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A dual show in May brings two artists to Second Story Gallery to present “Big Skies and Small Wonders.”  Mary Chant paints landscapes with clouds dominating the horizon lines.  Marilyn Slaby has taught herself to shape blossoms from polymer clay, then paint them to equal anything found in nature.

The two artists, strangers until this show, share a love of the natural world and both say they draw from it for their inspiration.  Painter Chant calls her Big Sky series “a joyful exercise in searching for an earthbound way to interpret the ethereal.”

Sculptor Slaby says she began her flower creations using sugar but learned they were too fragile for permanent exhibition.  She has discovered polymers of several types to sculpt petal by petal, leaf by leaf.  She says it’s “fiddly” work and time consuming, but the results are amazingly lifelike arrangements of lilies, roses, peonies, even daffodils.

Gallery
Mary Chant paints landscapes with clouds dominating the horizon lines.

This breath of spring will arrive at Second Story Gallery May 3, part of the Downtown Camas First Friday activities from 5 to 8 p.m.  Both artists will be on hand to meet patrons and explain their techniques.  The public reception will also feature music by Rob Lewis.  “Big Skies and Small Wonders” will remain on display through May 25 during regular library hours.

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“Big Skies and Small Wonders” May 3 through May 25, Second Story Gallery, upstairs in the Camas Public Library.  This dual show features expansive landscapes that form a background for three-dimensional floral stems made of polymer clay.  Mary Chant is the painter of clouds piling up on her horizons; Marilyn Slaby is the sculptor of lifelike blooms.  Free and open to the public, the reception on First Friday will include live music by Rob Lewis.  The exhibit will be on display through May 25 during regular library hours, 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. Monday through Wednesday, 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Thursday through Saturday.  Inside the Camas Public Library,625 NE 4th Ave., Camas.  360-834-4532 www.secondstorygallery.net

CAMAS, WA — After several years, Camas City Council is bringing back ward meetings to encourage residents to share ideas, concerns, and questions with the elected officials who represent their geographic area.

“As community and regional growth continues, the City of Camas wants to make sure that all residents keep having a voice in the issues that affect them,” said Mayor Shannon Turk. “I believe the smaller setting of local ward meetings will have a big impact on making valuable connections across Camas.”

Residents are encouraged to locate their ward by visiting the Clark County Maps Online website, clicking the Search tab and entering their street address or tax ID number.Ward meetings will occur twice this year, once in the spring and once in the fall. The first set of upcoming ward meetings will be held in April and May 2019, as follows:

  • Ward 1 – Sat., April 27, 1-3 pm, with Council Members Deanna Rusch and Melissa Smith, at Camas City Hall Council Chambers, 616 NE 4th Ave.
  • Ward 2 – Sun., May 19, 12:30-2 pm, with Council Members Bonnie Carter and Steve Hogan, at Camas City Hall Council Chambers, 616 NE 4th Ave.
  • Ward 3 – Mon., April 29, 7-8:30 pm, with Council Members Ellen Burton and Greg Anderson, at Dorothy Fox Elementary Library, 2623 NW Sierra St.

The format of the spring ward meetings will be casual to allow residents to bring their own ideas, concerns and questions for discussion with their council members as well as the Council Member at Large Don Chaney and the mayor. The format of the fall meetings will be more structured, with a set topic that is specific to the ward. Council members from other wards will attend one another’s meetings to get a sense of key themes across the community; however, they will not take part in the discussion.

“By trying out various formats, we hope to see what works best for the citizens and council/mayor to communicate on ideas and issues,” said Turk.

Starting in 2013, the annual September State of the Community event was launched to replace ward meetings, which ceased in 2011 due to decreased attendance. The event is held each September and features presentations by the mayor, Camas School District superintendent and other local leaders such as the Port of Camas-Washougal director. The event is expected to remain part of the City’s public outreach continuum.

The decision to reinstate ward meetings was inspired by the success of recent town hall meeting with state legislators.

