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August 1st, 2017 Primary Election Special Section, Part 1 - Mayoral Candidates

The following is an August 1st, 2017 primary election special section created in collaboration with the Washougal Round Table and RiverTalk Weekly.

The purpose of this collection of digital interviews is to encourage conversations about our candidates and get Washougal residents and business owners interested, wanting to dig further, and involved in the election.

These interviews were:

  • Conducted online via email

  • Candidate’s responses have not been altered in any way. Responses have been published as they were received.


Two City Council candidates did not submit their responses:

  • COUNCIL - POSITION NO. 1 Nonpartisan Office 4-year term, Brent Boger

  • COUNCIL - POSITION NO. 6 Nonpartisan Office 4-year term, Adam S. Philbin


Important dates:

  • Primary Election Day is Tuesday, August 1, 2017.

  • Election certification (official results released) on August 15, 2017.

  • General Election Day is Tuesday, November 7, 2017.

  • Election certification (official results released) on November 28, 2017.


Learn more at


Molly Coston

Molly Coston

Your Elected Experience: 6 Years as a Washougal City Council member 2005-2011


Other Professional Experience:

Senior Project Manager (retired) – Nortel Networks - managed large telecommunications projects in Micronesia, Alaska, and the Pacific Northwest. Board Certified Project Manager by Project Management Institute.



University of Arizona, Bachelor of Science in Biology /Organic Chemistry

George Washington University – Masters Certificate in Project Management


Community Service:

Camas-Washougal Rotary Club

UNITE! Community Coalition

Clark County League of Women Voters

Meals on Wheels volunteer

Lost and Found Café volunteer

St. Anne’s Episcopal Church – team member of Car Camping program

Civil Service Commission

Columbia Gorge Refuge Stewards – President, Board of Directors

Citizens for Better Schools PAC – long time active member

Young Women in Action – 5th grade mentorship program at Hathaway Elem


Statement Issues and Goals:  I care about this community, and will work hard to provide a better quality of life for all our citizens.  More businesses will come to our community if it is perceived as being stable and safe. And, as a small city, it is essential that we form collaborative alliances with our neighboring entities, such as the City of Camas, and the Port of Camas-Washougal. Through these alliances, we can achieve an economy of scale, and tackle projects that we could not afford to do alone. I’ll be fiscally smart and will act responsibly with our taxpayer dollars.




Website:   (coming soon!)


1.Please explain why you are seeking this office by listing and describing your three most important issues facing you when you are elected?

  • 1.  Economic Development -  Government’s job is to provide an environment that attracts and fosters businesses. I will ensure that permitting is streamlined and made as efficient as possible. In addition, businesses consider a variety of factors when deciding where to locate; stability in government, and public safety are just two of the important factors we need to ensure.

  • 2. Transportation – We need a stable revenue source to keep our streets and sidewalks in good condition, as well as a way to fund new sidewalks, walking paths, and roads. BNSF cuts through the middle of our city, and we need to find a solution to the stacking up of traffic at the 32nd Street crossing.

  • 3. Parks and Public Spaces- We need more places to walk, bike, picnic, share and enjoy. When we share these amenities, it unites the community together in a common purpose, and increases the quality of life for us all.


2.What does success look like for Washougal?

Success for Washougal is: a vibrant and busy downtown core, more businesses along the major streets, more parks and public open spaces, informed and involved citizens, a sense that we are safe, no matter what where you are in town, and people out enjoying it all.  


3.How will you foster a positive culture of community, change, and connection within Washougal?

I will lead by example, and encourage all our citizens to become more engaged within the community. I will encourage programs such as Neighborhood Associations and Neighborhood Watch throughout the city; these kinds of programs encourage volunteer participation and complement City resources. More and better communication between the elected officers and the citizens.


4.As it relates to the position you are running for, what are your three biggest strengths and three most prominent weaknesses?

My biggest strengths are: Genuine love for the community, a long and rich history of effectiveness as an elected official, and my leadership skills, honed through experience.

My three most prominent weaknesses:  I’m a “big picture” person, and can visualize the final result, but I need to delegate detail work to others; I am still active in many different organizations, which could dilute my intensity in each; and I sometimes take myself too seriously.


