Camas, WA —  Following a nationwide search, the City of Camas announced today that Tina M. Jones will be the next Chief of the Camas Police Department.

Jones will assume the position effective July 3, 2023.  However, Council will have a vote to confirm the appointment at the June 5 City Council meeting.

Jones was one of four finalists brought in for a multi-day interview process, that included meeting with the public, the City Senior Leadership team and peer subject matter experts, among others.

“It is a great honor to be selected as the next Camas Police Chief,” said Jones. “I am very excited to join the excellent Camas Police Department team, and to serve this fantastic community.”

According to Camas Mayor Steve Hogan, Jones stood out as the clear choice for the role.

“Tina’s background and her commitment to law enforcement really stood out, but her understanding of our community and where we need to grow made her the right choice,” said Hogan. “While the other candidates were stellar, Tina had everything we need currently, and everything we want for the future of our police department. We’re very excited to see what she’ll bring to Camas.”

Jones currently serves as a Commander for the Portland Police Bureau, after joining the department in 2001 as an officer. Prior to working with the Portland Bureau, Jones served as a Corrections Officer for the Placer County Sheriff’s Office in California.

Jones will replace current Police Chief Mitch Lackey who is retiring from the City after 32 years of service.

Camas, WA Officials with the City of Camas announced that four candidates have been invited to participate in the Camas Police Chief on-site recruitment events taking place this week. 

The events will consist of various activities while in Camas, including a Meet and Greet with the community Wednesday, April 19, from 6 – 8 p.m., at the Camas Public Library.

The four finalists are listed below in alphabetical order:

David Abrahamson

Abrahamson currently serves as a Captain for the City of Portland Police Bureau, Portland, OR.

James H. Band

Band currently serves as the Police Chief for the Oregon City Police Department, Oregon City, OR

Tina M. Jones

Jones currently serves as a Commander for the City of Portland Police Bureau, Portland, OR

Ronald D. Schaub

Schaub currently serves as the Police Chief for the City of Pacific Police Department, Pacific, WA

In addition to meeting with the public, each candidate will also have the opportunity to meet with the City Senior Leadership team, community partners and peer subject matter experts.  The top candidates will then be invited to meet with the Mayor.

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Camas, WA — About 125 local Project-Based Learning (PBL) students walked out of their classrooms today to protest staffing cuts at both Discovery High and Odyssey Middle Schools, which may total 20 percent of their respective staffs.

The students have expressed their concerns throughout the week, first by speaking up at Monday’s Camas School Board meeting, rallying, and participating in today’s walkout. They initially gathered in front of the Discovery High School, then marched down the school’s long driveway to have their signs visible to passersby.

Camas School District (CSD) is grappling with a $7.4 million deficit, and today CSD Superintendent, Dr. John Anzalone, released a statement to parents on how these cuts will be made to balance the budget.

To balance the $7.4 million deficit, CSD will draw down $1.8 million from reserves, layoff 10 district wide employees ($1.9 million), let go of eight school-wide support staff that are non-classroom ($1.9 million), and layoff 29 classroom teachers ( eight elementary, nine middle school, and 12 high school) totaling $2.6 million. Anazlone said their priority was to do as little disruption to classroom experiences as possible. 

Students protest against looming staff cuts at Discovery and Odyssey.

CSD explained why this situation has happened. In their statement, they said the following:

The shift in public education funding prompted by the McCleary Decision in 2018 has been quite a journey for our state and public school system. Five years later, expenses continue to outpace revenues, and our district anticipates a $7.4M shortfall.

Four key factors are at play: declining regionalization funding, the prototypical school funding model (McCleary), a dramatic enrollment drop, and the sunset of COVID Relief Funding:

1. Regionalization factors were put in place to adjust funding based on the cost of living in different communities. Factors for a handful of districts began declining in 2020-21 at a rate of 1% per year. It is unclear why this is the case. Camas is the only district in the ESD 112 region that experienced this reduction. The annual decreases are counter-intuitive, given that the cost per employee continues to rise and the cost of living in Camas continues to increase.

