Letters to the Editor for Sept. 14, 2017

Regarding John Ley’s plan to run for office

So another politician/candidate wants to get popular by stopping tolls on the Interstate bridges. (“Airline Pilot will run for Liz Pike’s WA House seat” Sept. 7 Post-Record) Alas, all this accomplishes is to delay again the needed investments in transportation. There are better ways:

1. Make any tolls cap-out after six to 10 crossings in a month; this lowers the cost for Washington commuters, who only use a small part of Oregon roads, while collecting full tolls from long-distance travelers, who don’t cross daily.

2. Demonstrate leadership for one’s constituents and for the nation by working to enhance this interstate system; you may actually be more popular if you get something built. Remember, this is a part of the (Dwight D. Eisenhower) National System of Interstate and Defense Highways.

Michael E. McGinley, Washougal

Eagle Creek Fire makes it ‘painfully clear’ that Camas leaders should ban fireworks

The time has come for the Camas mayor and council to finally move to ban fireworks. The Eagle Creek Fire that is currently raging through the Columbia River Gorge is devastating. It has wrought destruction on neighboring local communities and places of incredible scenic beauty, including Multnomah Falls. Fortunately, so far there have been no casualties and the historic lodge at Multnomah Falls has been spared by the action of brave firefighters risking their lives.

What makes this particular fire such a tragedy is that it was completely avoidable. This fire was not due to an act of nature, such as a lightning strike, but was caused by a group of teens setting off fireworks. All because of the stupidity of a small group of people the entire Portland metro area will suffer with smoke, ash and poor air quality for days and the loss of pristine recreation areas for many years to come.

The Camas mayor and council have thus far approached the issue of fireworks as a “controversial” public nuisance issue. Accordingly, they have conducted community surveys and have only restricted days and times of firework use instead of a ban. Without a doubt, fireworks are a public nuisance due to the noise, smoke and debris on our local streets. However, as the Eagle Creek Fire makes painfully clear, fireworks should primarily be considered a public health and safety issue. Aside from the risk of serious injury to those setting off fireworks and to nearby observers, there is the all-too-real risk of fires with severe property damage and loss of life, particularly as we deal with more frequent drought conditions.

Within the past few years there have been a few smoldering fires in our neighborhood due to fireworks. Every year around July 4, it’s like randomly throwing thousands of cigarettes on the ground and scattering embers in the sky. It is only a matter of time before there is a fire in Camas that will destroy homes and potentially take people’s lives. Better to leave the firework displays to professionals, who are trained and can take proper fire prevention measures.

If this were merely a nuisance issue there would be two sides to the issue, but as the Eagle Creek Fire makes painfully clear, this is a public health and safety issue. The safety and vitality of our community should be considered far more important than the ability of people to set off fireworks a few days a year, and it is the job of the Camas mayor and council to protect public health and safety.

The city of Vancouver has already taken the lead on this issue. It is past time for Camas to follow that lead. If the mayor and council cannot manage to do their job and ban fireworks in the wake of this terrible tragedy then it is time to vote them out of office.

Ken O’Day, Camas

Vote to retain John Spencer as Port of Camas-Washougal’s District 1 Commissioner

Making the right choice for our community has never been so easy.

As noted on his website (http://friendsofjohnspencer.com/iconsposts/issues/), John Spencer has a strong vision and goals for the Camas-Washougal Port and how it can best benefit those who live, work and own businesses within the Port district. Also noted are John’s many personal endorsements from our community leaders, including all of the current C-W Port commissioners, both current and past city counselors from Camas and Washougal, and a multitude of others, including chairs and commissioners from our local fire district, parks department, sister Port of Vancouver and many other individuals active in supporting our community.

As a long term, full-time resident of the Camas-Washougal area for the past 35 years, and neighbor of John Spencer’s for many years now, I can honestly say that John represents the best that our community has to offer. Especially when one takes into account his selfless participation in various organizations and his own individual efforts, such as organizing our neighborhood watch program, hosting community meetings and coordinating efforts to improve everybody’s lives by bringing people together.

In other words, John is a positive force in our community, who looks to involve others and build consensus as the best way to approach complex issues.

John is continually looking for ways to improve the livability of our community, whether it is his involvement with our local Rotary Club, providing Angel Flights for those with medical needs, or his past efforts with the Camas Schools Citizen Advisory Committee, he is continually looking for ways to make a difference. John has also lent his expertise to many other local causes and issues addressing zoning ordinances, planned growth initiatives and of course the Camas-Washougal Port as a commissioner since 2015. In addition, John brings a unique skill set to all his endeavors, having served on local boards such as the Clark County Parks Advisory Council, as well as holding analytical and management positions in both our neighboring cities of Vancouver and North Bonneville, with detailed experience in contract negotiations, formulating policy and managing budgets.

Furthermore, John’s educational background dovetails perfectly with his continued desire to serve the public interest, having studied government as an undergraduate with a bachelor’s degree in international affairs and achieving a Masters of Public Administration degree from the No. 1-ranked university in that field.

So, please join us in supporting John’s re-election efforts to retain his post as our Camas-Washougal Port Commissioner for District 1. We guarantee you won’t regret it.

David and Beth Finn, Washougal

Dan Coursey is the best person to lead city of Washougal as mayor

Thankfully, Washougal is electing a new mayor this November. I’m voting for Dan Coursey because he is the best person for the job. He is a thoughtful person who cares more about what we think, than trying to tell us what he thinks — a very important quality in a leader. He is highly qualified for the job with a professional background in finance and systems engineering. As a senior, I am concerned about rising costs and fees in the city. Dan has promised to review our ridiculously high water utility situation next year, so we don’t have a repeat of the 2010 crisis that we are paying for today. I think we need someone like Dan who will work to anticipate problems, and not ignore them like previous councils and mayors have done. I know he will respect the wishes of the taxpayers and plan appropriately for the future.

Vote for a better future for Washougal. Please vote for Dan Coursey for mayor.

Jan Aubrey, Washougal

Camas mom appreciates Port of Vancouver candidate Kris Greene’s emphasis on education

As a mom of five concerned about good jobs here for our kids, I am impressed with Kris Greene’s plan to bring educational opportunities from Port of Vancouver and other regional businesses to our high school students. Kris Greene would clearly make a great Port of Vancouver commissioner, based on his emphasis on education.

Our Port can be the source of business training for young people deciding how to earn a good living. The value of an apprenticeship or entry level job at the Port to an aspiring young person would be priceless. I strongly support Kris Greene’s approach and urge you to vote for Kris Greene when you receive your ballots in October.

Brook Pell, Camas

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