About City of Camas

Located in eastern Clark County, City of Camas is home to approximately 23,000 residents. Camas boasts a vibrant historic downtown, approximately 60 miles of trails, numerous hi-tech manufacturing industries, and a state-leading educational system. From its origins over 100 years ago as a paper mill town, Camas continues to successfully blend a mix of cultures, values, and vision. For more information, visit www.cityofcamas.us

As Camas School District (CSD) grapples with an $8.2 million budget deficit, the School Board listened to a budget committee update Monday night that outlined nine major considerations to resolve the challenging financial issues.

Mike True and Mary Tipton, who volunteer on Superintendent Jeff Snell’s special budget committee, explained in detail the methodologies used to analyze the thorny issues in front of them, as well as their commitment to finding the best possible solutions.

The special budget committee was formed to take a deep dive into how CSD spends its money, find ways to reduce expenses, and ultimately provide Snell with overall considerations on how to balance the budget, which was thrown into chaos following “McCleary” legislation, legislative fixes, loss of voter-approved levies, and collective bargaining agreements. Approximately 225 of the state’s 295 districts are dealing with similar budget deficits.

School board member Connie Hennessey said that although the process is painful, she also sees this as an opportunity to shine light on inefficiencies throughout CSD. Seventeen community members, from various and diverse backgrounds, are on the committee who meet regularly to find solutions. The urgency of their work is in part because the current bargaining agreement stipulates certificated staff must receive layoff notices by May 15.

“We’re dealing with extraordinary circumstances and I appreciate everyone on this committee,” said True. “This isn’t easy work, but we don’t want to bury our heads, this is our community, and we want you to know our desire is to preserve as many programs as possible — we don’t want to cut programs entirely as they will be hard to bring back.”

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He also emphasized this is a year-to-year approach, as CSD doesn’t know how future legislation could change the funding model.

True addressed the first four points, which are as follows:

1) Use of Fund Balance:
a. Using fund balance allows CSD to address the budget gap over two years.
b. Access fund balance in year 1 (2019-20) at a reasonable level, but could potentially lead to additional reductions in 2020-21.
c. The committee believes it’s important to maintain the fund balance at 5 percent of the annual operating budget. This allows for emergencies and 2-4 weeks of continued operations in the event the state doesn’t provide funding in a timely manner.
d. Future justified uses of fund balance may include preservation of programs, additional of staff to reduce overload, where justified and appropriate, and short-term opportunities where there is a known strategy to refund.
e. Future uses reducing unrestricted fund balance levels below 5 percent are not recommended for addition of programs, addition of staff, or compensation increases for existing positions.

2) Advocate for legislation that provides sustainable district funding.

3) Work towards preservation of CSD program opportunities for students during the funding model transition, which includes the following:
a. Avoid cutting entire programs.
b. Establish program evaluation metrics for future analysis of impact and efficiency.
c. Pursue opportunities to enhance program support funding from PTA/CEF/Boosters and other supporting organizations and initiatives.

4) Preserve student access to counselors.

Budget Deficit
School board members listen to budget committee members Monday night.

Tipton addresses points five to nine, which are as follows:
5) Close staffing alignment to the state prototypical school funding model while preserving the goals of CSD. Reduce teacher on special assignment staff to a minimum level that keeps support for target district initiatives.
a. Protect class size — contractual class size target
Elementary: 24
Middle School: 30
High School: 31
b. Manage staffing to avoid increased overload, as defined in collective bargaining agreement.

6) Maintain appropriate security levels and protocols.

7) Reduce non-staff expenses: 7.5 percent reduction goal.

8) When pursuing capital projects, continue to consider the impact on operating expenditures.

9) As future funding becomes available, consider the following:
a. Prioritize service levels to our students, community and staff.
b. Prioritize program and extracurricular funding for students.
c. Growth of fund balance to appropriate levels.

“This is our report about our guidance to Jeff, who will be finalizing his recommendations to the board in the next few weeks,” said Tipton. “We’ve had a board member at every budget committee meeting, for which we are grateful.”

True said the committee members all come from different places and levels of understanding.

“I’ll go on the record and say that Mary and I have made a three-year commitment to be a part of this,” said True. “As processes move on, we’ll continue to look at fund balance and uses within that fund balance. It’s not an enjoyable process. There will be reductions.”

School Board member, Corey McEnry, said: “We’re thankful for so many stakeholders as we wrap our heads around this.”