2. In the state’s prototypical school funding model, funding for staff relies on an experience factor average, not actual experience. Because most of our teachers have many years of experience and are, therefore, near the top of the pay scale, Camas fared better in the previous funding model, which funded districts based on their teaching staff’s actual years of experience and education level.

3. From March 2020 to February 2023, our student enrollment dropped from 7,262 to 6,973 (FTE*), primarily due to COVID, while our staffing levels have remained relatively unchanged.

4. COVID Relief Funds, including Elementary and Secondary School Emergency Relief (ESSER), food service, and enrollment and transportation stabilization, total $10.8M to date. These funds, which are nearly expended, provided temporary relief and will not be reinstated going forward.


Camas, WA — At Monday’s Camas School District’s (CSD) Board meeting, the five-member board voted unanimously to begin a district-wide layoff process by ratifying Resolution No. 22-04, a Modified Educational Program.

CSD has been working for months analyzing where to make budget cuts to bridge at $7.4 million budget deficit. Monday’s vote gives the CSD cabinet the authority to formally begin the process to make those cuts, which will include layoffs to certificated, classified and administrative employees.

This is the board’s resolution:

WHEREAS, the Camas School District No. 117 (“District”) faces financial issues due to inflation, increased staffing costs, reductions in enrollment and the state funding model;

WHEREAS, all general fund cash reserves and contingency funds have been considered for use by the Board;

WHEREAS, the District formed the Superintendent Budget Committee, sought input from and conferred both collectively and individually with the Camas Education Association (“CEA”), Public School Employees (“PSE”), Camas Association of Educational Office Professionals (“CAEOP”), building administrators, unrepresented employees, and other community stakeholders;

WHEREAS, the District will identify all persons within the CEA, PSE, CAEOP, building administration & unrepresented employees who willingly will agree to a Reduction in Force through resignations, leaves of absence and/or retirement;

WHEREAS, unless corrected, budget and cash flow analysis by the District anticipates a budget deficit of approximately $7.4 million for the 2023-2024 school year;

WHEREAS, the District has determined that unreserved/unassigned cash reserve of approximately $1.4 million should be budgeted for the 2023-2024 school year.

WHEREAS, the Superintendent has recommended that the Board adopt a Modified Educational Program.

NOW, THEREFORE, be it resolved by the Board of Directors of Camas School District No. 117 as follows:

  1. The Superintendent is directed to implement a Modified Educational Program; and 
  2. The Superintendent is directed to prepare a 2023-2024 operating budget that reduces expenditures nearly to the level of reasonably anticipated revenues and reasonably available fund balance, subject to unreserved/unassigned cash reserve limitations noted above; and 
  3. The Superintendent is directed to take such action as may be required by law to notify certificated, classified, and administrative employees who will be affected by reductions in positions; and 
  4. The Superintendent is authorized to make such other plans to implement the reduced educational program as are necessary to comply with the legal obligations of the District. 

RESOLUTION adopted this 27 day of March, 2023.

Board members are: Connie Hennessey, Corey McEnry, Erika Cox, Tracey Malone, and Bamini Pathmanathan

The Camas Education Association (CEA), who represents a majority of certificated teachers, responded with this statement:

On March 27, the School Board passed Board Resolution 22-04.  The title of the resolution is “Modified Educational Program.”

The resolution is more commonly known as the RIF (Reduction in Force) Resolution, which directs the Superintendent to begin the process of laying off staff, thereby reducing the amount of support our students receive at school.

During the Public Comments portion of last night’s meeting, CEA Vice President Michael Sanchez urged the Board to reconsider any and all cuts.

Along with the rest of the community, the Camas Education Association is saddened to hear that this resolution unanimously passed.  Cuts always mean that our students are the ones who ultimately suffer the most.

