Posts

Camas, WA — Officials with the City of Camas are looking for more input from residents regarding the Transportation System Plan (TSP).

Camasonians now have the opportunity to provide their input in the form of a survey ranking issues of importance they see when traveling around the City.

The Survey can be found at https://engagecamas.com/transportation-system-plan

The results of the survey, along with other information provided on Engage Camas, will help the City develop the TSP, which is an important part of the City’s long-term Comprehensive Planning framework.

The TSP provides the basis for prioritizing projects and calculating Traffic Impact Fees. Additionally, the TSP helps to secure State and Federal Funding for those projects.

Perman

Vancouver, WA — Clark County Elections Auditor Greg Kimsey admitted today that 2,120 Camas ballots were sent out over the weekend that had major errors. 

The issue was bought up by Camas voter Heather Deringer, who lives on Livingston Mountain. Others in that area also have noted erroneous ballots.

“When I went to open my ballot, I was surprised to see my Camas School Board candidates were not on the ballot, and instead I had Evergreen School candidates on the ballot,” said Deringer. “I emailed them last night about the issue and they called me back this morning.”

Upon hearing of this error, Lacamas Magazine contacted Kimsey who began an internal investigation. He confirmed that Deringer and several others are indeed Camas School District voters who received ballots with Evergreen School Board candidates on them.

After his initial probe, Kimsey reported today that 2,120 ballots were mailed in error, most of which were mailed to Camas School District voters.

“Correct ballots will be mailed out this week,” said Kimsey. “Two thousand new ballots have to be reprinted, inserted into envelopes, and mailed out. This will happen tomorrow morning, and these voters will also receive a letter explaining the situation.”

The incorrect ballots mostly affect Camas School Board candidate races.

So what happened?

Kimsey said it was human error. 

“Proofreading that should have happened didn’t happen,” Kimsey said. “We had to adjust precinct boundaries to align with the correct jurisdictions and portions. This allows us to get the correct ballot to the correct voter.”

Kimsey said 13 incorrect ballots have already been returned. He said those incorrect ballots will be held apart from the general ballots, so they won’t be recorded.

“Correct ballots are essential to our democracy,” said Kimsey. “We are fixing this error, and voters will have their new ballots by Thursday.”

Perman

Camas, WA — Jennifer McDaniel, who is running for Camas City Council, Ward 3, Position 2, recently answered several Lacamas Magazine questions about her candidacy.

McDaniel served on the Washougal City Council for nine years until 2017 when she and her family moved to Camas. She has served on various boards and committees for several years, and is a strong advocate of public service.

“These are your neighbors and friends who are doing the best they can in these public positions,” said McDaniel. “They’re doing this to better their community. Families have really struggled to educate their children and maintain their incomes. There’s a lot of anger around that. We’re all concerned.”

What are the Top 3 reasons McDaniel is running:

Reason 1: “A lot been happening in Camas over the past few years, and I’m concerned about it, and as a former Washougal City Council person I’d like to see our community heal. There will be a lot of change with three new city council members, a new mayor and a new city administrator. What does Camas need to heal from? We need to heal from mistrust from the pool bond, the write-in candidate who didn’t finish his term. People need confidence in their city leaders again. That’s restored through communication. Involve everyone in the communication process. Everything had to shut down and people got information but it was virtual. It’s not the same as talking in person to someone in charge, which is always the best way to communicate. Be honest and collaborative. Engage Camas is the online website that talks about all the projects for people to volunteer for committees. We need to support all of our events downtown because that brings people together. People crave seeing each other.”

Reason 2: “Parks, trails, open spaces. It’s a high priority for me. It’s good for our health, it’s good for our soul. We need to keep improving them and develop the more recent ones we’ve acquired, especially north of the lake. I want to make sure we have enough to maintain those facilities. We need to keep things clean. We need permanent restrooms, and I know there’s a park plan to develop that.

Reason 3: “Downtown Camas is our gem. I know there are many infrastructure issues that need to be addressed. They need to be a higher priority. DCA has issues with lack of electrical outlets to get power to vendors for major events. We need proper ADA access to sidewalks. I’d also like to see parking problems solved. There’s always a parking issue. A solution is to work with the milll’s parking area and see if we can purchase the parking lot across the street from Grains of Wrath. This is something in the future but we need to have those discussions. Parking is getting worse.”

Leadership 

“I served on Washougal City Council for nine years. It was wonderful. I got elected before their downtown revitalization. I was involved in getting that off the ground. I made sure we had sidewalk improvements. Our relationship for economic development was an important partnership. We worked with the Port of Camas-Washougal and the City of Camas to attract businesses to our community. Any businesses brought in through the port have helped our economic development.” 

What is Public Service?

