It’s only Sept. 6 and the General Election season, for all of its good and bad points, is underway.
In two months, final votes will be tallied and decisions announced about who voters selected from the 20 candidates who are vying for the 10 elected positions in Camas and Washougal political offices. A high-profile public transportation measure will also be decided.
Positions up for re-election include Camas mayor and one Camas City Council seat, four Washougal City Council seats, one Port of Camas Washougal Commission position, three East County Fire and Rescue Commission jobs, as well as the C-Tran sales tax initiative. One thing is for certain, not one will be without elements of controversy and at times heated discussion among citizens.
Once people filed to be candidates for the various elected offices in June, it didn’t take long for debate to begin. Comments on the Post-Record website have ramped up and letters to the editor and guest columns pertaining to a variety of local political issues have increased, and discussions on other local blogs and websites have begun to take on lives of their own. Some of the discussion is thought provoking, helpful and interesting, some not so much.
On the Post-Record print edition Opinion page, we offer citizens the opportunity to voice their views of the candidates. We will do our best to publish as many opinion pieces as possible that meet our guidelines, which are outlined nearly every week on page A4. It is our goal to offer a forum for citizens to debate all sides of the issues. We would like to see local residents take advantage of this opportunity by submitting letters to the editor, and we may run guest columns as well. Submissions making personal attacks unrelated to the issues at hand will not be published, but debate about the past decisions, backgrounds and political stances of the candidates is encouraged.
The Post-Record will not be publishing opinion pieces written by the candidates currently running for elected office. They will have a chance to make their thoughts and opinions known to our readers, as we plan on conducting interviews with each of them and subsequently publishing staff-written articles.
Public discussions and debates on issues and candidates is the heart of the political process. When done right, it can lead to better educated voters, and in turn high quality elected officials who know that the public is watching and listening.
At the Post-Record, we hope to be one resource for voters to find thoughtful discussion and debate.