Two ballot measures before Washougal voters


Voters to decide who chooses the mayor; a fire/EMS levy also on ballot

Voters in the city of Washougal have two separate ballot measures to consider on the Nov. 3 general election ballot. Here’s a closer look at Proposition 9 and Proposition 10.

Proposition 9

Proposition 9 allows voters to decide whether to directly elect the mayor every four years, or, to continue to have the members of the City Council select one member of the council to serve as mayor every two years. This proposition does not affect the city’s current form of government nor the role of the mayor – it only affects how the mayor is selected. In either scenario, the mayor is a voting member of the council.

A May 2018 resolution placed Proposition 8 on the November 2018 ballot for voters. This: changed the city’s form of government from Mayor-Council to Council-Manager. Members of the council indicated that if Proposition 8 passed, they would place a subsequent proposition on a ballot. 

Proposition 9 asks if voters want to directly elect the mayor every four years, or, stick with the default method of selecting the mayor wherein the council selects one member of the council as mayor every two years. 

Washougal voters will decide on how the Mayor is selected, via Proposition 9. They will also vote on a Fire/EMS levy via Proposition 10. Graphic courtesy city of Washougal
Washougal voters will decide on how the Mayor is selected, via Proposition 9. They will also vote on a Fire/EMS levy via Proposition 10. Graphic courtesy city of Washougal

If a majority approves Proposition 9, council position No. 1 will be designated as the mayor position and will be elected at-large by the people to a four-year term beginning with the November 2021 election. If the proposition is defeated, the council will continue to select one member of the council as mayor every two years. No matter the outcome of the vote, the role of the mayor is unchanged.

Clark County Today reported on the recent decision by the council to not fill a vacancy created by the resignation of Ray Kutch. Part of that discussion tied to the coming vote on Proposition 9, and can be read here.

The Proposition 9 Fact Sheet can be found at cityofwashougal.us/Proposition9.

Proposition 10

Proposition 10 asks voters to replace the expiring ten cents ($.10) per $1,000 of assessed valuation Fire/EMS Levy Lid Lift. The current Fire/EMS Levy Lid Lift expires at the end of 2020. The proposition would authorize the city to assess the Fire/EMS Levy Lid Lift for six years (2021–2026). 

The combination of the current expiring Fire/EMS Levy Lid Lift and the Replacement Fire/EMS Levy Lid Lift is estimated to add an additional cost of $12 annually for a home valued at $400K, or $1.00/month. Voters should understand inflation will impact the amount of taxes paid, as the assessed value of their home changes.

The Fire/EMS Levy Lid Lift is a dedicated source of funding used for the provision of fire and emergency medical services in Washougal. The Camas-Washougal Fire Department experienced a 66 percent increase in Fire/EMS calls between 2010 and 2019. Replacing the expiring Fire/EMS Levy Lid Lift provides dedicated funding to maintain Washougal’s current level of fire and emergency medical services. 

The Proposition 10 Fact Sheet can be found at cityofwashougal.us/Proposition10.

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About The Author

John is a retired airline pilot, serving Delta for over 31 years. Prior to Delta, he served in the US Air Force for 11 and a half years; three and a half years as a Public Affairs Officer and eight years as a pilot. John flew multiple airplanes around the world for Delta, retiring as a B-767 Captain. During his 31 years at Delta, John served as a member of the pilot’s union leadership, representing the Portland-based pilots for five years. John got involved in area politics during the Columbia River Crossing debate. He became a citizen activist, speaking out against wasteful spending and fighting for common sense transportation solutions. He ran for the Washington state legislature twice, a Representative position in 2014 and Senate in 2020. John is the eldest of six children. He remains extremely close with members of his family and lives in Oregon and Washington. He has 14 nieces and nephews and a growing number of “grands” in the next generation. John has enjoyed skiing, scuba diving, travel, and time on his Harley when he’s not busy with local issues or flying.

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