Last night’s meeting was standing room only, with many first-time attendees.  These attendees aren’t necessarily familiar with the machinations of school budgets, and they’re certainly not as up-to-speed as those who deal with this on a regular basis.  

Customarily, members of the Board will discuss among themselves the Motion to adopt a resolution of this magnitude.  

At least, Board members should.  

However, at last night’s meeting, the Board did not see fit to offer any sort of rationale that would be entered into the public record.  For the many people who were attending their very first Board meeting and were there to advocate for their schools, they heard ZERO discussion from their School Board that evening regarding the RIF Resolution. 

CEA finds this especially galling, especially from a District that claims to value transparency.  

The School Board missed an important opportunity to provide those observing the proceedings with insight as to how they arrived at their decision.

We hope that in the future, the School Board will take the time to give even the most perfunctory statements the next time they make decisions with such far reaching consequences. 

-The Camas Education Association Executive Board

Layoff notices will be distributed before this school year ends.

Washougal, WA — Three generations of the Van Vleet family lived at Parkersville, a township established in 1854 by David C. Parker along the shores of the Columbia River and now a national, state and county registered historic site.

The second annual Parkersville Day June 3, 2023, from 12 pm to 3 pm at Parker’s Landing Historical Park, at the Port of Camas-Washougal will celebrate the rich history of the site and families such as the Van Fleet’s who helped shape the communities of Camas and Washougal.

In 1855, Lewis Van Vleet, Sr. traveled the treacherous Oregon Trail from Missouri and took up a residence on a donation land claim in Fern Prairie three miles north of Camas. A dairy farmer, he later brought milk to Parker’s Landing where it traveled by steamship to Portland. On January 16, 1877, the editor of The Independent wrote in a column title Parkersville, “Parkersville is situated on the Columbia River, about sixteen miles from Vancouver. We have at present two steamboats running opposites – the Gazelle and Caliope. They make two trips per week — Tuesdays and Wednesdays.”

In 1858, when Parker died, Lewis Van Vleet, Sr. accepted part of the Parkersville property for his services as the estate administrator. Lewis Van Vleet, Sr. and lived there briefly. Parker’s widow, Ann, retained ownership and lived on the west side of the 581.97-acre donation land claim with her married daughter Mrs. Eliza Wiley.

Louisa, “Lutie”, daughter of Lewis and Ann Van Vleet, became one of the first woman doctors in the Camas and Washougal area, and in Washington State to hold both a medical degree and a license to practice. She treated settlers and indigenous people, covering miles riding side saddle or traveling by horse and buggy. Louisa married William Spicer, a pharmacist and had three children, Cecil, Lewis, and Edith, before the marriage ended.  

In July 1880, Louisa purchased 10 acres in Parkersville from her parents that her son, Cecil, would eventually inherit. In 1901, she married James W. Wright, son of Washougal pioneers Emily Durgan and Stephen Wright, Sr. She continued her medical practice, served on the Camas School Board for 12 years, and reluctantly ran for mayor. Without campaigning she lost by one vote. In February 1904, she bought 35 acres in Parkersville and retired to a quiet and mostly deserted Parkersville.

Dr. Louisa Wright died instantly on May 30, 1913, from a horse kick to the chin while hooking up a buggy. Her funeral, held at her home, was well attended by many, some arriving by boat and others by Chinookan canoes.

On June 18, 1917, Cecil changed his name by petition from Spicer to Cecil Van Vleet in admiration of his mother and grandfather. On July 21, 1917, he married Elsie Virginia Moore. They were both teachers. Cecil and Elsie lived at Parker’s Landing during the 1920s. After Elsie died on January 2, 1950, Cecil met his second wife, Mary Roberts, while playing bridge. They lived at Parker’s Landing until he died on December 4, 1977. Cecil was the last of the three generations of Van Vleet families to live there.

