Camas Ward 3 seat draws two candidates

Three day special filing period for Nov. 8 General Election ended Friday

Two candidates stepped forward this week to file with the Clark County Elections Office for the vacant Ward 3 position on the Camas City Council.

Margaret Tweet and Shannon Turk will have their names appear on the Nov. 8 General Election ballot. They will be competing to serve a portion of the 2.5 years remaining on Scott Higgins’ term, from Dec. 5, 2011 to Dec. 31, 2013.

The special three-day filing period ended Friday at 5 p.m.

Turk, a management analyst for the City of Vancouver Parks and Recreation Department, has lived in Camas since October 2002 and has two children who attend Skyridge Middle School.

She has served on the Camas Board of Adjustment since 2002, and has been active with the Camas Educational Foundation.

Turk, 41, said she decided to run for the position because public service is something she has always enjoyed.

“This opportunity came up and I couldn’t pass it up,” she said.

Turk said creating stable funding sources and finding efficiencies where possible are critical issues that the city of Camas, as well as many other jurisdictions, face. She said the trial consolidation currently underway between the Camas and Washougal fire departments is a good example of the kind of effort that has the potential to reduce expenses.

Tweet and her husband Doug moved to Camas in 1997 and have two children, one in college and the other in high school. She has served on the Holly Hills subdivision homeowner’s association elected board. She has also been involved in a variety of local and regional issues, from pushing for library policies that restrict access to Internet pornography for children to lobbying against C-Tran’s plans for mass transit that include ballot measures that if approved would increase the sales tax.

The C-Tran Board’s and local city councils’ failures to have what she describes as an “adequate public process” is what led Tweet to run for office.

“I believe it warrants a public hearing and several public discussions,” she said, adding that no hearings were held or resolutions adopted by local city councils on those proposed ballot issues. “It will impact all of our lives.”

Her list of important issues also includes improving the public’s accessibility to local government, making sure city government “lives within its means,” and bringing closure and solid answers to the questions that surround whether the city’s ethics policy applies to elected officials.

The Ward 3 seat became vacant on June 27, when Higgins resigned after he was appointed to the mayor’s seat. Former Mayor Paul Dennis resigned as of May 31 to become the director of the Camas-Washougal Economic Development Association.

The person who will fill the portion of the term that runs from July 26 to Dec. 5, 2011, will be decided by the Camas City Council later this month.

Applications for the Ward 3, Position 2 seat, available at www.ci.camas.wa.us, must be hand-delivered to Camas City Hall by Friday. Submissions made by U.S. mail, e-mail or fax will not be accepted.

On July 25, a special meeting will begin at 4:30 p.m., so that the City Council can conduct public interviews of the candidates and then make an appointment.

Turk said she intends to also submit an application for the City Council appointed Ward 3 term, while Tweet said she hasn’t decided.

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