Washougal, WA — Washougal voters passed Proposition 8 changing the City’s form of government from mayor-council to council-manager in the November 6 general election. Current Mayor Molly Coston will become the eighth member of the Council, and current City Administrator David Scott was appointed Washougal’s first city manager at the November 19, 2018 Council meeting. All changes will go into effect November 27, 2018. Mayor Coston will serve as the eighth councilmember until the expiration of her current term in December 2021, at which time the Council will revert to seven members. At the December 3, 2018 meeting, the Council will select a mayor from among its eight members.

“I am very pleased with the turnout of voters and am looking forward to the transition to the new form of government,” Mayor Coston noted. “I think this change is positive, that this will even out the playing field, where there’s not too much executive power vested in one individual. We have a great team in Washougal, and the transition is going very well. I look forward to returning to being a member of the Council and the opportunity to continue serving our community.”

In March 2018, Mayor Coston appointed the Citizens Government Advisory Committee and charged them with the task of determining whether it was the right time to transition to a council-manager form of government. The Citizens Government Advisory Committee recommended that the City Council place on the November 2018 ballot a measure to adopt the council-manager form of government for the City of Washougal. On May 29, 2018 the Council adopted a resolution placing this issue on the November 2018 ballot.

Councilmember Julie Russell served on the committee and said, “I appreciated being appointed to the Citizens Government Advisory Committee by Mayor Coston. After reviewing all of the information regarding the two forms, I reached the conclusion that the council-manager form would be the best for our community moving forward. The Council is strongly committed to ensuring that our transition to the new form continues to go very smoothly.”


David Scott.

Under the council-manager form of government, the city manager has general supervision over the administrative affairs of the city, including daily operations, handling personnel functions (including appointment and removal of employees), and preparation of the budget for submission to the City Council for their review and approval.

Scott has served as city administrator since 2010. On his appointment to city manager, he remarked, “It is an honor to have the confidence of the Council. I am very grateful for the opportunity and look forward to working with the team to serve our community.”

The City of Washougal will join 53 other cities across the state of Washington that are organized under the council-manager form of government, including Battle Ground, Ridgefield and Vancouver in Clark County. More information about the council-manager form of government can be found at….



Washougal, WA — The Washougal mayoral race came to an end today as City Councilman, Dan Coursey, conceded the race to Molly Coston.

By this afternoon, Coston had received 1,574 votes (54.39%) and Coursey received 1,230 votes (42.5%). Paul Godin, a write-in candidate, received 90 votes (3.11 %).

“As most people probably know I have been trailing in this race since election night, said Coursey. “Currently there is a 344 vote difference and we probably won’t be able to cover that with the few ballots left to count.”

“I have called Molly Coston and congratulated her as Washougal’s new Mayor. It was a hard-fought campaign on both sides, but I look forward to working with Molly, and for great things to happen here in Washougal under her leadership. Washougal is a great place and there will be opportunities to make things better in the future. I will cheer our new City Mayor on and help as best as I am able.”

“There aren’t words adequate to thank my many supporters and those that voted for me. I have been just blown away by all the kind help that everyone has provided. I sincerely appreciate you all.”

Coursey will continue to serve on the Washougal City Council. He has half way through a two-year term.

Coston will be sworn in on January 1 at City Hall.

“I am honored to be the voter’s choice for Mayor in Washougal,” said Coston. “I’m already working to become more informed, going through the 2018 budget, and have scheduled meetings with department heads and Mayor Guard. I’ll work hard to keep the trust and respect of council and staff throughout the new year, and reach out to collaborate with local agencies.”

On election night, Coston said she will also work to combat the homeless problem in Washougal.

“I really am honored that enough people voted for me — since I’m a newcomer,” said Julie Russell, who also won a Washougal City Council seat. “I’ll work with those who have been elected. We all have the same goals to support Washougal. Let’s work together to form a good relationship.”

Russell said she and Coston, as well as other newly elected officials, will start training for newly elected officials on December 2 in Vancouver.



Molly Coston, left, with friends and volunteers at her election night party.

Washougal City Councilman, Dan Coursey, will officially kick off his Washougal Mayoral campaign tonight at 6 pm at the Port of Camas-Washougal office. The address is 24 S A St, Washougal, WA 98671.

Tonight’s event features special guest speaker Eileen Quiring, a Clark County Board Councilor. Also, State Representatives Liz Pike and Vicki Kraft, and others will be in attendance. Food and beverages will be provided, and the forum will give voters an opportunity to ask questions.

The first-term councilman has called Washougal home for the past for 12 years, and has spent years working in local politics as a Precinct Committee Officer (PCO), campaign manager, and general volunteer. The computer systems engineer says if elected he will go into semi-retirement to focus on leading Washougal.

“Everywhere I’ve gone, I’ve promoted transparency, ethical behavior, and accountability,” Coursey said. “I strongly believe in those things. I respect the voter and the taxpayer. When I ran for office two years ago, I knocked on 1,750 doors — and you learn a lot when you do that.”

Reasons Coursey is running

The candidate discussed several reasons why he’s running: 1) Economy; 2) Affordable living; and 3) Create more recreation spaces for families in Washougal.

On the economy: “A mayor should be a leader and advocate for businesses to come into town,” he said. “A mayor should discourage over-regulation. For example [as a city councilman] I’ve voted against raising car tab fees.”

On affordable living: “Everyone knows that Washougal water costs are too high,” he said. “Let’s see how we can lower the water rates, and look at reasons why it’s too expensive.”

On recreation spaces: “One thing I learned knocking doors is that there are many young families who want more family venues in town,” Coursey said. “We did a survey in 2016, and the one thing Washougal voters wanted most was a community center. But, who pays for it? Some small part will come from the city budget, but we need a third party to come in.”

He said there are new development plans at the Port of Camas-Washougal, and he hopes that private owners can come to a final agreement so development can proceed. He says construction of that new development could provide a new venue for families.

“I’m very expense conscious,” he said. “We don’t want undo hardships on our families. If local residents are wiling to pony up for family venues, we can do that. I’m for good roads, and fixing them.”

He is running for the position that is being vacated by current Washougal mayor, Sean Guard, who decided not to run for re-election. His opponent is Molly Coston, who is a former Washougal City Council member that Coursey defeated two years ago.

“It’ll be a re-match,” said Coursey.

Coston will be interviewed in a future article.

On background

Coursey grew up in an agricultural community, and has been married to Margie for 22 years. She works as a project manager in the financial industry. Coursey currently works as a systems engineer, and previously worked in the banking industry doing technical projects, financial analysis, commercial lending and mortgage underwriting.

To learn more, visit