WHS grad urges voters to ‘do the right thing,’ approve school levies
I’m so disgusted that 1.) There was such a low voter turnout for the Washougal School District levy on Feb. 14, and 2.) So many people have no clue how levies work and rushed to vote “no,” when in actuality this is a continuation of a levy that is expiring. Not in “addition to,” but “instead of.”
A “no” vote did not stick it to the administration, the government or whatever beef voters had. The Washougal School District had no option other than to have school online and then the mask requirements when it resumed in-person. That was mandated across our whole state. Once again, your “no” vote didn’t “show them.’
I also know for a fact that critical race theory (CRT) or whatever other foolish ideas the extremists are lying to you about, is a bunch of incorrect garbage. Your high water bill, gas prices and whatever other money you imagine is filtering into our school system is also incorrect.
I graduated from Washougal High School in 1982, after the levy had failed. My senior year school bus transportation was cut. A few months parents paid out of their own pockets and we had school buses. Other months we didn’t. Sports were also on the chopping block. Some parents came together, got donations, fundraised and, once again, paid out of their own pockets so there were some sports. There was no yearbook, no school newspaper, no assemblies, no field trips. School maintenance was also waylaid. Perhaps this is what people want to have happen again?
My children have all gone through the Washougal School District, as have their ancestors for several generations. It’s easy to say, “We got ours,” and be done supporting our schools. Our community has grown considerably in the years since my husband and I graduated, and since our kids graduated. I’d like to think this is still a great community that supports our young people, their education and their future.
When the levy runs again, and it will, do the right thing.
Urge legislators to change prosecuting attorney rules
In 2021 Skamania County taxpayers paid our prosecuting attorney, Adam Kick, $173,712 plus benefits. Yet, despite this very high salary, he ran unopposed in our recent county-wide election.
Why is that? Why would such a highly paid position not attract even one other candidate?
I believe there are two reasons: First, state law requires that anyone running for a county’s prosecuting attorney position be a registered voter living within that county, and secondly, we only have 31 attorneys residing in our county. Of these 31, seven are dead, three are listed as “inactive,” six have voluntarily resigned, two have had their licenses suspended, five have only a limited license allowing them only to do certain things, and one is a judge.
This leaves only 10 who could run for the prosecuting attorney’s position. Of these 10 attorneys left, two have held the prosecuting attorney position before and aren’t likely to want to do it again. That leaves eight attorneys remaining, five of whom already work in the prosecuting attorney’s office. So this is why Adam Kick runs unopposed for the highest paid position in our county.
However, there is a simple way to rectify this. A way that would open up the pool of qualified attorneys who might be eager to run for this highly paid job. Right now, Washington state law allows judges to reside in counties other than where they serve. The legislature should change the law and also allow qualified attorneys in neighboring counties to run for the prosecuting attorney position in smaller populated counties. Counties like Skamania would then have a chance of having highly skilled and qualified prosecuting attorneys administering justice.
Adam Kick hasn’t served us well during his tenure. Please join me, and contact your Washington state representative. Ask them to change the law to allow attorneys in neighboring counties to be allowed to run to be prosecuting attorneys.
For more information on how to help in this effort, call me at 360-903-9040 or email me at SaveOurCounty17@gmail.com.
League of Women Voters responds to ‘civics lessons needed’ letter writer
The letter from Connor Slattery-Piatt (“Schools need stronger civics lessons” published in the Feb. 16, 2023, issue of the Camas-Washougal Post-Record) caught the attention of those of us active in the League of Women Voters. For years we have advocated for Civics education. Beginning in the fall of 2020, due to the new RCW 28A.230.094 law, civics was finally reintroduced into the classroom.
We League members are still concerned that students are not learning exactly what Mr. Slattery-Piatt referred to: What is the role of the individual in becoming an informed and participatory citizen?
We are a strictly nonpartisan organization and our mission is “empowering voters, defending democracy.” We have developed presentations that address questions such as the importance of voting in a primary, how to learn about issues and candidates or even how to understand your ballot.
The League would love for teachers to contact us so we can do short presentations to middle and high school students. We also register students to vote as Washington law allows students as young as 16 to pre-register so they will start receiving ballots when they turn 18. The League has produced a Civics textbook for the past 40 years and it now is printed also in Spanish.
Teachers, please visit our website at lwvclarkcounty.org and email us at email@example.com.