Turlay sworn in as new Vancouver city councilor

He says his first term will include tough decisions on budget

By Andrea Damewood, Columbian staff writer

Published:

Updated: December 29, 2011, 6:04 PM

 

Bill Turlay became the first city councilor to be sworn in at Vancouver’s new City Hall on Thursday morning, in front of dozens of family, friends and supporters.

Placing his hand on a family Bible, he was sworn in shortly after 10 a.m. by Clark County Auditor Greg Kimsey. He promised to uphold the United States Constitution and faithfully discharge his duties as a city council member.

Afterward, in a short speech, he noted his first term will include difficult budget decisions as the economy continues its drag on local government income.

“But I have faith in our ability to resolve our future problems,” he said. “We have a good group on the city council now, and I think we’ll get things done.”

Turlay noted that he campaigned against creeping taxes, but he also campaigned against debt. He noted Vancouver pays about $10 million a year from its general fund to pay off bonds. But he also commented that the city council has moved toward a “pay-as-you-go” system for capital improvements, cutting debt but also requiring fee hikes to cover necessary infrastructure work.

“That is good,” he said. “We’ve got to realize there’s going to be incremental increases here and there.”

Among those in the audience were his wife, children and numerous grandchildren. Also there were state Rep. Ann Rivers, R-La Center, County Commissioner Marc Boldt, Mayor Tim Leavitt, and city councilors Larry Smith and Bart Hansen.

“Just in case there were not enough people from the local area to show up, I brought my own,” Turlay joked.

Turlay, 75, defeated retired teacher and Shumway Neighborhood Association President Anne McEnerny-Ogle in November. The two challengers edged out first-term councilor Pat Campbell in the August primary.

Turlay’s first city council meeting will be Jan. 9.

Andrea Damewood: 360-735-4542 or andrea.damewood@columbian.com or www.facebook.com/reporterdamewood or www.twitter.com/col_cityhall