Incumbent Ciraulo faces 3 challengers in Battle Ground

Campaign gets testy as opponents knock record of vacationing councilor

By Tyler Graf, Columbian county government reporter

Published:

 
photoMike Ciraulo
photoLyle Lamb

Three political newcomers have their sights set on unseating Battle Ground City Councilman Mike Ciraulo.

Cherish DesRochers, Richard Brown and Lyle Lamb are campaigning for Ciraulo's Position 1 seat. And the busiest council race among Clark County's small cities has turned testy as Ciraulo hikes the Pacific Crest Trail with his two sons.

Brown and others have accused Ciraulo of flip-flopping on developing a community pool. Ciraulo is in favor of a proposal calling for the city to work with the YMCA and possibly the school district to build a pool. But while serving as mayor five years ago, Ciraulo was skeptical of a pool proposal advanced by former Councilman Paul Zandamela.

Brown questions the timing of Ciraulo's support for the new pool project and the idea of issuing bonds to pay for it.

"I think there are other (funding) avenues the city could look at," he said.

Brown said as mayor he'd work to lower the burden on taxpayers.

For his part, Ciraulo has taken to Facebook to dispute that he's flip-flopping and using a popular project to advance his campaign.

In a post on the social network Tuesday, Ciraulo wrote that he was disappointed his opponents were using his absence to "lie about the facts concerning the pool project in Battle Ground."

He said he opposed one proposal to build a community pool several years ago because there were already ongoing discussions with the YMCA to work with the city on the project. In recent months, a community group has revived the proposal, Ciraulo wrote, so he's supporting it at the council level. On Monday, in Ciraulo's absence, council voted to push back future discussions of the pool project until after the Nov. 5 election.

Ciraulo, who's served on city council for more than a decade, said he wants to continue serving on city council.

His opponents say it's time to bring new views to council. One is putting money behind his convic

tions.

Lamb, an active Republican precinct committee officer, has raised $1,610 in campaign donations, according to Washington's Public Disclosure Commission.

Changes need to occur on the city council, he said. In particular, he said, the city's budget should be cut to reflect how people in the community are still being affected by the recession.

"In some cases, we've been running on cruise control," Lamb said.

Lamb said his experience working for the U.S. Postal Service and the National Guard has taught him how to handle bureaucracy.

Saying the council lacks female representation -- Mayor Lisa Walters is the only woman on the Battle Ground City Council and is the city's first female mayor -- Cherish DesRochers said she wants to inspire more women to run for local office.

Keeping Battle Ground's small-town flavor would be one of her priorities, DesRochers said. She supports using tax or other incentives to compel people who want to occupy dormant or under-used commercial space.

"Smart growth would be using what we have now before we build more," she said.

DesRochers also supports implementing citizen advisory committees to oversee city decisions, a move Brown also backs.

Tyler Graf: 360-735-4517; http://www.twitter.com/col_smallcities;tyler.graf@columbian.com

BATTLE GROUND CITY COUNCIL, POSITION 1 CANDIDATES

Mike Ciraulo

Age: 50.

Occupation: Division chief, Clark County Fire & Rescue.

Notable endorsements: Camas City Councilman Steve Hogan, Washougal Mayor Sean Guard, Clark County Prosecutor Tony Golik.

Money raised: None (as of July 12).

Website: http://voteciraulo.com

Cherish DesRochers

Age: 30.

Occupation: C-Tran passenger service representative.

Notable endorsements: None listed.

Money raised: None (as of July 12).

Website: http://www.votecherish.com

Richard Brown

Age: 44.

Occupation: IT engineer.

Notable endorsements: None listed.

Money raised: None (as of July 12).

Website: http://brownforbg.com

Lyle Lamb

Age: 37.

Occupation: U.S. Postal Service.

Notable endorsements: None listed.

Money raised: $1,610 (as of July 12).

Website: http://lylelamb4bg.com