A League of Women Voters of Clark County forum held Tuesday night at the Camas Public Library featured city council candidates competing in the Aug. 1 primary, and covered a broad range of topics, including everything from park funding and population growth to youth suicide and homelessness.
Having adequate funding to maintain parks is among the challenges that Camas could face within the next five years, according to City Councilwoman Melissa Smith.
Smith is seeking to retain her Ward 1, Position No. 2 seat, and faces two challengers — Emilia Brasier and Amanda Stamness — in the primary election.
During the forum, Stamness said the scarcity of affordable housing is a challenge in Camas, while Brasier talked about Camas High School “bursting at the seams,” causing stress and anxiety for students.
Asked about solutions to youth suicides in the area, an increase in the homeless population and a lack of affordable housing for low-income residents, Brasier referred to multiple teen deaths and said there should be programs to help parents, as well as a crisis text line for youth. Smith said area churches, such as St. Anne’s Episcopal, in Washougal, are providing more resources for the homeless. Stamness added that many people are priced out of the house-buying market in Camas.
Washougal Council candidates discuss five-year challenges
Julie Russell and Nettie Morris, Washougal City Council Position 6 candidates, also attended the League forum Tuesday. A third Washougal candidate, Adam Philbin, was unable to attend for personal reasons.
All three are seeking to replace incumbent Dave Shoemaker, who is not seeking re-election after serving on the city council for eight years.
To provide for residents with a wide socioeconomic range, Russell said there are parks, libraries and community squares for everyone.
Morris referred to an emergency utility assistance program that helps low-income Washougal residents pay their utility bills and prevent water shutoffs. Qualifying residents can request up to $250, once in a 12-month period. Funding for the program utilizes water bill late fees.
Russell said coping with population growth and attracting businesses will be challenges for Washougal within the next five years.
Morris wants to see Washougal continue to grow wisely, and she supports the expansion of the Washougal Community Library.
Ballots for the primary are scheduled to be mailed on Friday, July 14. The deadline to register to vote in the Aug. 1 primary is Monday, July 24, in person at the Clark County Elections Office, 1408 Franklin St., Vancouver. The deadline to register by mail or online was July 3. For more information, visit www.clark.wa.gov/elections.
The Washougal City Council Position 6 candidates, Julie Russell, Nettie Morris and Adam Philbin, will be profiled in an upcoming issue of the Camas-Washougal Post-Record.