The VanVleet home stood in Section B of today’s Parker’s Landing Historical Park until 1978 when it was burned to the ground by an arsonist. The following Monday, a Camas-Washougal Historical Society was formed and pledged a $1000 reward to anyone uncovering the culprit. The society was formed by promoters of the house becoming a museum. The house was thought to have been built in 1878 in Fern Prairie and moved to its waterfront site and had been added to the National Register of Historic Places. 

The new historical society named interim officers and historical advisors designating a Monday night meeting at 7 pm in the home of Mrs. Bernice Pluchos to discuss bylaws. Membership in the society was $4 per year for individuals and $7 for a family.

Meet members of today’s Camas-Washougal Historical Society, Washougal’s Two Rivers Heritage Museum, Clark County Museum, and Parkersville Heritage Foundation at the second Annual Parkersville Day at Parker’s Landing Historical Park at the Camas-Washougal Port. Learn about our rich local history in a fun, free, educational experience for all ages, on Saturday, June 3, 2023, from 12 pm to 3 pm.

Learn more at

Van Vleet
Lousia Wright

Washougal, WA — Citing low voter turnout on the February 14 special election, and with 100 positions at risk, the Washougal Board of Directors has proposed re-balloting two failed levies — the replacement EP&O, and Capital — for a special April 25 election.  

Levies fill a 20 percent funding gap in the Washougal School District (WSD) budget. 

The replacement Educational Programs and Operations (EPO) levy, or Proposition 10, failed 51%-48% (more “no” votes) while Proposition 11, the replacement capital facilities and technology levy, failed 51.5%-48.4% (more “no” votes).

For the second special election, the levies are known as Propositions 11 and 12.

“Schools would not look the same without levy funds,” said Superintendent Dr. Mary Templeton. “Without this levy funding, Washougal School District would be unable to fund school extracurriculars, athletics, performing arts, classroom teachers to maintain smaller class sizes, technology devices, and more. 

“Levies pay the people on the ground at schools, teaching and supporting Washougal youth. The reality is that without levy funding, significant cuts would need to be made to school staffing, which is 85 percent of the budget. A list of cuts that would be needed in the event of a double levy failure was reviewed with the board at their February 28, 2023 meeting. The list is available on the district website, and includes 40 teaching positions, 44 classified staff positions, five administrative positions, and 155 coaches and club advisors.” 

Templeton added that “levies are important to strong schools and a strong community.” 

The Washougal School Board has scheduled listening tours to gather feedback from voters about the recent levy results, and has shared a survey with district parents, staff, and community members.

WSD said “reintroducing the measures on the April ballot provides opportunities for the district to correct misconceptions and misunderstandings of the proposed levies that have surfaced in conversations with voters and in the survey results.”

The cost to run a special election varies by the size of the jurisdiction, but according Washington state RCW 29A.04.410 “Every city, town, and district is liable for its proportionate share of the costs. Special election costs must be borne by the city, town, or district concerned.”

February 2020’s special election cost $44,000, as a reference point.

In their statement, WSD said The board has highlighted the need to clearly communicate that the levies are not new taxes, and plans talk directly about the impact on student programs should the levies fail again, and ensure voters understand value of the programs and staff supported directly by the levies. 

“Our youth need opportunities to engage in positive after-school activities,” said Jim Cooper, WSD Board Member. “The local levy is the way school districts in Washington state fund the sports and clubs that engage kids .Can you imagine what the Washougal community would be like with 1,000 teenagers hanging out after school with nothing positive to do?” 

WSD said these levies are not new taxes, but rather they replace the EP&O Levy and Tech Levy expiring at the end of 2023. Combined, the proposed EP&O and Capital levy rates are lower than school levy rates approved by Washougal voters in 2020. The EP&O levy is proposed at a rate of $1.99 per thousand of assessed valuation, which is lower than the previously approved $2.14 rate. The EP&O and Capital levies work in tandem to fund student programs, staffing, and keep schools in good repair. 