“It’s basically doing what you can for your community, getting involved in non-profits and wards and communities. It’s about putting your community first, always. It should always be Camas first in everything we’re doing and always will be. Serving the public is a civic duty to me. I started when my children were small. I decided to get involved in Meals On Wheels. I was the liaison to the school district from the city. I served as the Washougal Schools Foundation president.”

Misconceptions About City Council

“They don’t see all the work that’s involved in working on council. We serve on multiple boards. They don’t see all the research that goes into studying these issues. A lot of times we meet with staff on off hours. We work hard to get the information we need to be able to make informed decisions. The effort put into the knowledge of the issues is huge.” 

McDaniel said she would reach out to other small cities to see how they manage things. 

“We learn from each other. It’s important to maintain those relationships with community leaders all over Clark County.”

To learn more about her candidacy, visit https://mcdanielforcamas.com

Camas, WA — Citizens should be on the lookout for a slight difference on the uniforms of Camas’ Police officers … Pink Patches! 

The Camas PD is joining the Pink Patch campaign once again to raise public awareness for breast cancer during the month of October, and they’re looking for businesses that would like to help sell the Pink Patches. 

According to pinkpatchproject.com, the pink patches are intended to stimulate conversation within the community and to encourage public awareness about the importance of early detection and treatment in the fight against breast cancer.

And the officers aren’t the only ones who will be wearing the pink, the public can take advantage too by buying a patch for $10!

Proceeds from the sale of the patches will support the Pink Lemonade Project, a Clark County non-profit organization dedicated to the education, support and empowerment of those affected by breast cancer.

For more information on being a Pink Patch location, contact Sydney Baker at [email protected] for more information.

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.

Volunteer Experience

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

Camas, WA — As the Camas Boutique Hotel continues to make changes under its new ownership team, they’ve hired Stephanie Curtis as the historic venue’s new Resident Manager.

Curtis comes from Best Western Tigard, where she started at the front desk, worked as a sales champion, was promoted to front desk manager, then performed duties as assistant general manager.

As the Camas Boutique Hotel’s Resident Manager she lives at the hotel full time. 

“This means I cover the front desk the majority of the time,” said Curtis. “It means if anything happens overnight I will be there to help them. I secure the property and make sure the guests over night are taken care of.”

She’s taking her 5.5 years of experience in the hospitality industry to help promote the hotel, and the area, as well.

“I want people to know it is a unique property,” said Curtis. “I would consider it a landmark because it’s historic. Every room is different, each has a different decor. If you like something quaint or simple, this is the place for you. I also like that it has access to many activities. You don’t even have to leave the city of Camas to do stuff — we have great restaurants, bars, shopping, the movie theatre.” 

Hotel Improvements

“We are doing full inspections of the rooms,” Curtis said. “We took a full inventory of what’s down there in the basement so we know what we have or need. We’ve replaced lighting fixtures and shower curtains. We continue to replace mattresses. We may do some type of theme room. They’ve purchased all new linens. In the public areas we are doing upgrades but keeping the historic style. We’re making it a more modernized boutique hotel.”

The hotel’s new breakfast partnership with Natalia’s Cafe is also going well.

“We hear nothing but good things from our guests about Natalia’s,” Curtis said. 

Bouncing Back From The Pandemic

On the weekends, the hotel is sold out. Mid-week, they are typically at 70 percent capacity or better. 

“People are getting out of their shell a little bit more, to enjoy the property, enjoy the town,” she added.

“In hospitality you get to meet so many different people. No day is the same. You’re essentially doing something different every day. We’re here to greet guests who sometimes aren’t familiar with this area, or maybe they’re in town for a funeral. We want them to have a positive experience. I love this little place.”

To book a room, visit www.camasboutiquehotel.com

CAMAS, WA — Officials with the City of Camas Public Works department have announced that the annual drawdown of Lacamas Lake is scheduled to begin Sept. 13.

Beginning at 8 a.m., Monday, Sept. 13, 2021, the City will reduce the total level of Lacamas Lake by approximately six-feet, in order to achieve the level needed to facilitate dam inspections and repairs.  

The drawdown should take a few days, with the minimum level being reached by the approximate date of Friday, Sept. 27, 2021.

Once inspections and repairs have taken place, the process to refill the lake to normal levels is scheduled to begin Oct. 25.  Officials expect this process to take several weeks, depending on rainfall volumes.

Camas, WA — The Camas High School administration team issued a statement this week regarding Monday’s freshman orientation that featured Yshai Boussi, LPC, a mental health professional, who said all students will eventually smoke pot and that “you can either be a good person or you can be a Republican.”

The CHS statement said: “It was brought to our attention this morning that a guest speaker at Monday’s freshman orientation made a characterization that was inappropriate and divisive. The remark made by this speaker does not align with our values and our mission to see and serve each student, and we apologize to the students and families who were upset or felt uncomfortable by the characterization. 

