yes, because I didn’t realize everything that had been rolled up into the bond language. The rollout was a 15-minute presentation with so many items on the bond issue, and we needed more time to learn about it. The street signals, for example, should come from public works funding — they shouldn’t be in a GO bond. This bond has too much in it and there is not a clear enough breakdown of why these items are in Prop 2.

Everyone just said $78 million for a pool is ridiculous, but when you see all the line items I would have done it differently. Prop 2 is five bonds in one. It’s too much.

We’re not sure about locations, they said we have multiple sites to choose from. I asked where those sites are, but my question wasn’t answered. To not have anything locked down but to trust them is not acceptable. I take my part of the blame on that.

In hindsight, I would have voted no to the rollout of the bond. I would have looked at different ways to fund this. Swimming and a community center is high on the list. Nobody talked about parking or fixing the street or scalability.

You want to believe in your leadership and believe you’re being told good information. Fault me for trusting the information that was presented to us. That’s why I’m stepping up now because the communication is so lacking. It’s not clear to the community.

The proposed 6+ acre aquatics center site is adjacent to Fallen Leaf Lake, and just across the street from Heritage Park, along Lake Road.

Question: Camas leadership told the pool committee that surveys showed that Camas voters would support a $35 million bond for a new pool. Why did Capell and Turk push for more than twice that?

It’s foolish. Because it means you’re not listening to the citizens. Lack of communication is frustrating a lot of people, and it’s been happening for several years. We’re in a ‘what the hell’ is going on period? I can take criticism from the public. I have no problem with that.

Question: What other concerns do you have about city leadership?

  • Bad Communication
  • Lack of transparency
  • Lack of timely responses
  • Lack of vision
  • Lack of planning
  • Holding back details

Question: What is your vision for Camas over the next 30 years?

I want to see affordable housing for people, and try to work with developers to dive into the codes and see if we’re able to allot so much land through RCWs. I want to bring in more living wage jobs to the area.

I want to focus on a new pool to replace Crown Park and/or build a large pool complex. Having the right pool is good for the economy and for our citizens, but it has to be done through proper processes.

North Shore is my main priority and how we build that out and provide services. We have garbage, water, fire, police requirements, and we need to set up an infrastructure for these services. We need to figure that out quickly because there’s building already happening. Current leadership has no vision.

We just need better, more frequent communication with the citizens. Have a quarterly update from the mayor on what’s going on. Do a city newsletter.

Question: What are your city mismanagement concerns?

For the Bank of America building we paid $1.6 million and that was over asking price. Then we were told we had $400-500,000 for renovations. At our last meeting they said it was more than $1 million for renovations. So we will have spent $2.6 million on the building to simply prepare the building for full occupancy.

We could have built a 14,000 square foot facility on 38th in Grass Valley for $2 million. Pete and Shannon said it would cost $30 million to build a new city hall.

We don’t have the right skill sets for the positions that are in charge of getting the right information to have city council make the correct and true decisions. We have to fix this problem now.

Question: Why are you qualified to be mayor?

Experience on the council. We have a good staff. I have always been a believer in hiring people smarter and better than you.

I will never leave anyone hanging. I will always follow through and come back with an answer. I often don’t hear back from Pete for days or even a week. That’s not good.

Question: Is this vengeance for not being appointed as mayor in 2018?

No. Not getting appointed hurt, but I’m OK now, this is my journey. For me, this is my last chance to show the citizens we can right the ship. It’s more important for the citizens to elect their mayor than to have city council pick your favorite.

Does your experience help or hurt you?

I’m not going in there to make friends and hang out with my council peers. I’m not saying I won’t be social, but that’s not my thing. I don’t share my life stories, but if you need my help, I’m there. I have always gone in with pure intent because I’ve seen how friendships can be used as emotional blackmail to sway votes. I am like the Lone Ranger. I’m just direct.

Having said that, nobody has said to me directly they’ve been offended by me. They haven’t told me. If I need to improve myself, I’ll do it but you have to talk to me.

I’m saying that I don’t like the mayoral appointment process. It’s a popularity contest. It’s not based on competency or skills.

Question: What is the role of a City Council person?