Voters are invited to Listening Tours hosted by the Washougal School Board to gather feedback from voters about the recent levy results.  At these events, citizens may sit and chat with a board member, ask questions, and share ideas about Washougal schools. 

The public may also provide feedback to the school board via a survey.  Listening tours are scheduled for March 16 & 28, and April 11 and 21. Time and location information is available on the Washougal School District website. 

If the second levy fails, the school board would need to take action to determine next steps. Most reductions would occur after the end of the current school year. The impacts of these significant cuts would be visible starting in the 2023-24 school year.

Camas, WA — The Readiness Group is officially opening its doors on Friday, February 17 with a major Grand Opening event and ribbon cutting from 5-9 pm.

The facility, which is located at 3316 NE 3rd Ave next door to Walgreens and Grocery Outlet, is a store that helps people prepare for emergency and disaster planning. 

The store offers the following services:

  • Emergency preparedness and disaster planning.
  • Smokeless range training
  • Classroom for firearms
  • Taser training
  • Self defense classes
  • Laser training
  • Community classes on first aid and fire safety, trauma, surviving a car accident, how to pack a go bag.
  • Foraging class

The veteran-owned and operated business offers a variety of products, as well: 

  • Ammunition
  • Cleaning supplies
  • Range supplies
  • Eye protection
  • Targets
  • Target stands

The Readiness Group also offers medical supplies, which include first aid, trauma kits, a la carte features with individual kits that are customized. 

They will also sell gun holsters and conceal devices like purses, as well as firearms parts, apparel, body armor, carriers, range bags, sunglasses, watches, belts, etc.

“We are getting in with a lot of phenomenal product,” said co-owner Daniel Stanton. “We have a couple distributors that are new to the Pacific Northwest. We’re not trying to be a run of the mill store. It’s a high quality store. We have a custom holster manufacturer that makes holsters for us. We put a lot of thought in the knives and equipment we sell.”

The company is a partnership with multiple entities, with a division that offers defensive construction, such as safe rooms, home security camera systems, bars on windows, and landscaping to deter criminal activity. 

“Criminals look for ease of access for the haul,” said Stanton. “Make your ease of access look difficult and ensure your appearance deters criminal activity. Keep an eye on your neighbors, which is part of security training.” 

Their Gun Fighting Systems division offers consulting. Their training classes run at night: Tuesdays, Thursdays, and Saturdays.

And they plan to offer some self defense and weapons detection courses. It’s really the whole gambit of defense, preparedness and security. 


Find them on Facebook: The Readiness Group

Washougal, WA — According to the Clark County Elections Office, Washougal School District voters are rejecting the district’s two replacement levies that were placed on the February 14 special election ballot.

The latest results show WSD’s replacement educational programs and operations (EPO) levy, or Proposition 10, had received 2,433 “no” votes (52%) and 2,331 “yes” votes (47.8%), while Proposition 11, the WSD’s replacement capital facilities and technology levy, had received 2,322 “no” votes (51.7%) and 2,172 “yes” votes (48.2%).


Washougal voters were asked to consider a replacement Enhanced Programs and Operations Levy (EP&O) to fund services and operations not funded by the state or federal government.  

These services include:

  • Instructional Support: Librarians, secretaries, para-educators, textbooks, curriculum, food service, AVID program, community programs including Spanish Speaking Family Nights, preschool, and the Drug Free Communities grant match
  • Student Learning & Staffing: Art & music, Advanced Placement, Highly Capable Program, professional development & training, substitute teachers, classified staff substitutes, special education teachers and support staff, English Language Learner support, teachers above state funded levels to keep class sizes lower.
  • Athletics & Activities: School athletics, coaches, advisors, performing arts programs, extra-curricular activities, transportation
  • Operations & Maintenance: Custodians, grounds staff, maintenance staff, utilities, supplies, equipment, fuel, vehicles
  • Health & Safety: Security staff, counselors, nurses, Family Community Resource Coordinators

The EP&O Levy will be assessed at $1.99 per thousand of assessed value for tax years 2024, 2025, and 2026.  The levy is projected to generate $9,500,000 in 2024, $10,500,000 in 2025, and $11,500,000 in 2026.


