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News / Politics / Clark County Politics

Three-way contest for Battle Ground City Council Position 3

Candidates voice concern for city’s continued growth

By Shari Phiel, Columbian staff writer
Published: July 18, 2023, 4:01pm

Among the races on the Aug. 1 primary ballot is the three-way contest between Daniel Dingman, Victoria Ferrer and Craig Wigginton for the Battle Ground City Council Position 3 seat.

Dingman was appointed in June to succeed Shauna Walters, who moved to a home outside the city limits.

A statement from Wigginton read during a July 6 candidate forum hosted by the League of Women Voters said he was no longer actively campaigning for the council position, but his name would still appear on the ballot. Ferrer did not respond to requests for an interview from The Columbian.

Dingman, who recently retired after working in the paper and packaging industry for 35 years, said managing the city’s growth is his number one priority.

“We have no choice whether we want to grow or not. The Growth Management Act that was passed in 1990 requires us to plan for ‘X’ amount of growth,” he said.

While serving on the city’s planning commission, Dingman said he worked on strengthening the city’s building codes to ensure high standards for new developments are met. He said he wants to continue that work on the council and ensure that, even with growth, Battle Ground remains a beautiful and livable city.

Enforcing those high standards will mean Battle Ground is “getting nice parks for the kids, getting the proper lighting, that we’re following all the things that will make new developments enhance our city rather than ‘Oh God, there’s another apartment, there’s another development,’ ” he said.

Ferrer seems equally concerned about Battle Ground’s continued growth. In her statement for the Clark County voters’ pamphlet, she wrote Battle Ground “needs leadership that will truly listen to ‘We the people.’ I say no to Portland 2.0 because I value our natural landscape and our rural values and I’m concerned about our fast growing community.”

She wrote responsible planning is needed to ensure the city’s roads, schools and natural resources are not overburdened and that residents have access to affordable housing.

“I will work with my fellow council members to achieve responsible financial spending while ensuring citizens receive quality services that will not require additional taxes,” Ferrer wrote her statement.

Like most cities in Washington, Battle Ground is in the midst of updating its comprehensive growth plan ahead of the state’s June 2025 deadline. Dingman said the city’s infrastructure, especially roads related to new construction, must be addressed in the plan.

Another issue Dingman wants to address is homelessness. While many might think small towns like Battle Ground don’t have a homeless population, Dingman said that’s not the case.

“We really need to have a good plan in place to deal with the homeless, in the sense that we don’t want our city to end up being like Portland with the camping on the streets and all of that,” he said. “I have a huge amount of empathy for people who are truly homeless and down on their luck.”

He said the city needs to have systems in place, whether that’s working with church groups or others, to provide help to those who want it.

For Ferrer, the city’s water system is another issue. In her statement she said Battle Ground is not among the state’s top 10 cities for clean water and that’s a concern for the residents.

“I’ll ensure zoning is being fully researched and your health and safety are more important than growth and revenue,” she said.

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If voters have not received their ballot by Thursday, call the Clark County Elections office at 564-397-2345 to request a replacement ballot. Replacement ballots can be requested in person or by email or phone. Replacement ballots can be requested online at https://votewa.gov.

The last day to submit new voter registrations or update existing registrations online or by mail is 5 p.m. Monday. Voters can still register and update existing voter registrations after Monday, but will have to do so in person no later than 8 p.m. Aug. 1.

An online voters’ guide and a sample ballot are available at https://clark.wa.gov/elections.