To create policies, collaborate on ideas and vision of how we want to see things brought to light. We hold the purse strings for funding as the legislative branch. A lot of ideas should come from the city administrator, then investigate and create a policy around it. I think a lot of things get stopped at his (Capell’s) door that we don’t get to see them on council. I’ve tried for years with this current leadership to get more details. They don’t provide them.

They think we’re not trusted enough. We need to demand it back. That’s why I want to be mayor to have more transparency. I’m starving for information and I got tired of asking because we don’t get it. I want good debates. I want good discussions.

We need to be able to speak up, instead we do too much withdrawing and retreating.

Question: What would you do on day one?

I would meet with staff and ask about their concerns. I would meet with citizens and do the same thing. I would reach out to former Camas Mayor Nan Henriksen and Washougal Mayor Molly Coston and get their input. I would work closely with the port. I would reach out and learn from them. I don’t take elections personally. People say I’m divisive. I’m not divisive on council. I was part of a Facebook group that was very outspoken, but I was a moderator on that. I know how to handle divisive people. I’m tired of tolerating lack of administration and operations. Paul Dennis and Lloyd Halverson were our last good leaders.

The mayor at this point needs to be the focal center of a lot of communication. I know well enough what type of information needs to get out.

Question: How are you getting the word out?

I’m not going to do signs. I’m going to use media, Facebook, and other social platforms to get the word out. Website is coming. This is truly grassroots. I think I have a good chance of winning.

In response to this news, Turk said the following:

“Melissa has previously indicated her desire to be Mayor and sought appointment to the position less than a year ago. It doesn’t surprise me that she would run for the office. Melissa is a good person and I have enjoyed working with her, first as a city councilor and now in my role as Mayor. I look forward to discussing the issues with both write-in candidates in the short time remaining before the election.”

Turk also said she’s open to debating Smith and the other write-in candidate, Barry McDonnell.

“Yes. I had mentioned that I had a write-in at the Camas youth advisory council meeting when they were discussing the upcoming candidate forum (date is the last two weeks of October, not firm yet) and they added the mayor position to the lineup.”

To learn more about Smith, read this article: https://lacamasmagazine.com/2018/11/camas-mayor-candidate-smith-makes-full-time-leadership-commitment.html

The City of Camas released this operations analysis for the Community Aquatics Center, known as Proposition 2, which is coming up on this election season’s ballot.

The City of Camas has been working with Ballard King & Associates, a recognized recreation consulting firm, to project potential operational costs, revenue, and a fee structure for the proposed Community Aquatics Facility. 

The consultant created a basic operations analysis for a facility that is approximately 78,000 square feet and includes a recreation pool, lap pool, gym, track, two group exercise rooms, weight/cardio area, community room, and child watch area.

The figures used to calculate the operations analysis are projected estimates for 2022, based on community center/aquatic center facilities that are similar in size and scope. Certain costs, including those for facility user fees and programs, will be subject to the discretion and approval of the Camas City Council and will have a direct impact on the operational budget summary listed below.

Operations Analysis Assumptions:

  • The first year of operations will be late 2022 or later. The budget represents the second full year of operation.
  • The operations plan includes a basic assessment of staffing needs and rate of compensation for full-time and part-time staff.  Revenues are based on a general fee structure only with an aggressive rate of utilization/sales.   
  • The minimum wage in Washington will be at least $14.32 an hour in 2022.   
  • This operational budget represents the full anticipated expenses and revenues for the center.
  • The center will be operated by the City of Camas. 
  • This operations estimate is based on a basic program and concept plan for the facility only.  This operations plan will need to be updated once a final concept design has been developed. 
  • The center will be open seven days a week for a total of at least 105 hours a week.  
  • Indirect city overhead costs have been figured at 18% of total operating costs.          

Notes About the Information

Interior of proposed pool.
  • Indirect costs of $476,473 are those services provided by the City such as human resources and financial services. The facility would benefit by sharing existing resources. 
  • Admission revenue assumes non-city residents paying 25% more.
  • Annual Passes equal 10% of the households in the service area.

Operational Budget Summary

Expenses:         $3,123,542 

Revenues:         $2,280,047         

Difference:         ($843,496)

Recovery %:        73%

Note: The City currently provides recreational services with a budget of approximately $400,000 per year with revenue of $84,000 in 2018. The Camas outdoor pool was subsidized about $100,000. Combined, these could help offset the operational deficit, bringing the difference down to approximately $343,500.

