Washougal councilman draws a pair of challengers

By Tyler Graf, Columbian county government reporter

Published:

 
photoPaul Greenlee

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Washougal City Councilman Paul Greenlee will face two opponents during the Aug. 6 primary.

The challengers are George Kolin, a Washougal attorney who previously ran for a council spot in 2011, and political newcomer Lisa D. Voeltz.

Kolin said Greenlee needs to go based on comments the councilman made in April, when he remarked that the city should refrain from staking a position on the CRC. At the time, Greenlee said it was a waste of the city's time because decisions about the megabridge would be made between Oregon and Washington.

That comment showed Greenlee was out of touch with a cross section of constituents, said Kolin, who opposed the project and wanted the city to address the issue. The project died in the Washington Legislature last month.

After sharing the stage with Voeltz during a League of Women Voters forum earlier in the month, Kolin enthused that she could make a great run at Greenlee's seat. He would wholeheartedly support her if she advanced past the primary, he said. The top two finishers in the Aug. 6 primary will advance to the Nov. 5 general election.

"Her mannerisms got to my heart," Kolin said. "She seemed genuinely green. She seemed so sincere. It's like a breath of fresh air."

Kolin insists he's still in the running for city council, saying he'd prioritize bringing jobs to Washougal and making the city a more business-friendly place.

At the candidates' forum, Voeltz, a business owner, said she was running to make a difference in Washougal. The election marks the first time Voeltz has run for elective office.

"We need to promote activities, events and local businesses that support our vibrant and growing city," she said.

Greenlee, who was first appointed to the council in 2007, said every decision he makes is based on what he thinks is best for the city.

Experience matters on city council, he said, especially as the city struggles to keep its utility rates from ballooning on an annual basis.

"We'll have to find a way to put our finances on a stable level," he said.

He said that will be a particular challenge moving forward because of restrictions at the state and local level on how the city collects money.

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

WASHOUGAL CITY COUNCIL CANDIDATES

Paul Greenlee

Age: 67.

Occupation: Retired.

Notable endorsements: None listed.

Money raised: $5,025 (as of July 12).

Website: http://www.pgreenlee.us (The website is under construction).

Lisa D. Voeltz

Age: 36.

Notable Endorsements: None listed.

Money raised: None (as of July 12).

Website: http://www.lisadvoeltz.com (inactive as of July 12).

George Kolin

Age: 47.

Occupation: Attorney.

Notable endorsements: None listed.

Money raised: None (as of July 12).

Website: http://www.georgekolin.com