Contract With Camas- CANOPY Commission
Hey Camas. Leslie Lewallen here and I’m working hard to become your next CIty Councilor.
Last month, I told you about my first 100 day legislative agenda for the Camas City Council called my Contract With Camas. 3 major initiatives before April 15th.
Today, I want to dive down on my third priority: CREATING AND EMPOWERING A CITIZEN- LED CANOPY COMMISSION
If elected, I will offer to the City Council, legislative action that I have already written to create and empower a citizen led commission called CANOPY. CANOPY stands for the Camas Arboricultural Negotiation, Oversight, and Planning Commission. It is designed for the purpose of preserving, managing and increasing the City’s urban forests and trees- thereby protecting a vital environmental, social and economic resource that benefits all residents. This Commission will assist property owners and public agencies in improving and maintaining the urban forest or trees in a manner consistent with adopted City ordinances.
The number one attraction Camas citizens mention in their love for our City, is the abu
ndant green spaces that make our community so special. Our parks, trails, and tree-lined streets separate us from our neighbors in a way that maintains our small town feel.
During the Everett Street roundabout construction,
the Camas Tree Protectors were instrumental in protecting one single tree, which still stands proudly as a reminder to the importance of our Canopy to Camas residents. But it’s time to return these protective decisions to the citizens, so THEY can decide when and how our greenspace is preserved in the face of continuing development.
Through my legislative action, the CANOPY Commission shall act as a quasi-legislative body with legally enumerated powers and duties clearly spelled out in our city code. As opposed to current environmental “ad-hoc” committees where citizen input is largely disregarded or quickly suspended when it is politically convenient to do so.
CANOPY powers include:
1. Developing the Camas Urban Forest Management Plan, a comprehensive, long-term plan to manage our natural resources while delivering smart, sustainable growth in the years ahead.
2. Reviewing City plans, policies and projects impacting Camas trees and provide guidance directly to the City Council and City Staff;
3. The authority to provide the City Council with recommendations for forestry preservation and maintenance budget requests;
4. The authority to provide oversight and guidance to the City Council regarding the use of revenues received into the City Tree Fund.
5. Work directly with the Camas Urban Forester (yes - that’s right, an urban forester on staff right here in Camas) to make inquiries, investigations and to conduct hearings to protect and preserve our trees, parks, forests and Legacy Lands.
But who makes up this Commission?
As currently designed, CANOPY shall be composed of seven commissioners who shall be electors and residents of the City and who have demonstrated an interest in the preservation and enhancement of our urban forest and the beautification of Camas. The commissioners shall be appointed by the mayor and confirmed by the City Council.
It’s time to return government to its rightful owners. It’s time for the will of the electorate to mean something again in the City of Camas. It’s time for our City Council to truly represent its citizens. But I need your vote. Join my campaign at leslieforcamas.com, and together, let’s make Camas the very best it can be.