Camas starts search for interim mayor

City taking applications through July 16

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The hunt is on for an interim Camas mayor.

The city will take applications through Friday, July 16, from residents interested in serving as the city’s short-term mayor.

Camas City Council members will interview qualified candidates — or whittle their applicant list down if the city has more than seven qualified applicants — on Monday, July 26.

Councilmember Greg Anderson said the city wants to have an interim mayor appointed on or before Aug. 9, because Aug. 11 is the 90-day deadline for the city to appoint a replacement for former Mayor Barry McDonnell or cede control of the process to the Clark County Council.

McDonnell resigned from his post unexpectedly in May, just 18 months into his first term.

The person chosen to be Camas’ interim mayor will serve through the November general election, when Camas voters decide who will serve the remainder of McDonnell’s four-year term.

The city has two candidates running in the November mayoral election: City Councilmember Steve Hogan and Camas-Washougal Chamber of Commerce Director Jennifer Senescu.

City Councilmember and Mayor Pro Tem Ellen Burton has been leading the city since McDonnell’s resignation.

If the council has seven or fewer qualified applicants, the interim mayor will likely be sworn in during the council’s Aug. 2 meeting, Anderson said.

Those interested in being considered as the city’s interim mayor through November should look for more information and an application on the city’s website at

The city council also on Monday chose a new “mayor pro tem, pro tem” to serve as mayor in the event the mayor pro tem is absent or unable to lead. Camas City Councilmember Bonnie Carter had been selected earlier in 2021 to act as the second mayor pro tem, but said this week she had family obligations that would take her out of town during the late summer and early fall, so she needed to step down as Camas’ “mayor pro tem, pro tem.” The council approved Hogan as the new secondary mayor pro tem.