Three Battle Ground City Council members, including the city’s deputy mayor, are seeking re-election Nov. 8. Ballots are due to go out Wednesday.
All six candidates who filed to run for Battle Ground council automatically advanced to the general election because all three races had two candidates.
Deputy Mayor Phil Haberthur is running against Shane Bowman and fellow incumbents Paul Zandamela and Chris Regan are running against challengers Adrian Cortes and Philip L. Johnson, respectively.
Battle Ground is Clark County’s third-largest city behind Vancouver and Camas. The 2010 census put Battle Ground’s population at 17,571. The city’s mayor is selected by the city council.
Two of the council races feature candidates backed by Battle Ground Mayor Mike Ciraulo and former mayor/current Councilman Bill Ganley going head-to-head against candidates backed by US Digital CEO David Madore and Clark County Commissioner Tom Mielke.
Among the candidates, job growth and taxes were the two most commonly cited issues facing the city.
Haberthur pointed to city revenues, jobs and parks as his top three items. He has Ciraulo and Ganley’s support in his quest for a second term.
Bring more jobs to Battle Ground and the city’s sales tax revenue and budget will be strengthened, Haberthur said. The city should seek to partner with other jurisdictions to share costs of parks ownership and maintenance, he added.
Haberthur’s opponent, Bowman, is also campaigning on a pro-business, pro-parks platform.
Bowman lists his top priorities as reducing the city’s small-business tax in order to stimulate business, making sure there is adequate financial support for public safety services and finding new parks for community sports.
The Zandamela-Cortes race also features a battle involving a fiscally conservative candidate backed by Mielke and Madore (Zandamela) running against a candidate supported by Ciraulo (Cortes).
Zandamela’s top issues are opposing taxes on cinema admissions and raising property and utility taxes, using tax increment financing to stimulate private investment in city projects and implementing a three-month ban on real estate impact fees to boost development and small-business ownership.
Zandamela’s opponent, Cortes, has focused his campaign on three issues: jobs, economic development and public safety.
Cortes opposes admissions taxes and has worked as a planning commission chairman to lower impact fees, he said. He supports growing the city’s tax base through job creation, such as construction jobs, rather than raising taxes. He also opposes outsourcing Battle Ground’s police department.
Unlike other candidates, Regan has shunned campaign contributions and endorsements. He did support Haberthur, however.
Regan said he prefers to run on his seven-plus years on the council. His top issues are maintaining core services, such as police and fire, in light of budget constraints, planning for the future (i.e., he supports a sewer coalition) and comprehensive planning for future annexations.
Johnson supports reducing or freezing all city taxes and fees to give residents a chance to budget. He is questioning every ordinance to see if it benefits or hinders residents and wants to establish a chain of responsibility to be able to hold people accountable, especially on big city decisions.
Johnson also supports setting up a system to provide each citizen a free “building” permit once or twice a year to make sure they are in compliance with city rules and to help the city know what they are doing with their property.
Battle Ground City Council
Background: Vancouver lawyer, member of the Battle Ground Rotary Club, board member of Leadership Clark County, ad hoc representative of Battle Ground Chamber of Commerce, assistant youth football coach.
Money raised: $1,000.
Major endorsements: Battle Ground Mayor Mike Ciraulo, former Battle Ground mayor/current Councilman Bill Ganley, Battle Ground Councilman Chris Regan, former Battle Ground mayor John Idsinga, Clark County Auditor Greg Kimsey, former Vancouver Mayor Royce Pollard.
Background: Owns a fire equipment company, unsuccessfully ran for council once, president of Battle Ground’s Little League baseball program, active in Boy Scouts of America and Battle Ground’s Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.
Money raised: $2,200.
Major endorsements: Clark County Commissioner Tom Mielke, Battle Ground Councilwoman Lisa Walters, congressional candidate Maria Rodriguez Salazar and U.S. Digital CEO David Madore.
Background: Owns Infinity Information Systems, which provides business solutions for residential and small business, active in Battle Ground’s Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, children’s advocate in Battle Ground and Southwest Washington.
Funds raised: N/A.
Major endorsements: Clark County Commissioner Tom Mielke, State Rep. Paul Harris, Washougal Councilman Jon Russell, congressional candidate Maria Rodriguez Salazar, U.S. Digital CEO David Madore and Battle Ground’s Building Industry Association.
Background: Managing member for a family-owned real estate holding company and full-time student at Warner Pacific College in Portland, chairman of Battle Ground Planning Commission, Battle Ground Chamber of Commerce board member, commissioner for Vancouver-Clark Parks and Recreation Commission and charter member of Battle Ground Rotary Club.
Money raised: $5,905.51.
Major endorsements: State Rep. Ann Rivers, Clark County Commissioner Marc Boldt, former Battle Ground mayors John Idsinga and Bill Ganley, Deputy Mayor Phil Haberthur and Clark County Assessor Peter Van Nortwick.
Philip L. Johnson
Background: Owner of Battle Ground Services (a notary, home rehab business); 25-year Army veteran.
Money raised: $3,700 ($2,500 total from him and his wife).
Major endorsements: Battle Ground Councilwoman Lisa Walters, Battle Ground’s Building Industry Association.
Background: Retail sales manager.
Money raised: None.
Major endorsements: None.
Ray Legendre: 360-735-4517; www.facebook.com/raylegend; www.twitter.com/col_smallcities; email@example.com.