Leslie For Camas
Leslie for Camas
Contract With Camas- C A N O P Y 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 abundant 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. And 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? You do. 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.
Leslie for Camas
Wait A Minute- Check Your Mail
Hey Camas. It’s Leslie Lewallen here and I just wanted to remind you that ballots will be arriving in your mailbox THIS weekend. Election day is right around the corner, and I need your support now more than ever. Open your mail over the next few days, and you’ll find that I’ve sent you your own miniature version Leslie For Camas yard sign. When you’ve finished reading about my first 100 day Contract With Camas, I hope you’ll turn it over to see your new sign. I hope that you’ll put that sign in the front window of your home, or in the rear window of your car. I hope that you’ll use that sign to let people know you support better transparency inside City Hall. That you expect better accountability from City management and staff. And that you demand more effective leadership from your Camas City Council. Because Camas Deserves Better and I intend to deliver. Show your support for our campaign by proudly displaying your miniature Leslie For Camas Yard Sign from now until election day. And visit our website at leslieforcamas.com. Remind your friends and family and neighbors why it's so important that they vote too. And together, let’s make Camas the very best it can be.
Leslie for Camas
Contract With Camas- Zoning
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 second priority: OVERHAULING CAMAS CITY ZONING AND USE CODES. If elected, I will write and offer to the City Council, legislative action to initiate the immediate overhaul of our outdated zoning and conditional use codes, to modernize language governing specialty use categories like detox and rehab facilities, and ensure these operations are kept far away from our city’s most sensitive populations - like schools, day cares, senior living homes, parks and churches. And, adequately prepare us for smart, sustainable growth in the years ahead. As you know, a brave group of Camasonians, backed by more than 1500 citizens, filed a lawsuit against the City of Camas earlier this summer, in an attempt to reverse the decision of an unelected, out-of-town Hearings Examiner to locate an in-patient detox center next to an elementary school, public park and church. These neighbors created the Dorothy Fox Safety Alliance, a group of volunteers dedicated to fighting back against an unfair process that literally ignored the safety concerns of a majority of Camas citizens in favor of an out-of-town developer and its powerhouse law firm. These same developers worked behind the scenes with Camas planning staff to circumvent the City Council and open records process to get their Camas detox location approved. Two city employees potentially implicated by this manipulation are no longer employed by the City of Camas. Unfortunately, the Alliance has been blocked at every turn by an uncooperative City Attorney, who actually tried to get the citizen suit dismissed before it was ever heard by the judge and asked the court to disregard evidence showing that the City withheld vital internal emails and correspondence that showed how the applicant bypassed the Planning Board, City Council, and the citizens of Camas in what is now known as the “Six Weeks of Darkness.” CAMAS DESERVES BETTER. Clear, comprehensive municipal codes are the foundation upon which smart, sustainable cities are built. They provide the rules and framework by which real estate developers and other citizens use to improve communities. Codes that are outdated or deficient can, among other things, frustrate community efforts to protect the safety of its citizens. These codes often prioritize the development of residential sub-areas that make little sense from a smart, sustainable growth perspective. And, sometimes, they simply fly in the face of what citizens have clearly said they do not want developed at this time. My experience as an attorney with a focus in land use and zoning gives me clear insight as to what happened, why it happened, and more importantly what changes we must make to our codes to prepare Camas for the challenges of tomorrow. As your Councilperson, I will demand those changes be made in the first 100 days of me taking office. This is part of my Contract With Camas, but I need your vote. Camas deserves better and I’m already working with communities around Washington to make that happen. Join me at leslieforcamas.com, and together let’s make Camas the very best it can be.
Leslie for Camas
Contract With Camas- Pool
Hey Camas. Leslie Lewallen here and I’m working hard to be your next City Councilor. Last week, 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 first priority: REPLACING THE CROWN PARK POOL. If I’m elected, I will write and offer to the City Council, legislative action to initiate the immediate planning, design, and construction of a new swimming pool and splash pad for Crown Park and the citizens of Camas- It’s time to replace the one they dug out of the ground. But this time, NO BOND will be needed. NO Tax Increase for Fiscally Conscious Citizens. No Blank Checks or by the Seat of Your Pants Plan. No 78 million dollar price tag. Instead, an affordable, scalable, COMPETITION swimming pool and splashpad to begin construction in the Spring of 2022, and ready for opening in Summer 2023. Camas loved their Crown Park Pool. And they want another one. And the amount we can save by working with our neighbors who have already done it, makes this project something I’m proud to introduce. Months ago, I traveled north to Selah, next door to Yakima, and the home of the Selah Aquatic Center. It’s a brand new, beautifully built, outdoor aquatic center- complete with an 8 lane competition pool, a lazy river with jetted flow, and a beach-like zero gravity splash pad. First class architecture, incredible pool and outdoor deck complex, beautiful public and private locker rooms and changing areas, a great snack bar- and the Center of the Selah Community during the Summer, especially on Wednesday nights when the Town gathers and cheers at the weekly swim meet. I recently met with two leaders of Selah who have been the driving forces in their own Selah Aquatic Center project since it was dreamed up years ago. Longtime Selah City Councilman Roger Bell, and Selah Park and Rec Service Area Secretary and Auditing Officer Heidi Herzog are great people who have been on the front row since Day 1. These leaders have successfully navigated many problems with construction and funding, but also have the benefit of hindsight now. They have been happy to share many of those experiences with me. Budgets, timelines, design flaws- the things you need to know BEFORE you build a community aquatic center. . Sharing information means it doesn’t have to be paid for twice. And with good help, we can build one just like Selah’s for around 7 million dollars. Not 70 million. 7 million. If that’s what you want, then that’s what I’ll propose. We’ll send out an easy survey. Do you want a new pool? Do you want just a splashpad? Do you want the $7 million, 5 million, or 2 million dollar version? Do you want it here or do you want it there? The one you choose is the one we build. Smart. Efficient. Effective. Camas needs a public pool. An affordable, scalable, low cost aquatic facility that doesn’t require a bond or additional tax load to Camas taxpayers. Camas deserves better. Let’s begin construction in 2022. And let’s celebrate its grand opening as soon as the summer of 23. This is part of my Contract with Camas, but I need your vote. Camas Deserves Better and I’m already working with communities around Washington to make that happen. Join me at leslieforcamas.com, and together let's make Camas the very best it can be.