To learn more, visit http://www.camascommunityaquaticscenter.com

Washougal, WA – Columbia River Gorge Elementary first graders are getting a helping hand from Jemtegaard Middle School students to practice problem solving and engineering skills as they explore how the human hand works.

“We are currently studying the whole human body which includes the skeletal and muscular systems,” said Allison McGranahan, CRGE first grade teacher.  “Using paper hands along with string, straws and tape to represent muscles, bones and tendons, older students helped the younger students examine how these systems work together to make a hand move.”

Last year, McGranahan and fellow first grade teacher, Sydney Termini, were looking for projects to support this learning and were drawn to the engineering component of this lesson.

“This work required a bit of one-on-one help, so we approached the middle school and they agreed to assist us,” McGranahan said.


This year JMS science teacher, Greg Lewis, recruited his Robotics class to lend a hand.  

The project work was completed over two days, September 27 and 30. “Some of our first graders were a bit overwhelmed the first day with so many instructions and materials,” said McGranahan.  “But having a buddy beside them to ask questions and give advice made all the difference.”

“We are always looking for additional opportunities for middle school students to explore engineering experiences and to practice leadership and teamwork,” said Lewis.  “This project challenges our students and helps them to get outside of themselves and engaged with younger students.”

“It is exciting to see these first graders looking deeper into the study of a body part,” said Termini. “The involvement of middle school students made it wonderful for our students to hear from someone other than a teacher on a project.  This has been good for them to be able to talk through design issues and get attention from middle school students.  It’s very fun!” 

“We are also seeing energy and focus on this work from some students who might usually be reluctant to participate in projects,” McGranahan said.  Lewis commented that he too saw the same benefit with excellent participation from several of his middle school students who do not always get involved.

Frustrated with Proposition 2, the demolition of Crown Park Pool, and the overall direction of city leadership, Barry McDonnell, 41, a newcomer to politics, is officially a write-in candidate for Camas Mayor.

With his write-in paperwork with Clark County just confirmed, McDonnell, who works in Loss Prevention for Sephora, admits it’s a long shot bid to unseat incumbent Mayor Shannon Turk but feels this is a worthy endeavor.

“Three or four weeks ago it popped into my head and I knew this was something I would be doing,” said McDonnell. “I was talking about the community with Anastasia (his wife), and felt this is something I could do. I want to protect Camas.”

Protect Camas from what?

“The reason we moved to Camas three-and-a-half years ago is because we were looking for a place to settle down,” he said. “We were so excited and we feel so lucky to have found it. But now we are seeing a lot of changes. There’s been frustration with those changes and the way communication works between the city and its citizens. There’s an opportunity here to change this.”

Top three reasons he’s running:

1) Bring transparency to city government.

2) Be fiscally responsible for taxpayer’s money — “I think when we ask for money we just have the base level of the project be more clear. They should have their details more pronounced.”

3) He wants to be a voice for the people.

McDonnell said his view about Camas leadership started with the Crown Park pool process and the ensuing demolition.

“I wanted to protect it and understand it,” he said. “The process didn’t feel right — I felt like there was another agenda. I look at the amount of time we pulled together as citizens and the research we did, and how we shared that information. But, when we attended the city council meetings it felt frustrating that we didn’t get any responses in those meetings. Randy Curtis (the City of Camas Parks and Rec Board Chair) told my wife in conversation during a P&R meeting that in closing the Crown Park Pool, they were hoping it would create a sense of urgency and enthusiasm in the public for a new community aquatic center. In our family, and our community of friends, it’s served to do just the opposite.”

McDonnell said the city rushed to build the community center outlined in Proposition 2.

“Looking at the big picture they’ve been trying to get a new pool for 18 years,” he said. “They’ve spent so much money trying to build a new pool, and we’re not any closer to it. It’s somewhat embarrassing. Between demolition costs and all their research I think we’ve spent $687,000, and that shows we’re not being very efficient. I still don’t think we’re any further getting the community a new pool.”

The projected cost of Proposition 2 is part of what is driving his candidacy.

What does he thinks the community wants?

“We want a pool,” he said. “We all agree on that. The location and the price tag of Proposition 2 are red flags. If we change the structure I can find out what the community wants. Then we can change the way the city interacts with the people.”

