The race for Vancouver City Council’s Position 6 seat isn’t short on candidates. By the time Clark County’s filing week closed Friday evening, seven people were vying for the position — five who had already declared campaigns and two surprise, late entries.
Dorel Singeorzan, 49, falls into the latter category. When the pastor and business owner filed to run for city council May 16, it was a last-minute decision, he said.
“I just decided to run,” Singeorzan said, adding that he’d been encouraged by friends and family to turn his business acumen to public service.
“Our city has a lot of potential,” he said. “Right now, it’s growing faster than we expected, but it’s nice. The economy is going well, but I think it can go even better.”
He described his platform as business-forward — the city council’s first priority should be to cut the red tape and attract jobs north of the Columbia River, he said. Tax incentives and simpler permitting processes are key to that.
“We have thousands of people who could work, and they spend hours in traffic every day driving to Portland,” Singeorzan said. “Instead of spending hours in traffic, they can spend (time) with their family or doing something recreational.”
Singeorzan also said he’d push to better advertise Vancouver’s railroad and port infrastructure to private enterprise.
“We have railroads, we have a great port that’s not used to full capacity. We need to let companies domestic and international know about the great potential that is in Vancouver,” he said.
On a freshly minted website, Singeorzan also detailed his campaign’s position on housing.
“Unfortunately, many times there is too much red tape that slows or prevents many developers from building. As a council member, I plan to vote down and work against any new regulations that are not necessary. I have personally experienced some of the excessive and unnecessary regulations,” his website states.
He also addressed homelessness with a four-part plan: The city should “discourage all able bodied people that can work and do not want to work from staying in our city,” should support and enable law enforcement to “remove from the street anybody that breaks the law or are a danger,” should establish programs “to help everyone less fortunate who are able and willing to work,” and finally, assist homeless people who can’t work by placing them in facilities where “they get the proper health and care.”
In his interview with The Columbian, Singeorzan mentioned another goal of his candidacy — attracting a third hospital to Vancouver.
“We grow fast, and our two hospitals, PeaceHealth and Legacy, are in my opinion overcrowded. We need at least one more hospital in the near future,” he said.
Singeorzan is a senior pastor at Slavic Church Emmanuel in Portland. He moved to Clark County from Romania 27 years ago, and he and his wife, Lidia, raised six kids in Vancouver.
“We are so proud that now we have eight grandchildren, four boys and four girls, and they are making our life happy,” he said.
His conversation with The Columbian didn’t veer into national politics, but Singeorzan is politically outspoken on his personal Facebook page. His most recent public post, on May 15, praised new abortion restrictions in Alabama. On May 7, he also posted a 2016 memory of his son holding a sign supporting then-presidential candidate Donald Trump.