Budget committee members present in the meeting acknowledged the challenges they face with making the considerations. “It’s really hard to understand,” said one member.

The School Board voted unanimously in favor of Resolution 12-03, which is a Modified Educational Program that authorizes Snell to move forward with a budget model.

Snell said he will continue to work with legislators advocating for better funding, and that CDS staff will work through the budget committee’s considerations to draft staffing models for the upcoming school year.

At the Camas City Council workshop meeting Monday night, the council unanimously gave direction to city staff to prepare a general obligation bond this November to fund the construction of a new aquatics center.

The news is a major breakthrough in the years-long battle to build a new aquatics center to accommodate the growing demands of all competitive and recreational swimmers, as well as address learn-to-swim and health-related programs.

“We gave staff direction to look at the Buhman property, which is adjacent to Fallen Leaf Lake, across from Heritage Park,” said Camas Mayor, Shannon Turk. “The land, which is just over six acres, is already owned by the City of Camas, and Camas residents have made it very clear they want a new pool. I feel this is a positive step forward.”

Monday’s motion gives staff direction to prepare a general obligation bond that will be presented to voters on the November ballot. The general obligation bond would fund the construction of the new aquatics center.

“Council will look at other sites in Camas, as well, and to look at getting a general obligation bond, which is putting a vote to the people on whether they would be willing to pay for a new pool,” said Turk.

Aquatics Center
Archived plans for a pool site near Fall Leaf Lake.

Over the past several months, Camas has been meeting with Washougal to build a community center that has a pool, and Turk said it was time to change the direction.

“Although we’re not saying no to a partnership with Washougal, we feel it’s in our best interest to go forward without them,” said Turk. “The meetings with Washougal weren’t moving this forward.”

City Council member, Melissa Smith, agreed.

“The bond amount hasn’t been determined, and this directs staff to look at property and put in a phased approach,” said Smith. “Timing is in November, and we would have to know the bond amount by August 6.”

Smith added there is potential to buy surrounding parcels, but that’s very preliminary.

“We could accommodate the needs for a 50,000 square foot pool facility,” said Smith. “If we went further and wanted to add more, there would be potential for that.”

Turk said this general obligation bond would be offset by the retiring of the Camas Public Library general obligation bond, which happens in 2019. “This bond would be offsetting,” she said.

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Smith said the city staff will also exhaust every possible site, and that preparing this for the November ballot is a super tight timeframe, but doable.

“We have to take advantage of the momentum,” said City Council member, Don Chaney. “Shannon embraces this. We have a chance to do it. If the people say no, they say no. The challenge will be to make the timeline. The community will see that we heard them.”

The city has made numerous failed attempts to build a new aquatics center over the years, but Turk is determined.

“We’re not going to fail anymore,” said Turk.

Chaney said this location is optimum.

“People talk about location,” said Chaney. “I have a different view, it has to be a destination. It’s like Crown Park, and a competitive pool will bring money to downtown. This plan has full council support. We are re-engineering the intersection there, and that will be a big improvement. It was a great meeting today. Everyone should be happy with that meeting.”

Aquatics Center
A pool concept used in Camas pool planning.

Camas has been feeling the effects of losing access to aquatic centers over the past two years. First, the Crown Park Pool was closed, and then Camas High School swim teams were no longer allowed to use the Lacamas Athletic Club’s pool.

“It’s been a real challenge,” said Dave Peddie, a part of the 2018 State Champion Camas High School Boys Swim team. “Losing our home pool hurt us.”

Local residents have also been dismayed at losing the Crown Park Pool, feeling like their children are missing out on great summertime experiences, as well as the loss of valuable swimming lessons.

“This is great news,” said Darlene Lumbard, Head Coach of Columbia River Swim Team. “This is a chance to build a pool for everyone. We can all come together with a good design to reach all the things our community needs. A center encompasses all kinds of things with a competitive pool. Building the right aquatics center will have everything from competitive to therapeutic. It should have all the necessary programming.

