Jennifer McDaniel resigns from Washougal City Council

City announces application process for appointment of a successor

Jennifer McDaniel

After serving on the Washougal City Council for eight years, Jennifer McDaniel will wrap up her term early — Jan. 31.

She announced her resignation during the council meeting Monday night.

“I have mixed emotions,” McDaniel said, after mentioning she and her husband, Lance, have sold their home, and they plan to move into a bigger house in Camas with their two teenagers by the end of this month.

They moved from Texas to Washougal 11 years ago.

McDaniel, 50, will attend the next council workshop and meeting, Monday, Jan. 23, at 5 and 7 p.m., in the council chambers at City Hall.

She had already mentioned the upcoming move to Mayor Sean Guard and City Administrator David Scott, so that plans to interview and appoint a successor could be put into place. Her current term on the council was scheduled to expire Dec. 31, 2019.

The city will accept completed application packets from interested candidates for Council Position 5 until 5 p.m., Tuesday, Jan. 31. The packets should be addressed to: Jennifer Forsberg, City Clerk, Washougal City Hall, 1701 “C” St., Washougal, WA 98671.

The application packet can be picked up at City Hall or downloaded from www.cityofwashougal.us.

To be eligible to be appointed, a person must be a registered voter in the City of Washougal and have continuously resided within the Washougal city limits for a minimum of one year prior to the appointment to the council.

A special City Council meeting will be held to interview candidates for Position 5 Tuesday, Feb. 7, at 7 p.m., at City Hall. McDaniel’s successor could be selected during that meeting and administered the oath of office.

Forsberg said due to the timing of the mid-term vacancy, Council Position 5 will be part of the 2017 primary and general election cycle.

The person who is appointed in February will serve until the results of the November 2017 general election are certified later that month. At that time, the individual elected to Position 5 will take office and serve until the expiration of the term.

Position 5 will then be part of the 2019 primary and general election cycle.

Questions can be directed to Forsberg at 835-8501 or Jennifer.Forsberg@cityofwashougal.us.

Looking back

McDaniel credits the City Council members for working as a team.

“We make decisions together,” she said, after the meeting. “We have moved the city forward with waterfront development and downtown revitalization. The residential and commercial development is booming for a small city.

“We have made progress with water and sewer projects, for the increased development,” McDaniel added. “We’ve added parks and sidewalks.”

In 2016, she was a candidate for Clark County Council District 4. She did not receive enough votes in the August primary to advance to the General Election.

McDaniel’s community involvement has included serving on the Washougal Schools Foundation, the Camas-Washougal Chamber of Commerce and the Clark College Business boards. She has volunteered for Meals on Wheels, Unite! Washougal Community Coalition, Girl Scouts of America and the Washougal Arts and Cultural Alliance.

McDaniel served as the Washougal mayor pro-tem in 2011.

McDaniel’s resignation creates vacancy on C-TRAN board

McDaniel’s announcement about her future move occurred after several City Council committee assignments were announced.

Councilman Dan Coursey indicated he was interested in serving on the C-TRAN board, but he did not receive enough affirmative votes from councilors. Prior to voting, Councilman Paul Greenlee said he was concerned about having a plaintiff in a lawsuit against C-TRAN serve on the C-TRAN board.

Greenlee and Joyce Lindsay voted against having Coursey represent Washougal on the C-TRAN board. Coursey and Dave Shoemaker voted for Coursey to fill the upcoming vacancy. McDaniel, Michelle Wagner and Brent Boger abstained from voting.

The council is expected to determine the city’s next C-TRAN board representative after the new council member is appointed.

After the meeting, Coursey said he had been asked in 2014 to join in a lawsuit with others from cities and communities in the C-TRAN taxing district outside of Vancouver about funding for the Bus Rapid Transit project and its implications to taxpayers outside of Vancouver.

“Basically we contended that C-TRAN apportioned tax revenue from outside of Vancouver shouldn’t be used to fund their project,” Coursey said. “Especially without prior taxpayer/voter approval. And especially since language in the 2005 and 2011 C-TRAN tax propositions stated that they were being done only for the preservation of existing bus service — not new expansion or anything like BRT.

“I was just trying to stand up for the taxpayers in our area,” he added. “Eventually the case was lost on appeal.”

The $53 million Bus Rapid Transit project, named The Vine, began operating Monday.

It involved an upgrading of the fleet to new, low-floor hybrid busses with almost twice the passenger capacity of existing busses, between downtown Vancouver and Vancouver Mall.

The busses are designed to allow wheelchair users to roll onto the vehicles and self-park without having a driver secure them. Bicycle riders can roll their bikes onto a bus without having to mount them on a rack in front of the vehicle.