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Tuesday, February 20, 2024
Feb. 20, 2024

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Port of Camas-Washougal names new member

John Spencer replaces Mark Lampton, who died of cancer Aug. 3

By , Columbian Port & Economy Reporter

WASHOUGAL — Port of Camas-Washougal commissioners on Tuesday appointed John Spencer, former city administrator for the city of North Bonneville, to finish the District 1 term of the late Commissioner Mark Lampton.

The unanimous vote by commissioners Bill Ward and Bill Macrae-Smith during the port commission’s regular public meeting followed a special public meeting Sept. 15, when Ward and Macrae-Smith interviewed six candidates for the job.

Several candidates attended Tuesday’s evening meeting, including Spencer, who is expected to be sworn into office Oct. 6.

Spencer, whose professional experience includes serving as city administrator for North Bonneville from 2010 to 2013, said his top priority is to “learn everything I can about the port” and to approach issues on a “well-informed” basis.

His experience in city government, he said, “reduces the learning curve.”

Both Macrae-Smith and Ward said the pool of applicants was strong.

“It wasn’t as easy as I thought it was going to be,” Macrae-Smith said.

Ward said Spencer emerged as the candidate who would bring the most value to the port to “advance us on as a team.” Spencer matched several key attributes, Ward said, including “good judgment, community standing and relevant knowledge.”

The tasks ahead

After Spencer joins the three-member Port of Camas-Washougal board in early October, he will help the port manage several facilities and projects, including a 400-acre industrial park, a 79-hangar general aviation airport and a 350-slip pleasure boat marina. The port also oversees Captain William Clark Park at Cottonwood Beach, the adjacent protective levee and Parker’s Landing Historical Park, which was put on the National Register of Historic Places and Washington State Heritage Register in 1976.

Tuesday’s meeting was well-attended, and people applauded after the approval of Spencer’s appointment.

With his appointment to the port commission’s District 1 position, Spencer will serve the rest of Lampton’s second, four-year term, through 2017. Spencer would have to campaign for the office to serve beyond the end of that term. Spencer said he doesn’t know whether he’ll run for the position beyond 2017.

Lampton, 69, died of cancer on Aug. 3.

Columbian Port & Economy Reporter