“A well-run aquatics center has a private team, a high school team, recreation, learn to swim, scuba, kayak training, water therapy, silver sneakers. I would prefer a deep end because you can do so much more with a deep end. You can do synchro, diving, and water polo. This is a great opportunity to build the right pool. There’s no diving in the community, and there are a lot of gymnasts here. The deep end should go into a five foot, and then maybe with an L to it, where you have your learn-to-swim pool. You can put in your therapeutic work there, as well. This is so exciting!”

The next article will look at aquatics center design options and what they can do for a community.

Gallery: Examples of Aquatics Centers

CAMAS, WA — A 19-year-old Vancouver man died in a motorcycle accident on Friday night, according to Camas police.

The Camas police and Camas-Washougal Fire Department responded to the 700 block of NW Lake Road shortly after 7:30 p.m., and the victim was found dead at the scene. There were no other vehicles involved in the crash, which is under investigation.

Speed appears to be a factor in the motorcycle accident, police said, and the name of the man is being withheld until family has been notified.

Northwest Lake Rd. between Lacamas Lane and Lacamas Drive was closed due to the investigation.

This story will be updated as more information is released.

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Welcome to our Shopper’s Guide! For the cover, we feature a Barrel-Art Bottle Holder from The Artful Attic.

Display your favorite bottle or the next one to open for your guest. Made from wine barrel hoops and reclaimed wood. Available in natural, dark walnut or red mahogany stain. Base Approx: L12″ x W 5″. $52.

The Artful Attic Boutique has an abundance of local artwork, home décor, custom laser engravings, candles, skincare, greeting cards and so much more to help you find the perfect gift.

Visit www.ArtfulAtticBoutique.com or stop at their showroom at:

217 NE 3rd Avenue, Camas, WA 98607

Phone: 360-210-4947.

ARKTANA SHOES — FACEBOOK LIVE STYLING EVENT!

Guide
Bueno Sandals!

Arktana is having a Facebook Live Styling Event on March 26, 2019 from 8 pm – 9:30 pm. The team at Arktana will be Introducing their new clothing line and want to show you all the ways you can mix and match each piece! They will be pairing each outfit with their fantastic shoes.

Visit www.Arktana.com or stop by at:

415 NE 4th Ave
Camas, WA 98607
info@arktana.com

(360) 210-4077

LILY ATELIER — SPRING ARRIVALS

Guide
Jacket by Anorak. $124.

Try on this fantastic jacket by Anorak, and see all of their new Spring arrivals! Lily has been serving customers in Downtown Camas for more than 15 years.

Visit today at 237 NE 4th Avenue, Camas, WA 98607. 360-834-9215,

ATTIC GALLERY

Guide
“Kitchen Thief”by Terri Axness.

Attic Gallery is having a 20% off sale during their remodel. Go see the beauty of “Kitchen Thief” by Terri Axness, and many other wonderful, original pieces of art.

Visit today at 421 NE Cedar Street, Camas, WA 98607. Phone: 360-833-9747, or visit online at www.atticgallery.com

CAMAS GALLERY

Guide
Camas artwork by Tim Johnson.

Marquita Call, of Camas Gallery, welcomes you to see the work by Tim Johnson, and so many local artists. Johnson specializes in artwork depicting local Camas scenes, and gives profits from his artwork to charity.

Located at 408 NW 4th Avenue, Camas, WA 98607.

Phone: 360-817-2415.

Camas, WA — It’s hard to believe, but Grains of Wrath turns one this week, and they’re celebrating Saturday with a new release of a Triple IPA called “Spoils of War.” The celebration lasts from 3-10 pm on Saturday with some fun event food, and the launch of their new Mug Club.

“We’re also releasing our first wild beer, which is a sour beer, using a wild yeast,” said co-owner Mike Hunsaker. It’s a barrel-aged Belgian style quad, aged in a Pinot Noir barrel with Cape Blanco cranberries. We also have an Imperial Stout aged in rum barrels, and we’re releasing a new shirt.”

In the 12 months since their launch, Grains has released 50 beers, won some distinguished awards, and is increasing their own brand distribution.

Greenen said IPA’s are most popular, and laugers are making a big comeback.

“Like any small business, it can be tough,” said co-owner Brendan Greenen. “Our crew has learned a lot about our customers, and we’ve learned how to react faster to change. I’d say our biggest surprise has been figuring out to increase exposure and traffic on weekdays, but we’re still new and Camas is still learning about us.”

