Camas City Council member Ellen Burton will not seek reelection

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Ellen Burton (left) talks to Camas Community Development Director Phil Bourquin inside Camas City Hall in January 2019. (Kelly Moyer/Post-Record file photo)

Camas City Council member and Mayor Pro Tem Ellen Burton has announced she will not run for reelection in 2021.

“It was a really tough decision,” Burton said in a statement released Tuesday, April 27. “It’s an honor to serve our Camas community as the council and administration worked together to strengthen our city operations and community.”

Council members selected Burton, a longtime Camas resident with extensive corporate experience, out of “eight very qualified candidates” to fill a vacant council position in January 2019.

Burton said in 2019 that, “as a 20-year Camas resident with 30 years in Clark County” she had witnessed Camas transform from a mill town to a thriving community.

“We’ve experienced rapid growth and development. While the demographics changed, so has the need for city services and the role of city government,” Burton stated in her city council application.

Though the Council had several qualified candidates vying for the open seat in early 2019, Burton came with letters of recommendation from former Camas Mayor Nan Henriksen, who said Burton’s professional experience working for companies such as Wacom Technology Corp. and Hewlett-Packard, gave her “a great background in budgeting and finance, marketing, policy development and strategic planning,” and from Camas School District Superintendent Jeff Snell, who said he believed Burton’s wisdom, kindness and presence in the community would help her “do an excellent job as part of the trusted team leading our community.”

The Council swore Burton into her new role, representing Camas’ Ward 3, on Jan. 22, 2019. Burton went on to win her council seat in the November 2019 general election, garnering more than 90 percent of the votes. In January 2021, her city council peers agreed Burton should serve as the council’s mayor pro tem.

Burton said she has tried to keep Camas’ interests in mind during her time on the city council.

“My intent throughout my term was and is to keep the communities’ best interest in the forefront and ask the questions citizens want to know about city plans and investments,” Burton said.

In her statement released Tuesday, April 27, Burton thanked Camas Mayor Barry McDonnell, City Administrator Jamal Fox and city staff for “their ongoing commitment, especially during this difficult year so we emerge stronger on the other side.”

Burton added that she believes “all of us need to work together to create the community where we live.”

Burton said she intends to give “110 percent” of her energy to her council position through the end of her current term, which expires on Dec. 31.