It’s that time again, time to elect city council members for Vancouver and surrounding communities. All candidates have filed and are getting their campaigns geared up for the August primary in hopes of being one of the two chosen by the people to advance on to the general election in November.
Since I live outside the city limits, my ballot this year will be slim. I won’t get to vote for any of the city council positions so for the most part, I will remain neutral, but present my impression of the candidates seeking a return to office or hoping to replace someone.
Neutrality will not extend to the Vancouver Mayor’s race.
This initial post will concern the Vancouver City Council race for position 3, currently held by four term incumbent Jeanne Harris and those challenging her, Ann McEnerny-Ogle, Galina Burley, Frank Decker and Adam Fox. Order of listing is not by preference.
Jeanne Harris has served on the Vancouver City Council longer than anyone presently sitting on it. First appointed in 1996, she has won election to the seat she still holds 4 times and wishes to make it 5 times now.
I have to be honest and say that politically, she and I don’t agree on much and I have beat her up pretty hard in the past. But, a few weeks ago I took the opportunity and accepted her invitation to meet face to face over coffee. We still have opposing views on politics, but I can also say she isn’t the angry ogre many of us have thought since the time of her unfortunate outburst back in Sept. 2010.
She accepted the penalties and is paying the price for that incident as the Democrat Party she has strongly supported and represented over so many years sees her as a liability now and are sending their support to others, essentially pulling the rug out from underneath her feet.
She has been a strong supporter of the now defunct Columbia River Crossing light rail project, but has also supported, questioned and voted for several other projects as city council member, some even I could agree with.
She has a strong history of supporting local charities and community involvement and as said, has served on the city council now since 1996. She raised a son that has served in Iraq and has shown her self to be a supporter of Veterans. Bio & Past Campaign Site
Whether the past incidents and lack of partisan support hinder her this election is left up to the voters, but I would also say to compare her record with your own values before following the lead of the Democrat Party who sells her out after so many years of her supporting their views.
Ann McEnerny-Ogle is well known throughout the community for her involvement in various community functions and groups, not the least of which is her involvement with the Boy Scouts, Community Military Appreciation Committee supporting Veterans, her husband being a Vietnam Veteran.
Ann has run for the city council before, coming really close to winning, even being once endorsed by yours truly for appointment to occupy the seat vacated by then newly elected Mayor Leavitt. The seat went to Bart Hansen.
I would have to describe Ann as the most centrist of all of the candidates with a heavy focus on listening to citizens to represent the views of the community instead of dictating to them.
She has years of experience serving on various boards and commissions in Vancouver and is well known and respected in Vancouver. An accusation from the last election of her inability to work well with other people and not being recommended for reappointment is now known to be very mistaken.
Next to Jeanne Harris, Ann McEnerny-Ogle would have the most experience in community affairs related to city council.
He claims to be a Veteran of the U.S. Air Force, Supply Clerk and said he has been involved as a technology teacher at the middle and high school levels.
He and his wife raised a family of three children here in Vancouver, both of their sons having served in the Military and in Afghanistan. Their daughter is raising her own family in Vancouver.
While he lacks in experience, he has gained much support from the new local Republicans desiring to see a change on the city council.
Whether that will be enough to propel him through the primary and onto the general election remains to be seen.
Galina Burley is another political newcomer with several in the community feeling she was enlisted by Identity Clark County to try to keep this seat for CRC proponents since the initial announcement of her entry included her support of the CRC.
A direct question on her support of the now defunct project by blogger Kelly Hinton was met with a vague, non-committal reply.
Galina emigrated from Russia when she was 15 year-old in 1991. Of all of the candidates, she not only witnessed first-hand the oppression of socialism, but lived under it.
I sat down with her to a few weeks ago, but was disappointed our time was cut short and we didn’t get to discuss more about the issues of concern to her. In fact, we discussed very little about issues with my largest concern being a statement she makes on her Issues Page, “I commit to making the City of Vancouver a model of: ‘Equitable access to prosperity for all its citizens’.”
I was assured she does not mean socialism as she spoke of how her family arrived with on $50, but through hard work are now living the American Dream. Still, maybe it’s just me, but the wording disturbs me since every one of us already has all of the access to prosperity we are willing to work for.
Galina is employed by Clackamas County in Oregon and was previously employed by the City of Portland Office of Neighborhood Involvement and more recently the City of Norfolk, Virginia as a Community Outreach Manager.
She and her husband are raising three daughters in Vancouver and she appears to have the support of many members of Identity Clark County and the local Democrats.
Her ex-husband has recently raised several allegations against her, questioning her candidacy.
Adam Fox seems to be running a stealth campaign as there is very little know about or heard from him. In fact, next to nothing is being heard from him and his name isn’t even appearing in the Public Disclosure Commission files yet.
There hasn’t been anything added to his “official Facebook page for his 2013 bid” since shortly after being created in May.
The main political experience he claims is, “having worked as a fundraiser and organizer with several organizations locally, including Volunteers of America Oregon InAct, the Sharon Wylie/C-Tran campaign, Fund For the Public Interest, OSPIRG, and WSUV’s River Cities Anthropological Society.”
Obviously a liberal, I am left to wonder just how serious he is about seeking public office since we hear nothing from him or his campaign.
Voters in Vancouver have some choices to make for this position. To the best of my ability this is what I have gleaned from each candidate. Who wins in August and which two advance to the November general is in your hands,
I urge each of you to check each of the candidates out, visit their websites, attend campaign events and maybe invite them to speak before whatever group you may belong with and listen to where they stand.
Let’s be informed voters this time and know who is being elected and where they will take us.