Camas Mayor Barry McDonnell resigns

Resignation effective immediately; Camas Mayor Pro Tem Ellen Burton will fill in for McDonnell until a replacement can be appointed

Camas Mayor Barry McDonnell (left) is shown here in this file photo. McDonnell abruptly resigned his position Tuesday, effective immediately. File photo
Camas Mayor Barry McDonnell (left) is shown here in this file photo. McDonnell abruptly resigned his position Tuesday, effective immediately. File photo

Camas Mayor Barry McDonnell resigned abruptly Tuesday, posting a statement on the city’s website. The resignation was effective immediately.

“Over the last few months, it has become clear to me that the needs of this Council, City and community are such that balancing a full-time job and family, while running the day-to-day operations as Mayor in our form of government is not sustainable for me,’’ McDonnell wrote in his resignation announcement. “This job has taken up so much of my physical and emotional presence with my rapidly growing children, and I find myself missing out on more of their young lives than I am comfortable with.’’

According to McDonnell’s letter, Mayor Pro Tem Ellen Burton will assume the duties of mayor.

“After discussing with my wife and family, it is with a heavy heart that, effective today, I am resigning as your Mayor,’’ McDonnell said. “This is solely a personal decision and I have full confidence in the City’s leadership team. I am leaving you in the capable hands of Mayor Pro Tem Ellen Burton.’’

McDonnell was sworn in as Camas’ mayor on Nov. 26, 2019. He defeated former Mayor Shannon Turk as a write-in candidate in the November 2019 general election after entering the race just weeks prior to the election. 

McDonnell ran on a platform largely centered around opposition to Proposition 2 or the “Pool Bond.” The $78 million bond would have allocated funds for a community aquatics center in Camas, and was soundly voted down by an overwhelming majority of 91.8 percent opposed. 

McDonnell thanked members of the city’s staff and other elected officials, who he referred to as “the secret of Camas’ success.’’

“I also want to thank the citizens of Camas for giving me the opportunity to take the lead in our community,’’ McDonnell wrote. “My greatest hope is that this run has inspired some of you to stand up and make a difference for what you believe in too.

“In October 2019, I rolled the dice as a write in Mayor and took winning as an extraordinary honor,’’ he said. “It was a historical opportunity and a huge challenge, and I am proud of what we accomplished together and that I was able to help lead this City through 2020.’’

Three of the seven Camas City Council positions will be up for election this year. In a statement released April 27, Burton announced that she would not seek re-election to her seat on the council.

Burton will serve as mayor pro-tem until the council appoints a new mayor. Details of the process were not fully available Tuesday evening.

“I have done my best and followed where the universe led,’’ McDonnell wrote in his statement. “I am proud of my time in office, and I thank you for the chance to serve.’’

To read McDonnell’s full letter of resignation, follow this link.

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