“At Camas High School and throughout our entire district, we work to ensure all students feel safe and included at all times. We will continue to work with guest speakers to ensure our student experiences are beneficial and inclusive. If you have questions, please let us know.”

In today’s CHS update they said “There were many very important takeaways from the presentation. We hope that many of the points resonated with students. Unfortunately, one comment during the presentation was hurtful for some students, and for that, we sincerely apologize. Our guest speaker from Monday, Yshai Boussi, has created a video that he would like to send to the CHS community.”

VIDEO LINK

Here’s the video: https://youtu.be/KNmv5Nxv-40

“It’s important for us as a community to offer students opportunities to restore any harm created by this experience,” CHS said. “Yshai suggested the chance to meet with students next week at CHS who were negatively impacted by what they heard. At least two CHS administrators will help facilitate this discussion. It’s important that we have conversations when messages are received that hurt people. We appreciate Yshai’s willingness to model accountability and listening to understand.”

What are your thoughts?

CAMAS, WA – The City of Camas will return to a virtual-only meeting format for all public meetings, effective Sept. 1, 2021.  This will include City Council meetings, Planning Commission, Library Board of Directors, Parks and Recreation Commission, as well as all other boards and commissions’ meetings. While City officials were excited to offer the additional in-person format, the public safety of the Community and staff takes precedent.

This decision comes as other cities and jurisdictions have moved back to remote-only public meetings, due to an increase in the Delta variant cases of COVID 19 across the county and state.

Officials will review the decision regularly, in conjunction with neighboring agencies, to determine when, and if, the hybrid public meeting format can be returned to.  Additionally, an ordinance will come before the city council in Sept., that will update the Camas Municipal Code to include remote meetings, while maintaining city hall as the in-person meeting location. This code update will eliminate the need to classify public meetings as “special” meetings due to the meeting location being different.

In addition to a return to remote meetings, face coverings will now be required indoors for all city buildings for individuals 5 years and older, regardless of vaccination status as stated in the recent State Secretary of Health order: https://www.doh.wa.gov/Portals/1/Documents/1600/coronavirus/Secretary_of_Health_Order_20-03_Statewide_Face_Coverings.pdf

The mask mandate includes employees and visitors to any City buildings.

Camas, WA — Leslie Lewallen is running for Camas City Council, Ward 3, Position 2, which is an open seat. Her opponent is Jennifer McDaniel, a former Washougal City Council member. Here are several answers Lewallen provides to Lacamas Magazine questions.

Question: Why are you running for Camas City Council?

Answer: I am running for City Council because Camas deserves better.  Camasonians deserve to be meaningfully heard and participate with transparent accountability and effective city leadership. I am ready to protect our schools, our public safety, our local business community, and our parks and environment– things we value as members of this special community all the while holding myself and our city leadership accountable to the citizens of Camas. From $78 million pool bonds to drug detox facilities being located to elementary schools and tens of millions of dollars spent on private land acquisitions citizens have been kept in the dark for too long.

Question: Why are you qualified to fill this seat?

Answer: I am a native 5th generation Washingtonian.  I graduated from the University of Washington with a bachelor’s degree in political science and Seattle University School of Law with a Juris Doctorate. After law school I practiced as a judicial law clerk for Chief Justice Gerry Alexander at the Washington State Supreme Court. I then went on to work as a deputy prosecuting attorney prior to joining private practice where I focused primarily on school law, and land use property rights issues. I have worked on zoning issues, land use issues, environmental issues and issues related to Washington’s Growth Management Act.  All areas of law that are specifically related to many of the City Council’s duties.

As a retired attorney, business owner and mother of four, I have the leadership, knowledge, and communication skills necessary to serve.   

Although I have never held elected office before, I believe my education, knowledge and legal and business experience uniquely qualifies me to lead Camas back on track and make it the best city it can be.  

Question: What are your priorities should you be elected to Camas City Council? 

Answer: My vision of downtown Camas urban development and the Northshore over the next five to 10 years is easy. My vision is to represent the will of the electorate. I have personally canvassed over 1,500 homes in the past three months.  I have heard from citizen after citizen that they do not want the Northshore developed. Camasonians have been clear.  They want to preserve the greenspace of our community and preserve the natural beauty that makes Camas special.  It’s time our city stops paying consultants to tell us what we want or need.  It’s time our city listened to the taxpayers.  

I believe that Camas has a unique opportunity to work together with Georgia Pacific to plan and create a healthy, vibrant space that accommodates the needs of our citizens. With a clear understanding of zoning, property laws and environmental laws, I believe that I would be a valuable resource in working together to create mixed use development in the heart of Camas.  Not only would a mixed-use development preserve the environment of our Northshore, but it would satisfy an existing infrastructure, allow for various types of housing, parking, and retail—all of which keep our valuable tax dollars where they belong — in Camas.  

You can learn more about Lewallen and her candidacy at https://www.leslieforcamas.com