Camas Mayor Scott Higgins plans to seek a second term in office.
Higgins, 43, was elected to the City Council in November 2001 and served for almost 10 years. He was appointed mayor in June 2011, then was elected to the position the following November with 81 percent of the vote.
“We have accomplished a great deal in the city over the past four years,” he said in a press release. “I am most proud of the Lacamas Lake Lodge and of continued downtown Camas improvement projects that have added to the park-like feel.”
Higgins pointed out that Camas has recovered steadily from the economic downtown.
“Business is thriving in Camas,” he said. “I have been fortunate to be a part of the recruitment team that attracted Fisher Investments to our community that has helped bring economic stability during the heart of the recession.”
He listed other accomplishments including the 38th Street connection to 192nd Avenue, Friberg/Strunk Road improvement, online video integration of council meetings and advisory boards, recruitment of key department heads including city administrator, finance director and public works director, and implementation of a successful merger of the Camas and Washougal fire departments.
“With all the success, we will have some challenges and I will continue to work tirelessly to keep Camas a great place to live, work, learn and play,” he said. “It will be an honor for me to continue this work for another four years.”
When reached by phone Monday night, Higgins said he expects those upcoming challenges to include handling the growth that is coming the city’s way. With a current population of 20,880, new commercial and residential and infrastructure development can now be seen throughout the city, particularly on its west side. Planning is also underway for the hundreds of acres north of Lacamas Lake that will be developed during the next decades.
“We are going to have to manage that,” he said. “That won’t be easy. We will have to pay real close attention to it. I’m not worried though. We have a history of making a plan and sticking to it.”
Higgins grew up in Fern Prairie and attended Lacamas Heights Elementary School, JD Zellerbach Middle School and Camas High School. He and his wife, Dr. Allison Higgins, are raising two daughters who are both students in Camas schools.
To date, there have been no other public announcements regarding candidacy for the mayor’s seat.
“I feel like I’ve done a really good job. It’s a hard job. I’m optimistic,” Higgins said. “I think we’ve got a good team. We are getting a lot done. We have a good mix of council members who raised their kids here, even worked for the city. There are a wide variety of perspectives.”
The mayor’s position joins four on the Camas City Council that will also be up for election this year. Current council members Tim Hazen (Ward 1), Greg Anderson (Ward 3) and Don Chaney (At-Large) all said this past week that they will seek re-election. Bonnie Carter (Ward 2), who was appointed in February, indicated that she will also run for office.
The mayor earns $26,400 per year, while the city councilors earns $9,000.
The in-person candidate filing period is set for May 11 to 15. Candidate declarations can be made by mail beginning April 27. Primary Election Day is Tuesday, Aug. 4, followed by General Election Day Tuesday, Nov. 3.
For a full list of offices open for filing, which includes those on the Washougal City Council, Camas and Washougal school boards, Port of Camas-Washougal Commission and East County Fire and Rescue Commission, visit www.clark.wa.gov/elections.