They take pride in their brewpub, and the product made right in Mill Town.

Grains
Grains of Wrath

“Our greatest successes are the quality of the beer, winning several awards,” said Hunsaker. “The very first beer in the system took a gold medal at the Great American Beer Festival — out of four entries we won a medal, and we were super proud about that.”

Customers also rave about the food, especially the GOW burger, which is house-ground with brisket in a half-pound patty. It’s popular along with the Fried Chicken sandwich.

“It’s been great,” said Greenen. “We’ve been proud of the offerings and the service. There are always missteps with food or service issues, but they’ve been pretty minimal. We have a good team with 32 people right now, and it grows in the summer. Erin LeDoux and Joel Schmidt are the chefs.”

“Looking ahead — I think our goal for year two is to continue to grow our regular customer base and market Grains of Wrath to be a gathering place. We’re also increasing our distribution spread by self-distributing to other bars and pubs. It’s mostly about increasing the exposure. It’s about controlling the amount of beer so that we don’t lose control of the quality. Don’t want to lose sight of what we’re here for.”

They’ll also be encouraging more events, for example, 100 Women Who Care Clark County holds their quarterly meeting, and they hosted the Small Business Revolution reception in January.

“Camas has been really good to us,” said Hunsaker. “We’re consistent. This downtown is such a wonderful downtown. Keep people here. Keep coming.”

To learn more, visit gowbeer.com

The lingering effects of the McCleary legislation and subsequent “fix” are leaving school districts across the state with massive budget deficits, and Camas is no exception.

Camas School District leaders have been very public for the past year that the new state funding model would have draconian budget effects, and CSD Superintendent Jeff Snell reports the district is officially grappling with an $8 million shortfall in the upcoming 2019-20 school year.

“An $8 million deficit is the reality,” said Snell. “Layoffs are coming. There has to be a reduction in force, there’s no way around it. We will send notices out on May 15 for certificated staff, and June 1 for classified staff. Sometimes you have to over-inform people that they may not have a job.”

Snell wishes this wasn’t the case, and regrets having to layoff valuable employees.

“This is just the model that we’re in because of the timing of the Legislature,” said Snell.

To deal with the upcoming shortfall, CSD is taking several actions now, which include tightening the belt, and organizing a community-based budget committee.

Tightening the belt measures:
• Reduced non-staff budgets (supplies) by 3%.
• One-year contracts for any new district employee hires.
• Cabinet raises start mid-year.

Critics say more needs to be done before laying off teachers and staff. The budget committee meets regularly to work out considerations which will be presented to Snell at the end of April. Snell will then review those considerations, and make recommendations to the School Board.

Camas School
Camas Superintendent, Jeff Snell, discusses legislative updates.

“They’ve been working hard and report to the School Board about progress,” said Snell.

“These seem like logical steps to take when facing tough budget decisions and are areas that do not impact student learning,” said Shelley Houle, president of the Camas Education Association (CEA).

CEA will be working closely with CSD during the layoff process.

“CEA works closely with management and follows a process that is set in our current bargaining agreement,” said Houle. “Ultimately CSD makes the final decisions, but CEA makes sure the process is followed.”

So, what is that process?

“There is a seniority factor found on page 39 of our contract,” said Houle. “The first step, though, is for the board to adopt a reduced educational program. Then there are steps to make sure that remaining positions will be filled by educators with the proper certifications, endorsements, and/or licenses. This section is quite detailed, but must be decided before looking at seniority. Then at the top is seniority in Washington State, followed by Camas School District, and then years in the profession. Following that is credits earned beyond BA or MA, flexibility of certification, and then lottery.”

During bargaining sessions last summer, lead CEA negotiator Mark Gardner dismissed talks of layoffs, claiming they were district scare tactics aimed at denying teachers the full promise of McCleary.

So, should CEA have settled for the 4 percent raises offered early in the negotiations? Is CSD misinterpreting the law?

“2019-20 was projected to be a dip year when levy changes were being felt the most and districts are planning on how to manage that,” said Houle. “McCleary significantly increased public education funding including money for compensation. The state was not doing its paramount duty. Legislation passed that greatly changed the structure of funding. I wouldn’t call it a misinterpretation. Districts must now restructure and reprioritize based on the new model.”

