Troy McCoy announced on March 11 he would not seek a second term on the school board
BATTLE GROUND — In 2017, Brian Munson was one of four people to run for Battle Ground City Council unopposed.
A lot has changed since then.
On Wednesday, current Battle Ground School Board Vice President Troy McCoy announced plans to run for Munson’s Position 1 seat.
With two people vying for a seat being vacated by the decision of Mike Dalesandro not to run again, at least two of four city council seats this year will have competition.
McCoy announced March 11, on a Facebook page set up for his political aspirations, that he intended to complete his current term on the board, but would not be seeking re-election.
“I assure you my time in public office will take a different direction,” he wrote at the time, “it just won’t be in my current role.”
In an interview with Clark County Today, McCoy said he had debated running for city council back in 2017 when he decided instead to try for a school board seat.
The transition to a city council role, he said, seems a more natural fit for a local business owner and someone who has lived in the area for two decades.
“And maybe some representation on the west side of town,” he added.
Munson, who had previously served on the Battle Ground Development Commission, was named to replace Lyle Lamb on city council in July, 2016 after Lamb moved away from town. He ran unopposed in 2017.
To date, Munson has not officially announced plans to run for a second full term, but people close to him expect that he is preparing to do so.
He has been, at times, a controversial member of city council, sparking a rebuke in August, 2020 after a confrontation at a park near his home prompted a complaint. Munson maintained afterwards that a chance to publicly defend himself from the allegations was denied after the city council declined to let him speak before issuing an apology letter on behalf of the city.
McCoy says his hope is to avoid a messy campaign, instead focusing on the issues people in Battle Ground care about.
“There’s two things that are kind of on my front burner,” McCoy says. “The downtown business district, really looking at that and making that maybe a little bit more updated as far as the plan for that. And then secondly, as somebody who drives down Southwest 20th Street every day, I’m not going to promise to get that fixed, but I definitely want that to be a high priority of the city council to look at getting some sidewalks and expanding that street as soon as possible.”
The city launched a revisioning project in 2018, which is now informing work by the planning department.
As a soon-to-be-former school board member, McCoy said he’s hopeful that the relationship between the city and the school district can continue to evolve and grow.
“I know in my time on the school board my relationship with the city council has been very positive, very good, and I want to continue that,” McCoy says. “A lot of people, that’s a lot of their reason for moving somewhere is the schools, so we need to keep that relationship up.”
McCoy said he would like to especially focus on branding the city as a gateway to the outdoors, with SR-503 being a primary route to Lewisville Park, Lucia Falls, and the Mount Saint Helens wilderness area.
“Essentially having Battle Ground leverage some of our great state treasures that are right here,” he says, “and how can become that destination for people, especially as they start getting back outside.”
On the possibility of the YMCA building a facility in town, McCoy said he supports the idea, but would want to proceed cautiously in terms of any financial liability from the city.
“I wouldn’t be interested in having the city on the hook for ongoing costs, maintenance operations or anything,” McCoy said. “However, I don’t think you completely shut it down. And it could be a great asset to the city. I think you try to look for inventive ways to help them get here.”
In 2017, Munson ran a rather quiet campaign, doing a few media interviews, but otherwise spending little money on signs. His listing in the voter’s guide contained no submissions at all.
McCoy says he’ll be a little more active than that, but doesn’t expect to be spending much money on signage or heavily active campaigning. He credits some great employees at his local State Farm office, as well as an understanding family for giving him the freedom to pursue public service.
“There’s a lot of people that could do it – probably could do it better than me – that just simply don’t have the time,” he says. “So for me, it’s a way to give back to the community. I have the time, I’m always willing to listen to anybody that has ideas or concerns, and use those in the best way possible.”