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  • Writer's pictureLeslie Lewallen

Wait A Minute- Consultant Captured

In my campaign, I have focused my energy on the things Camasonians have told me are at the top of their priority list. One of those issues is how heavily we rely on paid consultants to do the jobs our municipal employees should do. In Camas, we pay consultants for everything. We pay them to study things first.

Like paying a consultant hundreds of thousands of dollars to tell our Mayor and City Council that the citizens wanted a 78 million dollar pool. Those consultants were paid to collect data through “community engagement” exercises like public meetings and online polls and 4 color mailers sent to everyone in Camas. And after all that, they came up with a final plan they believed represented all Camasonians.

Wait a minute. How can a consultant get it so wrong? How can their “consultation” have been so far off the mark? 90% of Camas rejected their expensive “expert” advice. Do we get a refund on that?

In the recent 8 million dollar roundabout boondoggle, we spent almost $2 million dollars solely on more consultants. For one single roundabout. Just months after we had built 4 new roundabouts that only cost $2 million each.

Now, the City of Washougal can’t pay their share of our joint Fire Department agreement. They say they can’t afford it until they can improve their revenues. So what does Camas do? Spends $94,000 on consultants to tell us what to do next. Couldn’t we just give Washougal the $94K to pay their share instead?

Because when you finally see that the consultant isn’t really hired to find out what YOU want, but instead hired to make you believe you need what THEY want- then, the entire exercise is revealed for what it is- a big performance. An act in a play to which the ending has already been written. The goal of the consultant was never to determine whether Camas wanted a 78 million dollar pool, but instead make them believe they did.

Now, unelected Temporary Mayor Ellen Burton thinks we need another consultant in Camas. But this one is unlike any we've ever had. This consultant is going to be the new Camas City Administrator. Yes, tonight, our City Council will vote to hire a professional consultant to take over the reigns as Camas City Administrator, for at least $5,000 a week, or $20,000 a month. And that’s the minimum he will make. Just a blank check with a $20,000 a month minimum limit for just 25 hours of work per week. That’s $250K a year for part time work, and he can continue to be a consultant while working.

Is that what YOU want Camas? Any bets on whether the consultant-driven Northshore Project is the next thing to be slam dunked before the citizens can get to the polls in November and righten this sinking ship? How many more consultants will we have when the City Administrator is one of them?

Come join my fight for transparent, accountable, and effective leadership in Camas. Visit me at and join our team. Remember to vote for me. Together, we will make Camas the very best it can be.

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