How would he change the structure?

“First, change the formats of the city council meetings,” he said. “Be more interactive with the people in the council chambers. Explain why we’re going in a certain direction. For example, Proposition 2 doesn’t make sense to me. There’s a lot of public frustration. I don’t know where the vote is going to go. If it passes you go with that, but I feel like the city has lost its way.”

“I think there’s a lot of different things that happen. As mayor I would hold myself accountable to the people. I would encourage participation. It’s about bringing people together to formulate the ideas and have them bubble up from the people.”

If elected, McDonnell would start by getting a feel for what the people are looking for. Then he would get to know and understand city staff, understand the expectations, and take the time away from his family to be successful in the job.

Aware of the demands and responsibilities, he said his experience in Loss Prevention is a great asset because it helps to evaluate stressful situations and find the best solutions.

He knows that change is inevitable, and he sees the growing frustration in city limits about trees being removed, along with crammed and poorly designed housing developments — but how would he navigate the Growth Management Act?

“We know the GMA is a big obstacle, it is something my wife and I have looked into, and honestly, been overwhelmed by. The overarching theme of our campaign is to have a community driven focus for the future, and there are many things that I would need to call on our community members to help us, as a city, navigate and challenge together. I’ve heard from folks about how the neighbors in Sunningdale Gardens studied these laws and went to bat to challenge the developers. They were able to get more green spaces and parks than were originally planned, and I think that’s great and it’s important to me that we live in a city where both our government and the people are on the same page when it comes to being willing to challenge and have high expectations of developers who work in Camas.”

Creating a 30-year vision

“I will work with the community to help put that vision together. I don’t have all the answers. Working with them the vision will come forth. Listening is being a leader. Have a discussion. Understand what the situation is. The community is the one trying to create a vision.”

What’s his vision for North Shore?

“I couldn’t tell you. I’ll assess the situation. We’ll figure it out — at the end of the day we would like a pool. I would like to understand what all the options are. I don’t really know. I’m not going to have all the answers. My skill set is in helping identify the direction we’re going to take, and make sure there are check-in’s all the way.”

McDonnell insists he isn’t funded by any large or small interest group.

“I have a 30-day campaign,” he said. “It’s a last minute kind of thing. It’s just friends and ourselves. We’ve had a few people donate.”

Learn more at www.writeinbarryforcamas.com where he also has a podcast discussing this journey. He is hosting a candidate Meet and Greet at Crown Park this Sunday from 2-4 pm.

Originally from Ireland, he, Anastasia, and their four children have lived in Atlanta, Florida, Colorado, and Camas. He has the support of his whole family.

Is he opening to debating Mayor Turk?

“I’d be open to a debate with Mayor Turk,” he said. “I think it would be healthy.”

This is the statement issued this evening by Vancouver Police:

On October 3, 2019, at approximately 2:09 pm, Vancouver Police responded to a call of a shooting at 515 Washington Street (Smith Tower Apartments). When officers arrived, they located three victims in the lobby of the apartment building suffering from gunshot wounds. Two female victims were transported to area hospitals for medical treatment and one male victim was deceased.

Officers determined the suspect, Robert E. Breck, 80, a resident of the building, was inside his apartment, refusing to come out. Verbal communication was established with the suspect by officers from the crisis negotiation team while other officers and SWAT members evacuated residents. At approximately 4:45 p.m. the suspect was taken into custody without incident.

Robert E. Breck was booked into the Clark County Jail on one count of Murder I. and two counts of Attempted Murder I.

All residents have been given the clearance to return to their apartments.

The investigation is continuing and nothing further will be released at this time.

Washougal High School Advanced Culinary students were put to the test on September 26 when they created and served a special lunch entrée for students and faculty. 

In addition to preparing ingredients and cooking the meal, students were asked to market the lunch special using posters, Instagram, announcements, and Twitter. 

“This was the first time for many of the students to participate in this type of activity,” said Brenda Hitchins, WHS Culinary Arts teacher.  “They applied organizational skills, teamwork, sanitation, time management, cooking methods, presentation, and making sure everything was cleaned up at the end.”

