Letters to the Editor for June 21, 2011

Farrell House could benefit the community

There seems to be a lot of discussion in the Evergreen Terrace Edition, between the neighbors about the proposed use of the Farrell house.

I think the ideas that the owner, Heidi Curley, has for the use of her private residence would be a big benefit to our community.

She has already made many improvements to the appearance of the home and properties. It is a beautiful old home and local landmark of which we should all be proud.

I live in the neighborhood and walk by every day and enjoy what she has accomplished.

I want to thank her for wanting to share her home with the people of our community.

Annice Sampson, Camas

CWEDA selection process was unethical

Thanks to the Post-Record for posting the Camas Ethics Policy in the online version related to the recent formation of the new Camas Washougal Economic Development Association, (CWEDA) by Camas, Washougal, and the Port.

Concerns about conflicts of interests are warranted. The former Camas Mayor helped plan CWEDA, allocated $50,000 for it in the 2011 Budget, then bid on a hefty CWEDA contract, all while serving as mayor.

Minutes from the January 19, 2010 planning meeting show that the former mayor suggested a subcommittee be formed to develop the CWEDA concept. Public records show he participated in these subcommittee meetings and also presided over and attended city meetings where CWEDA was discussed. In December, he wrote a 2011 Budget message that listed the $50,000 CWEDA appropriation under highlights, “The result of substantial preparation, especially over the past year.” The city also budgeted $26,000 fin 2011 or the Columbia River Economic Development Council. Meanwhile, austerity measures were noted for other city departments.

City employees are prohibited from using their position to “achieve a private gain.” According to W-2 forms, the paid mayor and council are city employees. The former mayor and the planning company he owns bid on the approximately $200,000 CWEDA contract, by the February deadline. The Port announced on May 10 that the former mayor and his company were selected, with the former mayor as the new CWEDA Director. The interlocal agreement between Camas, Washougal, and the Port to form CWEDA wasn’t even finalized until June. Wasn’t the bid process premature?

Furthermore, the Camas City ethics policy states, “No former employee shall, during the period of one (1) year after leaving city office or employment: Participate as a competitor in any competitive selection process for a city contract in which he or she assisted the city in determining the project or work to be done or the process to be used.” The former mayor resigned May 31,2011. As long as Camas funds are included, the former mayor and his company should wait a year to bid on any CWEDA contract.

Margaret Tweet, Camas

Commissioners need to make a decision about Grove Field

It is now time for our Port Commissioners, Bill McRae-Smith, Bill Ward and Mark Lampton to make a decision to reject or accept the Federal Aviation Administration’s proposal to spend $10,000,000 to lengthen the runway of our Grove Field airport.

It has been well over a month since the FAA submitted a $400,000 Grove Field study to the commission for their edification, consideration and approval. Nothing has happened since and as far as I know the commissioners have not discussed the project’s report in an open meeting. How can they perform the functions of their office if they will not discuss the issues.

Expanding Grove Field is either a good project or a bad project and if the commissioners haven’t figured that out yet in view of all the information they have been fed then they will never even come close to making a decision. I can assure one thing – the longer they wait the more political their decision will become and that is not good. It is time to make a project decision based on “good” or “not good” for our community and the time is now. Stop dragging your combined tushies and get on with your elected responsibilities.

John Raynor, Camas

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