The Camas City Council will consider nine applicants hoping to fill the Ward 1, Position 1 council seat left vacant this summer, after the surprise resignation of Shannon Roberts from the seat in July.
The council will hold two public meetings leading up to the appointment of the new council member. Members plan to discuss the nine applicants in an executive session closed to the public on Monday, before announcing which candidates will be asked to proceed with a more formal interview process.
There are some familiar names among the nine applicants vying for Roberts’ former council seat — including former Camas City Councilwoman Deanna Rusch, who lost to Roberts in the November 2019 election, during a local political shake-up that saw an incumbent mayor ousted by a write-in candidate, an incumbent council member (Rusch) defeated by a political newcomer (Roberts) in a 44 percent to 56 percent vote, and a 9-1 trouncing of a $73 million city bond measure to construct a public aquatics center.
Other candidates include several former local city council and school board candidates, including Camas Planning Commissioners Shawn High, Geoerl Niles and Gary Perman, all of whom unsuccessfully ran in the August 2021 primary election for the Council’s Ward 1, Position 2 seat.
Applicants for the position also include Julia Kornyushin-Anderson, a licensed mental health professional who has volunteered at the Camas Farmer’s Market; Samantha Horner, an administrative assistant with the Camas-Washougal Chamber of Commerce; John Nohr, fire chief for Clark-Cowlitz Fire Rescue; Hawk Rolewicz, retired pilot and owner of Smokie River Smoked Meats in Camas; and Jeremiah Stephen, a Vancouver insurance agent and 2021 Camas School Board candidate.
The council will schedule a special meeting to interview the finalists and make an appointment to the vacant Ward 1 seat. If the council does not appoint a replacement for Roberts’ seat before Oct. 24, the Clark County Council will select a new council member.
The selected council member will begin their duties at the next regularly scheduled council meeting and will serve the remainder of Roberts’ elected term, which ends on Nov. 28, 2023.