Leslie for Camas
Contract With Camas
Hey Camas. Leslie Lewallen here and I’m running for Camas City Council. Over the last 5 months, I’ve been busy preparing to be your next City Councilor by taking a hard look at issues currently facing City Hall and our community at large. I’ve canvassed thousands of homes, and met with hundreds of you face to face. I’ve heard your concerns and frustrations. But I’ve also heard your hope and passion for this great community. As a lawyer, I have reviewed and analyzed many contracts. A contract is an agreement in which one side promises to perform certain duties for the other, in exchange for some sort of consideration in return. Today, I am offering you my Contract with Camas and in return, I am asking for your vote on November 4th to be your Camas City Councilor. This Contract With Camas is my pledge and promise- to each and every one of you- to introduce certain legislation during my first 100 days in office. My Contract With Camas has been carefully crafted based directly on the feedback I’ve received from you- the electorate. I have listened to you. I respect your voice. You HAVE been heard. Number 1: Replace the Crown Park Pool with an affordable, scalable, outdoor competition swimming pool and splash pad. To begin construction in 2022 with an anticipated opening date of Summer, 2023. No bond, no additional tax load, a public-private partnership for construction and operation. Number 2: Rewrite Camas Zoning and Use Codes to prevent another Dorothy Fox Detox debacle from ever happening again. Having a clear and effective municipal code avoids detox centers from being located next to our elementary schools and prevents outside developers from manipulating the system to do an end run around our local elected officials. Number 3: Empower the new CANOPY Commission. To establish through legislation the creation of a citizens advisory board that manages the quality and health of our parks, trees, forests and legacy lands. Establishing real protections that ensures citizen-led, smart, sustainable development. This is my Contract with Camas. This is my first 100 day legislative agenda. This is what you can expect from me in return for your vote. In the upcoming days, I’ll be releasing details of each of these legislative goals on my website at www.leslieforcamas.com. I invite you to visit and join me and my Contract With Camas. Together, let’s make Camas the very best it can be.
Leslie for Camas
Wait A Minute Restore Public Trust
Hey Camas. It’s Leslie Lewallen here and I’m running to be your next Camas City Councilor. Did you know that our beloved Lacamas Lake has become so poisonous that it can’t be used right now? It contains so much bacteria and toxins that it has been classified as “DANGEROUS” by the Clark County Public Health Department. No more swimming, kayaking, paddle boarding. No more canoeing, boating, water skiing, or fishing. Not right now. At the same time, the City of Camas is paying expensive lawyers in Seattle with local taxpayer money, to figure out how to defend itself against a potential lawsuit under the Federal Clean Water Act. If the pollution is real, the City could be forced to pay millions of dollars in fines. That will come from local taxpayers too. And the effort organized by a Citizens Advisory Board known as the Lacamas Watershed Council has been shut down indefinitely. By the same City of Camas. They can’t talk about it with us, of course, because it’s “pending litigation.” They can’t tell you what potential risk as a taxpayer you face. Or why they have prevented the Lacamas Shores Biofilter from being repaired to working condition. They can’t tell you what they’re going to do to clean up Lacamas Lake. Honestly, they won’t tell you anything. Meanwhile, up on the top of Prune Hill, construction crews are full speed ahead on the finishing touches of a new in-patient drug detox center. Right next door to Dorothy Fox Elementary School. Despite the pleas of 1500 plus residents near the facility to reconsider, Camas City Council allowed an out-of-town, unelected Hearing Examiner to make the final decision. But they can’t tell you why. Because they claim they can’t talk about that important issue either. They are currently being sued by another group of citizens for that one. Defending themselves again, with your money. And 2 of the major players in the Detox Debacle, the Senior Planner and Community Development Manager, have also decided to leave their long-time high paying jobs with the City of Camas. Will we ever know the truth about what goes on behind closed doors at City Hall? The answer is: Yes We Will When I become your next City Councilor, I’ll make sure that our Council operates in such a way that we can avoid lawsuits and resignations. A place where we don’t find ourselves being advised by counsel to remain silent. My promise to you is to help the City make the RIGHT decision, at the RIGHT time, and in the RIGHT way. To avoid any need from holding back the truth from our citizens. Transparent, Accountable, and Effective Leadership eliminates the need for citizen lawsuits and surprise resignations. This type of leadership RESTORES our government to what it was intended to be- a government of the people, by the people and for the people. Join me at leslieforcamas.com. Together, let’s make Camas the very best it can be. #camasdeservesbetter #leslieforcamas #camaswa #camas #papermakerpride #nomorebuzzwordbingo #realsolutions #ontherecord #deepdive
Leslie for Camas
Wait A Minute DETOX 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 my 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.