Dan Coursey

Dan Coursey

Your Elected Experience: Current Washougal City Councilman


Other Professional Experience:  Professionally I am a systems engineer focused on computer server system implementations, networks and design.  I worked with large groups of diverse people on complex projects.  Previously I was in the banking industry as a lending officer, business development officer, analyst, and management information systems.  


Education:  Bachelor Science Degree Texas Tech University, Associates Degree Computer Science Sierra College, Business Finance and Accounting curriculums at Metropolitan State University Denver and American River College.  Professional development coursework in information technology at Portland State University.


Community Service:  Alzheimers Association Washington State Chapter volunteer and supporter, Gateway Church Run for the Hungry volunteer, West Columbia Gorge Humane Society volunteer and supporter, Shared Hope International contributor and supporter.


Statement Issues and Goals:  As Washougal grows, it is important that we build a sustainable infrastructure, with an eye to the future, while retaining our unique quality of life. My wife and I love Washougal and want great things to happen in our city, our schools, and for our families here.  As a current Washougal City Councilman, systems engineer, and financial analyst, I provide skills to lead into the future. I believe in transparent, limited, fiscally responsible government. Adequate government that serves the needs of the people, but doesn't place an undue burden on them. I will advocate for the small businesses in our city and work to bring in more. We will continue to improve the conditions of our streets and transportation corridors, provide new family venues and enhance the natural beauty of our city and waterfront in all our efforts.  I will promote and work with property owners, businesses and community groups to vitalize our downtown core and livability there. I understand the value of maintaining a positive focus on the future, sound economic principles, a solid infrastructure, and how those values can translate to more opportunity for working families. Your ideas and concerns matter to me and I will listen to all.  I am here to work and look forward to hearing from you.  I ask for your vote and the honor of serving you as Mayor of your city.





1.Please explain why you are seeking this office by listing and describing your three most important issues facing you when you are elected?

  • Improve the fiscal condition of our city by encouraging new businesses, shops and jobs to come here; continue to vitalize the downtown core, and continue to partner with the Port to bring in clean industry and family wage jobs

  • Control taxes, fees and costs, to attract and keep private enterprise and residents here.

  • Improve infrastructure including the condition of our streets and look for ways to reduce future congestion.


2.What does success look like for Washougal?  I’ve learned that success is more of a path than a destination.  We need to provide opportunity and an environment for everyone, especially working families and their children, to grow and achieve their goals.  We need to care for the older and the needy citizens in our community.  We should preserve the rural character of our community while attracting new jobs and businesses, and enhance the natural beauty of our city in all our efforts.


3.How will you foster a positive culture of community, change, and connection within Washougal?  Please see #2 above.  And at the end of the day I want kids and families to be able to look back and remember Washougal as a good, safe place to grow up.


4.As it relates to the position you are running for, what are your three biggest strengths

  • Great listener – have talked one on one with many citizens and am always open to hear about concerns and perspectives on the topics that are important to the citizens of Washougal.

  • I feel it is important for elected individuals to respectfully put citizens first, and consider all sides of a topic prior to making a decision.

  • I feel strongly that transparency is important to a healthy city government.


and three most prominent weaknesses?

  • I have high standards for myself and others, and that can be a little off-putting for some people.  While I have not changed my standards, I have learned that touching base with people that have deliverables due prior to a deadline is helpful to ensure that they are on track, and also that way I can offer to assist if they have encountered a roadblock.

  • Some have said that I am on the quiet side.  I would like people to know that I am the analytic type and feel compelled to weigh all elements related to a topic prior to engaging.  For the past several years, and through my successful campaign for City Council, up to even this week, I have met with many citizens and a variety of community groups to understand their concerns on key topics so we can all get to know each other better.

  • Now that I am mostly retired, I have had the time to do more things like help with painting the new Washougal Salvation Army building, donated and visited with Interfaith Treasure House at their fantastic facility, and am in discussion with them and others about how I can get even more involved in giving back to our Washougal neighbors and friends. The travel time and turbulent schedule of my career made for long days, so I was not able to be as involved with some local non-profit groups that I would have liked to have joined.