FAIRFIELD • Two candidates are running to fill a four-year Camas County Commissioner term.
Marshall Ralph and Monte Cangiamilla are running to replace Ron Chapman, who served as a county commissioner for 12 years.
Ralph said his top issues are economic activity, public schools and water.
“Because of our small population and our farawayness from big towns, Camas County can be a hard place to make a living,” Ralph said. “A lot of us enjoy the smallness and farawayness, for sure. But most of us also place a high value on our kids and our beloved local school system.”
He would like to see more job opportunities available for families with children.
“A bigger school population would be healthy and invigorating,” he said.
Another major issue he would like to tackle if elected is water uncertainty.
“County commissioners neither regulate water use or — as yet — control the weather,” he said. “Uncertainty about current and future water supply is a lively concern here, especially since agriculture is our county’s main industry and scarce, precious Camas water is a key constituent in the agricultural products being shipped down the road to markets elsewhere. How do we use this public resource fairly and smartly? That’s a hefty question.”
Cangiamilla said he wants to talk with community members about issues they would like him to tackle.
“The main reason I’m running is I like to be more involved with the community,” Cangiamilla said. “I was with the fire department for many years and was fire chief for a few of the years. Just getting older I wasn’t able to run up and down mountains anymore.”
Cangiamilla would like to see more growth in Fairfield, in terms of business and population.
“I think our county only has 1,500 people total,” he said. “So that’s not a very large tax base, which also makes it hard to run and own a business here. And most of these people only live here during the summer.”
Ralph said the best way to increase revenue in Camas County is to be irresistible to businesses and people.”
“Entice more people here to live or build second homes,” he said. “Entice more suitable businesses to build here. More taxable property equals more county revenue. Entice more people to live here. Entice more people to visit the hills for recreation: hunting, snowmobiling, skiing, cat skiing, kite skiing and kiteboarding. ...Seriously, Camas County is a very attractive place to lots of people, and all of us can cooperate in getting the story out about a great place to be.”