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Building a Better Camas: 9 Bold Ideas for a Positive Future in Camas, WA

Updated: May 6

a painting by Anna Norris of mt hood and looking down on the town of camas washington
Artwork by Anna Norris

Camas and its local government have been on a rocky road for a number of years now. The removal of the beloved Crown Park Pool, the failure of the proposed aquatic center, mayoral changes, the developer-friendly North Shore Plan, and a series of unfortunate planning decisions on Prune Hill has eroded trust.

We’ve all seen what Camas DOESN’T want. I’m dedicating this site to what Camas DOES want. I’ve attended nearly all the Council meetings in the past few years, have spoken to hundreds of families and businesses, and have consolidated much of that input into ten areas where a large number of Camas residents are in agreement. These ideas set out a map for a positive future for Camas that we can be proud to pass on to our community for many generations to come. Starting with the Youth Council, I’ll be adding my thoughts to each of these over the next several months. Let’s connect for a conversation about these topics, add others to the list, and get this done! Let’s put Camas on the right track:

  1. Elect a local government that we can trust to listen to, and respect its citizens. Recognize that different communities have different needs, including public safety services, all deserving the respect and attention of city government.

  2. Properly manage and maintain our public infrastructure ensuring appropriate use of reserve funds. Camas should not have a City Hall/Fire Headquarters in disrepair, and inadequate for earthquake survival, with no funds to fix.

  3. Protect our wonderful lakes and forests and expand recreation opportunities including trails and a public pool. Hire a City Forester primarily using existing Water Fund monies.

  4. Incorporate all lands within Camas into future needs and obligations under Washington planning laws, and ensure non-operational Camas Mill land is cleaned suitably for future reuse and protective of existing jobs. Working with community partners, including our Port, promote “smart growth” and not further sprawl, as part of an overall commitment to a sustainable community,

  5. Work for real housing affordability so that our children, elders, our educators, and public safety workers can stay in Camas, and contribute to our community.

  6. Create a Youth Council so that our students can participate in shaping their town’s future.

  7. Grow and maintain a vibrant arts and culture environment throughout the city including public art for major development projects.

  8. Empower Camas staff and rely less on costly consultants. Foster and tap the immense talent of our volunteer community to help forge our future. Consider a new position of Volunteer Coordinator to enable, and unleash, our hardworking and creative citizens.

  9. Create a fresh vision for Camas, especially our entire downtown, reflective of our great potential.

These nine ideas provide a starting point for envisioning a brighter future for Camas. But the conversation doesn't end here. I invite you to share your own ideas and join the discussion about what you envision for Camas's future. Let's work together to create a community that we can all be proud of. So, please leave a comment and share this post to start the conversation and help shape the future of Camas!

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