When Adam Philbin drove up Highway 14 into Washougal with his wife and children 10 years ago, he thought to himself, “Wow, this is the perfect place to be.”
The candidate for Washougal City Council, Position 6 says there isn’t only one aspect of Washougal that he loves but, rather, the area’s combination of the community feeling, distance to Portland and the easy access to outdoor adventures.
Philbin is the manager of security and risk at Shriners Children’s Hospital in Portland. In his lifetime, he’s spent five years as a volunteer firefighter and emergency medical technician (EMT), five years as a professional EMT in King County, Washington, and 19 years in health care protection and emergency management.
Philbin said he feels his experience in public safety and emergency management can offer insight to the council during decision making processes.
“I make decisions based upon careful study of all information, after listening to all sides of the issue, then applying my own experience and common sense,” he said.
Philbin said he appreciates the recent city council decision regarding the fire department merger, and that he thinks Washougal leaders looked at the merger as a way of increasing services and keeping the paramedic services. He also enjoys the new parks and upgrades to downtown since he has moved to Washougal.
However, Philbin said he would like to see an increase in the police department budget. The department has been operating with the same number of officers for more than a decade while the population has grown rapidly, Philbin said.
Although he has not yet looked at the city budget too closely, Philbin said he knows that others are doing everything they can to fund the police department.
He suggests that there are possible ways to reduce the heavy workload on police officers by using technology, such as an electronic reporting system that’s soon to be in place, and additional camera equipment.
“Just using (the technology) to its full potential, that way you don’t have to necessarily send a police officer to every single call if it’s something that doesn’t need an immediate response,” Philbin said.
Two of the things on the city council candidate’s priority list include working with city staff to improve the quality of roads in Washougal and with the school district to reduce bullying.
“It can be very devastating to kids, it can affect their entire life, and why not stop that if we have the opportunity to?” Philbin said about bullying in schools.
He and his wife, Anne, have six children, including one child they adopted, and were foster parents for 10 years.
The election signs for Adam’s candidacy will be popping up all over Washougal this week, and each will vary in design and have a personal touch, Anne Philbin said. Most election signs are not recyclable, but the Philbins wanted to be environmentally conscious, so they are reusing others’ campaign signs from previous years.
Mulling his bid to be a member of the Washougal City Council, Philbin said his family has fallen in love with Washougal, and he can’t imagine living anywhere else.
“I want to give something back and know that I have done something to make my city better,” he said.