Under the direction of Mayor Sean Guard, Washougal has slowly been building a stronger foundation that was left cracked and broken more than four years ago by mismanagement and poor leadership. Guard is up for re-election as part of the Nov. 5 General Election, and he should be allowed to continue to build on that growth and be elected to a second term in office.
The accomplishments Guard has made while in office are significant.
He has helped to fill key city personnel positions with high quality, intelligent people, including City Administrator David Scott and Finance Director Jennifer Forsberg. Among their successes have been several clean reports from the State Auditor’s Office — a significant sign that things are getting back on track.
Guard has also been among those who championed efforts that have resulted in strong, ongoing partnerships with neighboring jurisdictions. What has come from those efforts include the future consolidation of the Camas and Washougal fire departments (expected to be solidified by the end of this year) and the formation of the Camas-Washougal Economic Development Association, an organization that has led the charge toward promoting the retention and expansion of existing businesses while also working to draw new businesses to the community.
Also worth mentioning are those contributions Guard has made that cannot be measured in numbers or on paper. He has consistently been an active and vocal cheerleader and promoter of Washougal. He is often seen attending a variety of local events and supporting different causes in the community. From taking part in activities aimed at raising awareness about health and wellness to supporting a little girl raising money to battle childhood cancers, he has shown himself to be accessible, approachable and responsive to the public he has been elected to serve.
Guard’s opponent, Earl Scott, is a fire captain who served as the city’s fire marshal for 13 years. To his credit, he possesses knowledge of certain city issues and an understanding of how particular departments operate. He has also voiced some solid ideas when it comes to enhancing efforts to promote the city and addressing some of Washougal’s recent issues concerning utility rates.
In a different year and a different time in Washougal’s history, Scott may have been a good choice for mayor. But for the past four years Washougal has been on the right track with Guard in place as its elected leader, and on Nov. 5 voters should cast their ballots to keep him there.