According to WSD, the Technology Levy dollars pay for the district’s 1:1 initiative, up-to-date computers and devices, classroom instructional technology, professional development and coaching, technology infrastructure and staffing, and digital curriculum and software.

Starting in 2025, as bond collections decrease, the proposed Capital Levy would increase by a corresponding amount to fund some additional projects.  

If approved, the Capital levy would be assessed at $0.21 per thousand of assessed value for tax year 2024, $0.84 per thousand in 2025, and $0.85 in tax year 2026.  The levy would collect $950,000 in 2024, $3,950,000 in 2025, and $4,150,000 in tax year 2026.

The additional funds would be used to replace the roof at Washougal High School, improve security at our schools, improve ADA access for main entrances, update carpet and vinyl flooring in schools, and install more efficient heating systems and controls.

CAMAS, WA –- Following the interviews for the City of Camas Police Chief position, officials with the City of Camas announced Thursday that the search for the next Chief will continue for the time being.

City of Camas Mayor Steve Hogan said that the initial candidate pool was trimmed down to two finalists, however, he’s interested in finding candidates to better fit for Camas’ needs. 

Mayor Hogan acknowledged that the finalists were both excellent candidates, each with unique strengths they could bring to the position.  However, the decision was made to continue the search.

“While it’s unfortunate the position was not filled, it will be reopened as Camas continues to search for the City’s next Police Chief,” said Hogan.

In addition, current Camas Police Chief Mitch Lackey has agreed to push back his retirement date to provide support to the City while the process to hire his replacement continues.

City of Camas Communications Director Bryan Rachal acknowledged hiring for public sector positions is challenging.

“It’s difficult to hire for any position lately, but especially difficult to hire Police Officers,” he said. “There are numerous factors that play into that, including availability of positions and varying levels of pay. In addition to recruiting for the Chief, we’re also recruiting for Officers currently.”

 Citing privacy measures, the city will will not release the names of the top finalists.

Rachal said the city is using The Bob Murray recruiting firm to help fill this position, which is a contract that costs Camas $18,500 plus expenses, not to exceed $25,000. 

“As mentioned, since we were not successful this round, they are performing the next recruitment process at no additional cost to the City,” Rachal clarified. “We will NOT pay anything additional for the recruiting services.”

Background checks for both finalists cost about $6,000 for full investigations. Background checks are required at a certain level for Police Chief applicants and certain requirements must be met when doing them, which is why that cost is higher than a standard background check.

At this time, Hogan hasn’t made clear exactly why the candidates weren’t a good fit. All five candidates attended a public meet and greet last year at Camas Public Library.

Camas, WA — Following a thorough recruitment process, the City of Camas announced that Shaun Ford will be the next Division Chief of EMS for the Camas-Washougal Fire Department. 

Ford will assume the position effective Feb. 1, 2023. 

Ford was one of four finalists initially brought in to interview for the Fire Chief position. However, after Cliff Free was selected, Ford applied to be the Division Chief.  

According to Fire Chief Cliff Free, Ford stood out as the clear choice for the role.

“Shaun Ford has a passion for EMS; is an accomplished EMS Educator; and has demonstrated the ability to manage a high functioning EMS system,” said Chief Free. “I believe Shaun has the skill set and motivation to guide CWFD’s EMS program in providing the best possible EMS care for our citizens,” he said.

Ford most recently served as Chief of the North County EMS and Clark County Fire District 13 in Yacolt, Washington.  Prior to that, Ford served as the Training Division Chief for North Country EMS and as EMS Division Chief for Clark County. Ford has over 20 years of experience in emergency services.