The lunch offer was “Pasta Pronto” and featured penne pasta with either marinara or alfredo sauces and a choice of other delicious additions such as red onions, sliced olives, fresh spinach, and sausage.

“Culinary students sautés the ingredients, toss in penne pasta, and finish with their choice of sauce,” Hitchins said. “It takes teamwork and coordination as they pass the pan down the line for each step.  The dish is finished and placed in paper boat and topped with a whole wheat breadstick.  Students can add parmesan cheese and chili pepper flakes if they choose.”   

Regular school lunch pricing applied.

“Lunch numbers have been low, so we partnered with Mark Jasper of Sodexo to put on this event,” said Hitchins.  “We had a goal to serve more than 230 lunches and we brought the number up to 208.” 

“This lunch project was a great opportunity for students to apply what they are learning in class to a real-world situation,” said Margaret Rice, WSD Career and Technical Education Director.  “The experience gave them the chance to serve peers, practice what they know and assess how it went so they can improve upon their skills. We hope this is the first of many opportunities like this.” 


Students were required to first complete “Introduction to Culinary” and “Baking and Pastry” classes to enroll in “Advanced Culinary I and II”.  

“Our biggest challenge is setting up the stations and get the food ready before the event,” Hitchins said. “Students are giving up their lunch time to participate in these school lunches as well as their part of their fourth period class to help breakdown and clean.” 

Hitchins believes participation in these type of events builds student self-esteem and confidence.

“Our goal this year is to teach them how to quantify what skills they have so they are able to present this information on different platforms such as a resume, job interview, and volunteer service,” she said. “Some students struggle to be at school.  My goal for this class is not only that they are learning a life skill, but they are finding a reason to want to come to school and participate.” 

Moving forward, students will work more with Jasper and Sodexo in creating other lunch offerings.  They will forecast ingredients needed, do complete station set up, food prepping and all while meeting the school lunch program standards. 

“Students will run the event and learn about planning, how to make sure they are prepared, delegating duties to others, and reflecting on the event so they think about their learning and assess their performance objectives to see how they have grown,” said Hitchins.

For a related story, click here: https://lacamasmagazine.com/2018/06/under-pressure-washougal-high-students-show-off-culinary-skills.html

This article is a recap of what City of Camas Administrator Pete Capell shared with the entire audience at the beginning of the Camas Community Aquatics Center Open House on Wednesday night. Lacamas Magazine provided a live stream of the entire proceedings on our Lacamas Magazine Facebook page. It included Capell’s presentation and about 45 minutes of a question and answer session between several residents and Camas Mayor Shannon Turk.

Why the city put the bond forward:

  • Various City Councils have studied the feasibility of a Community Center for over three decades.
  • Through numerous surveys, a year-round swimming pool and a recreational center have consistently been the number one requested amenity.
  • Cost was the same argument used against building the library 20 years ago. The library is now a community treasure and widely believed to have made a significant contribution to initiating the downtown renovation.

Aquatic Center Features & Benefits:

  • A recreational pool with slides and a lazy river are routinely top attractions in an Aquatics Center. This is included in the plans for our Aquatic Center.
  • There is a strong demand for a lap pool in our community. This includes high school students, a strong master’s program and everyday citizens who want to swim for exercise. We are surrounded by lakes and rivers. Teaching our kids to swim is a high priority.
  • The city and the school district have discussed the possibility of having every student in Camas School District receive swimming and water safety lessons as part of their curriculum. The community does not have a good place for senior citizens and teens to meet and partake in activities. The community rooms will fill this void.
  • There will be an indoor path that will allow for a safe and dry place to exercise.
  • A multipurpose gym will allow sports leagues (e.g. basketball, volleyball, etc), small groups and individuals to practice and play inside.
Aquatics Center
A Camas swimmer at Kelso. Local swim teams often have to travel long distances to compete.

Cost Comparisons:

  • The same architect that designed Firstenburg in 2006 used published building cost escalation factors to show that if Firstenburg was built in 2021, it would cost approximately $35.6 mil, as compared to the estimated building cost of $37.2 mil for the proposed Aquatic Center. It was also noted, our center has planned for a lap pool, while Firstenburg does not have one.
  • The City of Hillsboro expects to open a two-story 51,500 square foot community center in 2021 at a cost of $37 mil. Our Aquatic Center is planned to be 72,000 square feet.

