A plan to assess the state of Camas’ sports fields is back on the table four months after the majority of Camas City Council members derailed the Parks and Recreation Department contract.
“In October of last year, I presented to you a contract with MacKay Sposito to do a full assessment of all of our fields, providing a chance to speak with other partners — east Vancouver, school districts, Clark County and the city of Washougal — taking a look at the infrastructure and understanding the capacities and levels of service,” Camas Parks and Recreation Director Trang Lam told Council members during their workshop Monday, Feb. 5.
Three of the current Council members — Tim Hein, Leslie Lewallen and Jennifer Senescu — along with former Councilman Don Chaney, voted against the $124,000 sports field contract on Oct. 16, 2023, and stated that they didn’t want to pass the contract, which had already been included in the City’s 2023-24 general fund budget.
The Council members said their October decision was based on new revelations that sluggish housing sales and new home construction had led to an unanticipated shortfall in the City’s expected property and sales tax revenues, causing Camas Mayor Steve Hogan to halt the hiring of 22 new City employees.
“When I saw the (mayor’s proposed 2024 budget) didn’t include anything for police sergeants, firefighters, police officers, I couldn’t think consultation for sports fields at this time is a good use of our resources,” Councilwoman Jennifer Senescu said during the Council’s Oct. 16, 2023, meeting. “Right now, it comes down to sergeants or consultation on sports fields.”