Letters to the Editor: Nov. 2, 2023

‘Count me out,’ teacher says after seeing attack ads

One of the first things I teach my 4-year-old students is the importance of treating others with kindness and respect. 

Unfortunately, this lesson has been lost among some of the adults campaigning for local office this election season. 

Today after work, I was saddened to see a giant new billboard attacking three of our community’s longterm public servants. 

In an increasingly uncivil world, I’d like to think we can keep our local politics clean. If this is the kind of change these new candidates envision for Camas, count me out.

Alia Woolfe,



Camas Council candidate John Svilarich ‘exactly what community needs’

Your ballots have arrived! I am writing in support of John Svilarich for Camas City Council. 

John’s extensive experience serving Camas for more than 21 years sets him apart, demonstrating a deep commitment to our community. His involvement with the City, Port and schools, as well as long-standing involvement with his homeowners association (HOA), showcases his invaluable understanding of how things work around here.

John’s corporate background further equips him with crucial skills in finance, legal matters, problem-solving and negotiation. 

His transparent approach is refreshing, leaving no room for hidden agendas. His willingness to openly discuss his ideas and beliefs is a testament to his integrity. Civil discourse? Yes, please!

I appreciate John’s reasonable approach — emphasizing the importance of finding common ground rather than drawing hard lines. This balanced perspective is exactly what our community needs for effective and inclusive governance.

Brenda Alling,



Vote Gary Perman for Camas City Council 

In the realm of city politics, the drift towards complacency often remains elusive, but it’s an affliction that can strike at any time. 

Whether it’s in year five, year eight or year 15 of a city councilor’s tenure, the allure of backing every tax hike can be seductive. 

Once champions of their constituents, they can morph into champions of builders, developers, unions and unpopular projects. These elected officials seem impervious to economic downturns and inflation, advocating for more taxation as the solution. The result? A [$530,000] splash pad and an unusable lake, disregarding local wishes and even the city’s major revenue source. 

The time for change in Camas City Council is now, with Gary Perman, a businessperson untainted by special interests, emerging as the beacon to represent the true voice of the people.

Kris Greene, 


Time for a change on Camas Council: vote Dabasinskas, Luikens and Perman

I have seen the recent parade of letters to the editor noting a desire to preserve the status quo in City Council leadership this election. 

I believe it is time for a change. Time to ask tougher questions of our mayor and his staff. Time to lean into issues of high importance, including every citizen’s access to safe drinking water, our clear need to be more fiscally responsible while being more forthright and transparent in our communications. 

We don’t need rubber stamps on consultant-produced documents. We need leaders who possess the traits of critical thinking, collaboration and community engagement, fiscal responsibility and have a strong desire to unite the peoples’ voices to better outcomes in our City. 

Clean water, enhanced public safety and sound financial management. I’m endorsing Ry Luikens, Steven Dabasinskas and Gary Perman as voices for change.

Glen DeWillie, 



Steward city resources wisely

At an Aug. 6, 2023, Camas City Council workshop, Councilor Leslie Lewallen expressed concern about open-ended costs on consultant contracts. She explained that the contract with EXIGY, LLC Principal Jeff Swanson to serve as interim city administrator from July 7, 2021 thru Jan. 31, 2023, had bloated to at least $615,000. Public records show EXIGY LLC was paid by the city at least $630,338 from July 2021 to Jan 31, 2023.  This amount includes expenses and mileage. 

The City announced the interim administrator in 2021, noting, “The approved contract will have Swanson working in a part-time capacity and will be required to attend all City Council meetings … As a consultant, Swanson is currently providing services to other municipalities including the city of La Center.” 

Prior to the contract approval, at the July 6, 2021, Council meeting, citizens pointed out that no limits were set on hours worked and other costs — a blank check. 

The contract specified a minimum of 25 hours a week at a rate of $200 per hour would be charged. That amounts to a minimum of $5,000 a week, or $20,000 a month, or $260,000 a year. Additional costs not capped included travel, meals, equipment, supplies, materials, incidentals and unspecified fees. It’s unclear how many hours were billed to the city over the term of the initial contract, and the contract extension adding January 2023. 

Per the contract, the interim administrator worked at the direction of the acting Mayor Ellen Burton, until Steve Hogan was elected as mayor starting Nov. 23, 2021, when he became responsible for oversight. 

Mayor Hogan signed another contract with EXIGY, LLC with Jeff Swanson as the consultant dated Feb. 7, 2023, for administrative and planning work starting Feb. 1, 2023, at a rate of $220 an hour, not to exceed $20,000. Additional costs that are not capped include travel, meals, supplies, materials, incidentals and unspecified fees. 

Our city needs more fiscally responsible city officials who will truly consider input from citizens. Camas City Council candidates Stephen Dabasinskas, Ry Luikens and Gary Perman will safeguard city resources for the benefit of all residents and businesses.

Margaret Tweet,