Other planned amenities:

  • Frontage improvements to Lake Road, including trails and sidewalks.
  • Additional parking spaces (242) for both the Aquatic Center and Heritage Park boat launch.
  • Intersection improvements at Lake and Sierra, including a traffic signal.
  • Sports field improvements at Forest Home, Dorothy Fox and Prune Hill, which includes lighting and synthetic turf.

Property Tax impact:

  • If the bond is approved by voters, starting in 2021 residents will pay approximately $1.04 per $1,000 in assessed property value. This equates to approximately $500 per year for the median assessed valued house of $464,000. The property tax will likely decrease each year as new construction and property values increase. We will have a fixed debt service amount, so as property values increase, the rates go down.
  • In 2021 the projected $1.32 of school district bond levy taxes, as well as 12 cents in the library building levy tax are set to expire. This could then lead to a net reduction in taxes by 40 cents per $1000 of assessed property value.
  • With recent legislation to address statewide school funding, the school board will be deciding later this year whether to increase the local operating levy up to $1.00 for 2020.
  • The levy is for a maximum of $72 mil. If the levy passes, the city will secure competitive bids and pursue grants and private/corporate donations to reduce the amount taxpayers will pay. It is easier to obtain other monies, when you already have public funding.

Operating Costs:

  • Camas City Council has committed to not take away any funding from essential services to cover operating costs. The building costs will be covered by the bond.
  • The city anticipates operating costs will need to be subsidized by other city revenues. Current estimates of up to $850,000 in operational costs have been projected if operated by city staff. Due to an overlap in recreational services saving the city $400,000, the city would need to subsidize up to $450,000 per year. The YMCA could operate the facility with limited subsidy. The city also projects revenues and reserves to be sufficient to cover by the time we build.
  • Camas residents that pay taxes towards the center will pay lower membership and/or user fees.


  • The city’s preliminary analysis shows the proposed site will meet traffic, parking needs and protect the environment.
  • The roundabout at the intersection of Lake and Everett will be completed prior to the community center and will address congestion at that location.
  • This project has separate funding (partially by the state). If the project passes, the city will do further analysis regarding the site and are prepared to move the facility to another location if a better site is found.
  • Alternative sites were mentioned as previously being evaluated and/or discussed, and some will continue to be evaluated.

Crown Park:

  • Estimates to provide very basic and temporary repairs to the pool were $300,000. Over $2 mil was estimated for significant renovations with uncertain longevity. A replacement pool in in the same location was estimated to cost over $3.5 mil.
  • A new modern pool on the site could not be supported by adequate parking and we would only be able to operate it 10 to 11 weeks out of the year. The city is still committed to a master plan for Crown Park. This will be phased in over multiple years, beginning with a replacement basketball court next year.
  • If the proposition passes, the city wants to hear from the community as they proceed with the project. They will form advisory committees for the various aspects of the project and will hold additional open houses to share progress and gain feedback.

For more information, go to www.camascommunityaquaticscenter.com

To celebrate 65 years in business, One Stop Home Furnishings just kicked off a four-week sale that includes great deals, gift cards, and some amazing weekly giveaways.

Starting today and running until November 2, the One Stop team is offering discounts on merchandise throughout the store.

“Need a new sofa, recliner, dining set, or mattress? This month is a good time to buy,” said co-owner, Dave Fletcher. “Most of our items in the showroom can be purchased right off the floor, and we’ll deliver it to you. We have coffee, cookies, and other goodies to enjoy when you visit.”

If you bring a friend, and they spend $500 or more you both will get a $25 VISA gift card. If they
spend $1000, you both will get a $50 VISA gift card in addition to their anniversary sale prices.

Free Weekly Drawings

Each week there will be drawings:
Week 1) Southern Motion recliner
Week 2) Sofa by Stanton
Week 3) Queen mattress set by Beautyrest
Week 4) Basket of bed accessories by Bedgear
Week 5) Dining set by Ashley

How do you enter for the free drawing?

Fill out the little entry form and put it in the fish bowl. A name will be picked each Saturday at the
end of the day on October 5th, 12th, 19th, 26th and November 2.

“October is a good time to think ahead for the holidays,” said co-owner, Molly Fletcher. “If you order soon enough, we can customize your new furniture and have it in time for the holidays.”

