Boger beefs with Battle Ground councilors

An op-ed column by two Battle Ground city councilors didn’t sit well with Washougal Councilman Brent Boger. The column, written by councilors Adrian Cortes and Mike Ciraulo, says Washougal won’t necessarily gain stability by changing its form of government to a weak mayor system– the same form of government as Battle Ground. Washougal voters will weigh in on the idea on Nov. 5.

The most important form of governance is one which is transparent in every manner (regardless of procedural requirements), one that protects the voice of the people, and one that recognizes that council member seats and Mayoral titles are bestowed by the citizens—not exclusive clubs in which political games can be played.

Now as a paramount disclosure we must submit the following mantra: “when visiting the house of a friend avoid telling them how they should arrange their furniture”.

What this means is voters of Washougal know what is best in how they will govern themselves. However, as an informational tool Battle Ground can provide valuable insight.

Changes in governance alone do not bring stabilization or solve the problems of communities—regardless if the problems are interpersonal dynamics, financial issues, or important policy directions.

Adrian Cortes & Mike Ciraulo

More than anything, the column is one long dig at the other Battle Ground city councilors who, earlier in the summer, voted to move ahead with plans to revamp the procedure by which the  mayor is elected. You have to read between the lines, but that’s what the column is about. Cortes and Ciraulo have maintained that discussions about making the procedural change, whereby the deputy mayor would automatically move into the top slot after the mayor’s term ends, haven’t been transparent.

In swooped Boger, the self-styled Johann Wolfgang Goethe of Facebook. What I’m saying is, the man is prolific.

It is unfortunate that some officials from Battle Ground and Washougal have taken it upon themselves to get involved in each other’s politics. First, Washougal’s Mayor, Sean Guard endorsed Battle Ground Councilor, Mike Ciraulo and sent a letter into Battle Ground’s paper. However unwise, that certainly was within Mayor Guard’s rights. But I think Battle Ground voters are fully capable of making their own decisions on who should serve on their city council.Unfortunately it didn’t stop there. Mr. Ciraulo returned the favor and along with Battle Ground Councilor Adrian Cortes, wrote an opinion piece in the Camas-Washougal Post Record informing us about the recent controversy regarding Battle Ground’s procedures for electing your mayor.Washougal is currently considering changing its form of government to the council manager form that Battle Ground has used with general success since 1997. The effect of their column was to magnify what seems to me to be a pretty unusual problem Battle Ground has and inform us that the council manager system is not perfect. We know that no system is perfect. Thank you for sharing.What would motivate them to tell Washougal voters to tell us about Battle Ground controversies is beyond me. But it does seem designed to influence an election in Washougal to adopt Battle Ground’s generally successful system.
Are officials from different towns overstepping their boundaries? Probably not, honestly; Boger, though, rarely shies away from voicing his opinions on the sundry ways of improving Washougal’s form of government. What’s happening now is that the infighting taking place within each city — between councilors Adrian Cortes/Mike Ciraulo and the rest of the Battle Ground council, and between Mayor Sean Guard and the rest of the Washougal council — is spilling out beyond the city limits. Allegiances and alliances are being forged, and they’re crossing jurisdictional lines. It’s like a modern-day episode of “Game of Thrones,” sans the graphic violence and nudity (thankfully).
But even as Boger takes issue with how councilors from another city are inserting themselves into Washougal’s politics, he’s still willing to endorse council candidates in Battle Ground. He’s throwing his support behind Lyle Lamb, who’s running against Ciraulo. And he’s endorsing Lisa Walters over challenger Mike Dalesandro, whom Boger writes has a “fundamental lack of understanding about how local government works ….”
One thing can be said of Boger: He’s never short on opinions, and he’s usually willing to share them.
Tyler Graf

Tyler Graf

I started working for The Columbian in 2012 and currently cover Clark County. I'm a 2007 graduate of The University of Oregon. Contact me at

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