Camas School
CEA at their general membership meeting in August 2018.

If the new model ends up laying off teachers all over the state how is that helping things?

“I can’t make a hindsight decision on our negotiations,” said Houle. “We bargained on the current conditions for the increased funding that McCleary provided. The state had failed in its paramount duty which included compensation. With a new model comes a shift in how money is spent. We have a teacher shortage in our state and country. With increased compensation comes better recruitment and retainment. But first, budget decisions have to be made. We hate to see any reductions in staff because we value our colleagues and the important work they do every day for students.”

So, knowing the new model would result in layoffs, of which they were very transparent, why did CSD agree to last year’s CEA settlement?

“There were very strong political forces at play, financials in a new model, and we were still trying to understand the impact of the new model,” said Snell. “There was a massive infusion of cash and as those come out you try to come up with solutions that are going to work. And, we felt it was our job to get classes started on time. Teachers needed to be teaching.”

“These are the realities. When you look across the landscape, our raises were consistent with other districts. You have to have a workforce that’s competitive and is compensated fairly. We feel like we have a great staff, but we also have this big conundrum we’re trying to work through. Trying to be very thoughtful about the entire problem. We’re doing the best we can with what we’ve been given. Because the models change, either the Legislature has to do things differently, or we have to make major cuts.”

Camas School
Camas School Board at a recent meeting.

He said the process doesn’t just happen with one decision point.

“It’s an incredibly complex new funding model, and it took several months to really understand it,” said Snell. “I care about our schools and staff and I want the best for everyone there. I try to be as transparent as possible, and that’s why we started the budget committee. You walk this fine line of is that it’s so complex it’s really hard to explain.”

Senator Ann Rivers said the problem with the legislation is that it put all the money out in one lump sum.

“When we agreed to the bill it was meant to release the funds over time, in a more gradual way, but they changed it at the last minute, and all these billions went out at once,” said Rivers. “It was like dragging a doughnut through a fat farm! Everyone wanted a part of it, and suddenly the Washington Education Association (WEA) started talking about 25 percent raises — and it wasn’t true.”

Rivers said once the unions put that out about 25 percent raises, it galvanized their membership, and pushed them to issue strike threats.

“The WEA misled their teachers, the public, and some school districts felt like they were extorted — forced to give teachers raises they knew they couldn’t afford.”

Did Snell feel like he was extorted?

He said no.

“I have a role to try to find balance and see our workforce costs and compare them to what we need to offer,” he said.

And, Snell also discussed the complexities of budgets in this new funding model.

“Budgets in public schools are very challenging because you don’t know what the revenue is from the Legislature,” said Snell. “We can see right now there are all kinds of bills out there that can change things. There are changes but it’s within a similar structure. The challenge has led to confusion and different interpretations and you see negotiations that are really challenging. You have a Legislature that is still wrestling with this.”

Did the McCleary legislation unintentionally create more harm than good?

Eric Engebretson, president of the Washington Association of Educators (WAE) said the Washington Education Association (WEA) played a key role in pushing the Supreme Court decision and in lobbying for the legislation that is causing today’s havoc.

“The legislation had good intent, but it also has a mixed message,” said Engebretson. “It’s not as clear as we would have liked to have seen. It’s tied the districts hands in some ways, it’s tied the union’s hands in some ways … some think it’s pass-through money and others say they can do what they want so we hope that everything gets revisited soon …”

Snell said the teacher’s unions are about taking care of the teachers.

“If you have a union that’s responsible for wages for your group, then you need to change the model for more capacity,” said Snell. “The WEA forced the system to change the model. They created a crisis in the system that then prompts increased funding, that’s what the McCleary decision did, and so it disrupted this system and created a new system. I don’t know if WEA is worried about the system. They care about their teachers. The WEA is in charge right now. I understand there are forces at play with different interests.”

Snell calls it a conundrum.

“Raises caused this problem, but raises also retain amazing staff members,” said Snell. “Here we are. There’s a deficit. We’re trying to make good decisions. Good decisions are always challenging.”