You may also visit their website: www.OneStopHomeFurnishings.com

Related article: https://lacamasmagazine.com/2019/07/one-stop-home-furnishings-success-through-three-generations.html

One Stop
Recliner by Southern Motion. This is the first week’s free drawing.

Seattle, WA — Camas High School Football Head Coach Jon Eagle was just named Seattle Seahawks Coach of the Week, announced Joe Cronin, Committee Chair for the Seattle Seahawks Coach and Youth of the Week/Year Program.

“Great job this season!” said Cronin. “Always fun to follow the Papermakers. Keep up the great work. Each week during the high school football season, the Seahawks and the Washington State Football Coaches Association select two high school football coaches as the Coach of the Week winners. Congratulations on the season thus far! The Camas Papermakers are off to great start and a huge part of that is your leadership. Nice victory over Bellevue.”

In being named a Seahawks Coach of the Week Eagle will receive:

1. $500 donation to the Camas football program.

2. Framed certificate signed by Seahawks Head Coach Pete Carroll.

3. Named on the Seahawks website as a Seattle Seahawks Coach of the Week, along with the WSFCA website.

4. Receive two tickets to a home football game later this season and be recognized on the field with the other Seattle Seahawks Coaches of the Week recipients.

Eagle has worked tirelessly for years and always gives credit to his fellow coaches and the players.

“I’m not out there on the field doing the hard work,” said Eagle in a recent interview. “These hard-working players are. Our coaching staff is amazing.”

The Seahawks also issued the following statement:

“The Camas Papermakers defeated the Bellevue Wolverines 24-7 in a big non-league game. Coach Eagle has the Papermakers at 4-0 following wins over Lincoln, Hazen and West Valley. Under the leadership of Coach Eagle the Camas Papermakers have been a perennial state contender and a dominant team in the 4A classification. The Papermakers always play with tremendous character, discipline and sportsmanship. Coach Eagle has been a long time member of the WSFCA and is heavily involved.” 


Vancouver, Wash. — In observance of Domestic Violence Awareness month in October, Vancouver Police Department personnel will be wearing purple ribbon lapel pins to show their support of domestic violence victims and raise awareness about domestic, spousal, and teen dating violence.  The department has also outfitted a vehicle with a purple police logo which will be driven to community events and presentations where officers will be providing information on domestic violence, the danger signs of this crime and resources for victims.

Throughout the month, the department will also be posting information, statistics, tips and resources regarding domestic violence on the department website (www.vanpolice.org) and social media (https://twitter.com/VancouverPDUSAhttps://www.facebook.com/VancouverPoliceUSA/)  to further increase awareness around this important issue.

Domestic violence affects millions of men and women of every race, age, religion, culture and status. Domestic violence is not just physical violence; it’s yelling, humiliation, stalking, manipulation, coercion, threats and isolation. Since the Violence Against Women Act was signed into law in 1994, over $7 billion in federal grants have been sent to state and local governments to facilitate programs that prevent domestic violence, sexual assault and dating violence. The Vancouver Police Department has been the recipient of multiple grants related to domestic violence and sexual assault prevention and police response and investigation of these crimes.   

Statistics around domestic violence:

  • On a typical day, more than 20,000 phone calls are placed to domestic violence hotlines
  • 1 in 15 children are exposed to intimate partner violence each year and 90% of those are witnesses
  • 1 in 3 women and 1 in 14 men have been victims of physical violence by an intimate partner
  • 19% of domestic violence involves a weapon
  • 1 in 3 high school students experience either physical or sexual violence, or both by someone they are dating
  • More than half of women (69.5%) and men (53.6%) who have been physically or sexually abused or stalked by a dating partner, first experienced abuse between the ages of 11-24
Domestic Violence

For additional information and resources, visit the Vancouver Police Department Domestic Violence page at: https://www.cityofvancouver.us/police/page/domestic-violence

If you are afraid your internet and/or computer usage might be monitored, please use a safer computer, or call the local hotline at the YWCA Safe Choice (360)-695-0501, the Washington State Domestic Violence Hotline at 1-800-562-6025 or the National Domestic Violence Hotline: 1-800-799-SAFE(7233) or TTY 1-800-787-3224.