Write in for mayor of camas, washington
Hello. My name is Barry McDonnell and I am asking for your write-in vote for Mayor of Camas.
Why am I running for Mayor?
I have been frustrated for the last couple of years with the way our City’s elected officials operate, an overall lack of transparency and lack of respect for their citizens. I’ve had enough.
I became very concerned by the way this pool bond was presented, and even more that our appointed (not elected) Mayor was running unopposed.
I wanted someone to put their name in as write in candidate because I did not want to deal with four more years of the disconnect that our City has with its people. I realized that it would have to be me and so I put myself out there as a write in candidate on October 2nd, 2019.
Why am I a write in and not on the ballot?
Until the end of September, I had zero aspirations to become Mayor. This is a last minute calling that I felt. I am figuring it out as I go, but I am all in.
Why do I think I can do it?
I have been in the retail Loss Prevention industry for 19 years, the last 17 of which have been in Management positions. It has allowed me to grow as a leader and I have been successful so that I can financially maintain a lifestyle that my wife is able to stay at home with our four children and given us the ability to find and settle in a place like Camas. This is where we’ve decided to set down our family’s roots as our chosen hometown.
I am a trained investigator, not afraid to ask the right questions, push to get answers, and hold people accountable. I will not back down or be intimidated.
I have the ability to surround myself with the right people and the openness to listen and learn from others. I want to only represent the citizens of Camas, to protect their wishes and our town, and that’s what I intend to do.
What would I do if I were elected?
The City of Camas Employee Code of Ethics applies to current and former employees, but does not apply to our elected officials. (1) City employees are prohibited from using their position to achieve private gain and by law have a one year waiting period before they can compete on a city contract. This code of ethics needs to be applied and enforced to all our elected officials.
Our elected officials have chosen to not respond to our questions in a public format. I will change the format of our meetings, and hold people accountable to answer your questions, and I will ensure that you feel respected and genuinely acknowledged when you do step up to the city’s microphone.
The city’s org chart (2) has our citizens at the very top, with the Mayor reporting to the citizens, and overseeing the city administrator, who in turn oversees all our city’s departments. I will hold the City Administrator accountable to running our town and hold myself accountable to the citizens.
City Council is the secondary form of representation that we have, according to our city organizational chart, and I believe they should also be held accountable to the citizens.
Currently there are many issues of concern that I have picked up from being involved in the community. Many of these issues are also documented in our local newspapers and throughout social media. Right now, all the members of City Council and our Mayor have been named in a watchdog complaint.(3) This does not reflect well upon our city, and is not the first time a concern has been made over the integrity of our City’s decisions.
Concerns have been raised about the way our City Administrator operates that I would want answers to:
Many facets of (4) the Bank (5) of America property purchase (6) (and the fact that the architectural firm hired for this job is owned by the Chair of a development group Pete Capell is currently serving on (7) ) The project was initially projected at a $400k cost and has now ballooned up to over $1,000,000 in renovation costs.
How it was determined the citizens wanted a $78 million pool/gym in the Lacamas Lakes location?
Why were the financial details for the proposed pool project released by someone other than the city (9) after citizens had been asking for them from the city for months?
I believe this could just be the tip of the iceberg on what might be uncovered in our city government. I hope that it is not, but regardless, I intend to bring to light my findings, and create policy and procedures to prevent any such abuse of power from happening during and after my term.
What are my thoughts on the North Shore development plans?
I am deeply concerned around the many potential negative affects of the current proposed options.
I see a lot of industrial, commercial, and residential zoning, but not a lot of parks/open space.
In addition to the current space issues there appears to be no plans around increased traffic or proportional City services among other unknown issues at this point.
It appears the City skipped the vision and strategy process and went right to tactical without validation from the community.
I would like to understand what all our options are at this point to keep our town’s growth directed in a way that the citizens want and is favorable to the community at large.
I am not afraid to challenge and hold developers accountable to our citizens expectations. Currently the perception of the relationship with developers is that they run the City’s plans, not vice-versa as it should be in a healthy community.
What are my thoughts on various topics and issues happening in national politics?
As your Mayor, I will ensure that regardless of your ideas, concerns, thoughts, and beliefs, you will be respected and feel heard. I am not a politician, nor do I want to be a politician. The role of Camas Mayor is that of a Manager and leader for our City government, employees, and citizens, and as such, I will not politicize or grandstand on any political issues not directly affecting the citizens of Camas within the confines of the policies and procedures of operating and guiding our City. I want to get into office to give the power back to the people and then get out.
Am I up for a debate?
Yes, it is something I believe is imperative to a strong democratic process.
Lacamas Magazine has offered to put one together, but if anyone wanted to try and put something together, I would also be game.
It would be great to set part of the time aside for citizens to ask questions in a Town Hall format of all three candidates at open microphones and allow candidates to ask each other questions.
Both Mayor Turk and the other write-in candidate have stated they are also open for debates. I would like to hold them to their word and push for at least one debate to occur between now and November 5th. Please forward your support of one or more debates to the current Mayor and current City Council member who are also running for Mayor. And also during this time please keep in mind both of my opponents are part of the current Administration of which I am running in opposition of their policies and platforms.
What will I do if I don’t win?
I am running to win.
How will I be held accountable?
As an elected official you can hold me accountable to the city’s code of ethics.
I will answer your questions in a public form.
I will keep our citizens updated on where we stand on a vision for this town that is community driven, as well as the policies and laws we are putting in and enforcing to protect that vision for future generations.
I believe we are at a critical point in Camas’ future and the current Administration is not well suited to take Camas in a positive direction. Because of this I will commit to spending an inordinate amount of time listening and discussing the future of Camas with our residents. This will be a monumental task and I am up for it. I will validate and re-validate assumptions with our townspeople and commit to not putting the cart before the horse (i.e. putting a $78M bond measure on the ballot before all discussion and assumptions are validated).
You as residents will hold me accountable by having me answer those tough questions we all wanted to ask the current City Administration but have been shut out till now.
I am asking for your write in vote so I can to get into office, fix the system, and get out. I am committing to four years to help our city regroup and redirect its' vision for the future. I want to preserve this town we all love.
I will ensure we are setting up rules and regulations that protect our land.
I will re-structure the way the city communicates with the citizens.
I will lead in a way that sets the expectation that we conduct ourselves with integrity and honesty.
How can someone help this campaign?
Talk to your neighbors about an alternative to the current state of affairs in Camas and direct them to www.writeinbarryforcamas.com
Put up a yard sign, we have more arriving today.
Donate if you can. Currently we have 5,000 mailers printed and being sent out this week, along with hundreds of signs around town. We are grateful for every contribution to help us cover these costs.
I have been absolutely blown away by your generosity and faith and I hope to serve our town in a way that makes you proud. Thank you for your time and interest.
3) https://pdc-case-tracking.s3.us-gov-west-1.amazonaws.com/3283/58473 City of Camas Officials Complaint.pdf