Houle said, “The WEA’s mission is to strengthen public schools. And yes, the legislators need to continue fixing the law and decrease the havoc!”

Camas School
Camas High School 2018 Graduation ceremony.

Can this be resolved before layoffs happen?

Eighty-six percent of the CSD budget is personnel, and with the need to cut $8 million during the next school year, it’s likely dozens of teachers and staff will be laid off — if nothing changes.

“The legislature is listening. They talk about levy, about special education funding, and increasing that to help balance things,” said Snell. “The Governor’s budget has relief for us, but that’s just one component. What are the changes to the model for the 2019 year? We don’t know.”

Houle is spending today in Olympia.

“I am meeting with other WEA political action committee board members for a legislative update and for more training,” said Houle. “I was up there on Presidents’ Day lobbying and will be doing so again later this month. All in all, we want schools to remain a safe place for our students to learn. CEA will continue to lobby for increased special education funding, levy flexibility, and increased funding for safety (counselors, nurses, etc).”

With layoffs looming, was it right for the School Board to give Snell a 5 percent raise?

The school board approached Snell with a 5 percent raise offer, from December on.

“In my mind, it’s 3.1 percent because it started mid-year,” said Snell. “I have a $163,000 base salary. It’s an important job.”

What’s next?

Snell said the district leadership will be working closely with union leadership and talking to them about the process, and trying to be as transparent as possible knowing that it impacts the CSD fund balance. He said it’s essential to start to change the model, and that expenditures need to line up with income.

“What happens next is the committee develops considerations for me, and I will develop a budget and present it the school board,” said Snell. “This will happen at the end of April with the Legislature and we’ll then do our best guess to speculate what the Legislature will do, and then we’ll formally adopt it in August. Before all that, we have contractural obligations and we have notification dates for employees.”

“Non-personnel cuts includes supplies, travel, utilities, gas, buses, contracted services through special education,” said Snell. “There’s a lot there. We would probably look at a percent applied to those things. We need to realize savings to those costs. Look at extracurricular expenses, which are paid through levy and student fees. Do we hold those? In the short term, I don’t want to make decisions that remove programs. Our desire is to maintain programming. In year two or three if you see the revenue is not coming then you might have to reduce programming. Regarding buses, we try to keep on depreciation cycle because we get funds from the state.”

Today is a historic day for Camas, WA – the city has qualified for the Top 6 Towns in the Small Business Revolution Main Street competition and is in the running for a $500,000 investment, a starring role on a Hulu TV series, and life-changing makeovers to local businesses.  Typically only 5 towns are chosen, but this year they threw in a twist and chose 6 towns. Camas is the only town on the west coast chosen in this competition and with a win, would be the first west coast town in this acclaimed series.

And now, Camas needs your help.

The winner among the six remaining towns will be determined by a public vote – and the voting period is open now for a week.  Camasonians, local businesses and advocates are calling on everyone who loves Camas to cast their vote on the Small Business Revolution website (www.smallbusinessrevolution.org) once per day per email. In addition, people can spread the word via social media using the hashtag #MyCamas, and you can see more about the #MyCamas movement at www.mycamas.net

*Simple steps to vote:*

*Go to https://www.deluxe.com/small-business-revolution/main-street/season-four/

*Vote for Camas*

*Vote once per day per email address through February 19th at 6 pm.*

*Click Submit.

Camas has overcome long odds to get into the Top 6 Towns, having been one of more than 12,000 towns from across the country to submit nominations for the competition. With voting underway, the community accumulating the most votes will receive a $500,000 investment, which includes assistance and transformation of six small businesses—all of which will be filmed on location in Camas as part of an 8-part original Hulu TV series hosted by Ty Pennington and Amanda Brinkman.

“We are beside ourselves with excitement to be in the Top 6. This is an incredible opportunity for all of us here in Camas to receive not just funding, but national exposure along with advice and mentorship from
nationally-renowned marketers,” said Carrie Schulstad, Executive Director for the Downtown Camas Association. “Cities that have previously been featured on the show have said it’s been transformational for them, and we couldn’t be more excited to be in the running to be part of this incredible
project.”

