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Sunday, June 4, 2023
June 4, 2023

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Washougal proposals leading in early returns

By , Columbian county government and small cities reporter

Two ballot Washougal ballot propositions were leading Tuesday night.

Proposition No. 9, which would effectively allow voters to directly elect mayors, is leading with 55.59 percent of the vote. Proposition No. 10, which would renew a six-year property tax levy for its share of the funding for the Camas-Washougal Fire Department, is leading with 65.72 percent.

Proposition No. 9 would designate city councilors elected to Position 1 as mayor for four-year terms. It requires a simple majority to pass and would take effect for the 2021 general election.

Two years ago, voters approved a switch from a mayor-council form of government to a council-manager arrangement. City residents directly elected mayors prior to that switch.

The Washougal City Council, in a 2018 resolution before the restructuring proposition passed, noted an intention to eventually return to direct election of mayors.

Washougal City Councilor Brent Boger, who supported the proposition, said he was happy with the results but that they were closer than he’d expected.

Considering the various changes to city government in the past couple of years, voters might have been confused about what, exactly, passage of the proposition would mean, Boger speculated. “People like to generally have a better choice.”

Proposition No. 10 needs a majority vote to be approved. It would implement a tax of 10 cents per $1,000 of assessed property value beginning in 2021. Owners of a $400,000 property would pay an extra $40 per year.

Columbian county government and small cities reporter