Steve voted against the pool bond. What are his conditions to support a community center?
Steve, did you support the Pool Bond measure?
I voted NO on the Bond Measure, along with 90% of Camas voters.
I agreed with opponents of the ballot measure who felt that the financial impact was too great and didn’t benefit all Camasonians.
I do however support democracy and hearing directly from the voters. So when Mayor Shannon Turk requested to put the Pool Bond before the voters on the ballot so they could be heard, I supported allowing a public vote on a bond measure so that citizens could weigh in directly.
I expected citizens would not be in favor of it due to its financial burden on taxpayers, and that's exactly what was reflected in the outcome of that bond vote.
Crown Park's pool served the Camas community for 60 years but the pool was no longer able to meet health department standards. Repair costs had been rising significantly each year. The pool had been costing the city of Camas more to maintain than the revenue it brought in and the difficult decision was made to close the pool.
Read more about the Crown Park Pool closure here (Post-Record news article).
A year later, Camas voters rejected a public bond measure to finance a new community and aquatics center. The measure failed for two reasons: cost, and a disconnect between what citizens want and what city planners proposed.
As a result, for the first time in decades, Camas lacks a public pool facility.
Steve’s Plan of Action
While Steve supports the idea of a community or aquatics center, he does not believe taxpayers should bear the burden of this amenity, and previous plans did not fulfill that requirement.
Steve would support a community and aquatics center in the future only if it made sense for all Camasonians. That means any plan would have to meet at least two criteria:
1. The fixed capital costs (building, land, equipment, etc.) would have to be covered by donations or some means other than property taxes in Camas, and
2. The facility operating costs would have to be paid for by the people who actually chose to use the facility, in order to avoid further property tax impacts on those who didn’t.