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“Camas is a mill town in transition. We have worked hard together to revitalize our town and keep our authentic small town experience which is so important to preserve. We have an extensive amount of growth all around us and we want to stay vibrant and relevant. We need help preserving and strengthening this little slice of Americana.”

“The pride Camas residents have in our town is one of the city’s best attributes, and we’re calling on people to display that pride by taking just a few moments every day for the next week to vote,” continued Schulstad. “The #MyCamas movement has been phenomenal to watch and we need to take it to even greater heights over the next week.”

In November it was announced that among the 12,000+ applications submitted to the show, Camas had made the Top 10 Towns. In January, a crew from the show, including host Amanda Brinkman, visited Camas as city leaders, local businesses and advocates made their pitch for why Camas should make the Top 5.

The Small Business Revolution Main Street series showcases one small town and six of its small businesses each year. 2019 will be Season 4. The efforts are funded by Deluxe Corporation, a company that has been working with small businesses in marketing and finance for over a century.

The goal of the show is to document the joys and challenges of owning a small business, why supporting small businesses is so important to communities everywhere, and the powerful changes that can happen when effective and creative marketing and business management techniques are employed. The overall efforts lead to community pride and investment on a grand scale. Prior seasons can be watched on Hulu, YouTube or on www.smallbusinessrevolution.org.

For our town video, photos and info, visit
https://www.deluxe.com/small-business-revolution/main-street/camas-wa/.

For more information, visit www.mycamas.netwww.smallbusinessrevolution.org
or www.facebook.com/smallbizrev

Main Street
35 local residents gathered at 5:30 am to hear the announcement.

Twelve thousand nominations from across the U.S. submitted nominations for the Small Business Revolution Main Street competition, and now Camas, Washington is just days away from finding out if they will make it into the Top 5. The final Top 5 Towns will be announced Tuesday morning, February 12, at 5:30 a.m. Pacific time. People can watch the announcement on Facebook Live at www.facebook.com/smallbizrev

Upon the announcement, the voting period will begin immediately and last for a week, with people able to cast their ballots on the Small Business Revolution website (https://www.deluxe.com/small-business-revolution/main-street/season-four/) once per day per email. This link will be active at 5:30 am on February 12.

The community accumulating the most votes will receive a $500,000 investment, which includes assistance and transformation of six small businesses—all of which will be filmed on location in Camas as part of an 8-part original Hulu TV series hosted by Ty Pennington and Amanda Brinkman.

Camas leaders are calling on the community to spread the message far and wide on social media with the #MyCamas hashtag – get ready to vote as often as possible beginning on Tuesday should the town make the final Top 5. You can see more about the #MyCamas movement at www.mycamas.net and by viewing this video (https://vimeo.com/315772233).

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“We’re on the cusp of the rest of America finding out what everyone here already knows: that Camas is truly a great American small town,” said Carrie Schulstad, Executive Director for the Downtown Camas Association. “With that in mind, the opportunity to receive funding along with expertise from world-class marketers will help our merchants grow, thrive and overcome the obstacles that are challenging them at present.

“Camas is a town with unlimited potential and helping unlock it could be life-changing for our business owners,” continued Schulstad. “Having said that, even just making the top-10 has been a jolt of energy for our town. People are rallying together to help spread the word through the #MyCamashashtag on social media, and no matter what happens, this energy will continue and help drive pride and growth in the city.” 

In November it was announced that among the 12,000+ applications submitted to the show, Camas had made the list of Top10 Towns. In January, a crew from the show, including host Amanda Brinkman, visited Camas as city leaders, local businesses and advocates made their pitch for why Camas should make the Top 5.

The Small Business Revolution Main Street series showcases one small town and six of its small businesses each year. 2019 will be Season 4. The efforts are funded by Deluxe Corporation, a company that has been working with small businesses in marketing and finance for over a century.

The goal of the show is to document the joys and challenges of owning a small business, why supporting small businesses is so important to communities everywhere, and the powerful changes that can happen when effective and creative marketing and business management techniques are employed. The overall efforts lead to community pride and investment on a grand scale. Prior seasons can be watched on Hulu, YouTube or on www.smallbusinessrevolution.org.

For more information, visit www.mycamas.net, www.smallbusinessrevolution.org or www.facebook.com/smallbizrev