DETOX Facility Update
Hey Camas. Leslie Lewallen here and I’m running for Camas City Council. I wanted to take an opportunity to update you on the latest news regarding the Drug and Alcohol Detox Center under renovation at the top of Prune Hill right next to Dorothy Fox Elementary School.
As you may know, the City of Camas allowed a Clark County Hearings Examiner to change it from a convalescent home to an in-patient drug detox and rehab facility- WITHOUT the approval of the Citizens of Camas or the City Council.
More than 1500 residents of the surrounding community petitioned against this madness, but their pleas fell on deaf ears. Simply put, the City once again, didn’t care how its citizens felt, and let it happen- despite the enormous pushback from thousands of angry residents.
My husband, Brian Lewallen, is the pro-bono attorney representing these citizens in their lawsuit against the City to stop this tragedy from taking place. My sister, Stephanie, is also co-counsel on the case. Last week, they filed a 50 page opening brief in Clark County Superior Court to reverse the decision of the hearing examiner. In this brief, they map out more than 60 errors committed by the Hearing Examiner.
On this website, I have posted a timeline with actual emails from city staff which show exactly how the City of Camas bent to the will of the detox owners by gambling with the health and safety of our wonderful community. All in an attempt to backdoor a project they clearly knew the citizens did not want, and would surely never approve.
When Dorothy Fox Safety Alliance, a group of courageous and concerned parents, asked for all the correspondence through the Public Records Act, the City withheld disclosing highly relevant emails and correspondence between the detox owners and City of Camas staff members which clearly showed an end run around Camasonians’ approval and should have been given to the hearing examiner prior to his ruling. If they had been included as the law required, the outcome may have been very different. But I suspect that’s another lawsuit coming to the steps of City Hall at the appropriate time.
Camas deserves better. It’s an entire culture at City Hall that must be examined and replaced. No longer can we allow staff and administrators to work without oversight. Camas deserves competent elected officials that are prepared to cast sunlight on outright lies and deception, prepared to challenge staff recommendations that our citizens have clearly said they don’t support, and prepared to operate Camas as a publicly- owned company to which Camasonians are the only stockholders.
As your next City Councilor, I am prepared to do just that. I intend to expose the mechanics which allow these types of decisions to be made. I intend to hold staff, Council and myself accountable to the people who they represent. I intend to lead by example, not follow in fear of unpreparedness or retribution.
Visit my website at leslieforcamas.com and join our team. Together, we must fight to make Camas the very best it can be.