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Children playing in the Esther Short Park Water Feature in Vancouver, Washington
Children playing in the Esther Short Park Water Feature in Vancouver, Washington
City of Vancouver makes a splash, opens Esther Short Park water feature (Photo) - 05/21/22

Vancouver, Wash. – The beloved water feature at Esther Short Park (West 6th Street and Columbia Street) opened to the public today. The Columbia River water feature at Vancouver Waterfront Park (695 Waterfront Way) is still being prepared for seasonal operations with plans to open by the end of May. 

The Esther Short Park water feature is a popular spot for residents and visitors to cool off on hot summer days. The feature includes a waterfall that cascades down a path of boulders, providing comfortable seating for parkgoers of all ages. The water is typically turned on daily, from dawn to dusk through the summer months. 

The water used in both features is continuously circulated and treated; it is not safe to ingest. For more information about operations, rules and safety guidelines at Vancouver’s water features, visit  


Incoming Vancouver Chief of Police Jeff Mori
Incoming Vancouver Chief of Police Jeff Mori
City of Vancouver Announces Next Police Chief (Photo) - 05/18/22

Vancouver, Wash. – After conducting a national search, along with a transparent and inclusive hiring process, the City of Vancouver has selected Jeffrey Mori as its next Chief of Police. This appointment is effective at 5 p.m. on June 30. 

“Assistant Chief Mori’s experience and background, teamed with his proven ability to build and maintain meaningful relationships in the community, has prepared him well for this role,” said City Manager Eric Holmes. “His clear vision for the future of community safety in Vancouver helped him emerge as the top candidate in a very competitive pool. I am confident in his ability to lead our Police Department in its next chapter.” 

Mori will bring 29 years of progressively responsible law enforcement experience to the role, including nine years as Undersheriff for Washington County, Oregon and most recently three years as Assistant Chief for the Vancouver Police Department. He is a graduate of the Police Executive Research Forum’s (PERF) Senior Management Institute for Police (SMIP), the Federal Bureau of Investigation’s (FBI) National Academy, the Oregon State Sheriff’s Associated Command College, and the Harvard Kennedy School Senior Executives in State and Local Government program. He holds a bachelor’s degree from Oregon State University and is working toward his master’s in Public Safety from University of Virginia (projected 2023). 

“The NAACP is proud of the decision the city made. Jeff Mori has shown consistent commitment in navigating difficult and systematic issues within our community,” said Vancouver NAACP President Jasmine Tolbert. “Jeff has a healthy commitment to racial equity, and we hope to continue to partner with him on that journey. Ultimately the NAACP of Vancouver is here to hold the Vancouver Police Department accountable, but we are excited to work with Jeff.”  

“I am tremendously honored and excited to be able to serve the Vancouver Police Department as its next Chief,” said incoming Police Chief Jeff Mori. “The Vancouver Police Department is a premier agency in Washington thanks to the professionalism and service of the men and women who show up each day to do the work to keep our community safe. I look forward to leading the Vancouver Police Department in our continued efforts to expand community partnerships and relationships, grow the agency and increase transparency and trust.” 

Information regarding a formal swearing-in ceremony for the incoming Chief of Police will follow at a later date. 




Vancouver recreation programs awarded $425,000 to fuel summer youth activities - 05/17/22

Vancouver, Wash. – Vancouver Parks, Recreation and Cultural Services was awarded up to $425,000 from the Summer Experiences and Enrichment for Kids (SEEK) Fund to expand summer recreation opportunities for Vancouver area youth. 

The 2022 SEEK funds will support three summer programs that create safe, supportive and equitable recreation opportunities for K-12 youth:

  • Summer Day Camps
  • Youth Sports Camps and Clinics
  • Urban Youth Leadership Program

The purpose of the SEEK Fund is to increase access to quality, outdoor summer programming for youth and communities who have historically been underserved and who have been most impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic. 

“Safe outdoor recreation opportunities are so important to the physical, mental and emotional health of young people,” said Recreation Manager, David Perlick. “This SEEK funding will allow us to expand these programs and serve more youth and families in our community.” 

The SEEK Fund is made possible through federal funds distributed to the Washington Office of the Superintendent of Public Instruction (OSPI) under the American Rescue Plan Act. In collaboration with the Association of Washington Cities (AWC) and the Washington Recreation & Park Association (WRPA), OSPI will provide over $10 million for 2022 summer programs to over 70 parks and recreation agencies across the state. 

Learn more about Vancouver Parks, Recreation and Cultural Services programming at


Esther Short Park playground construction set for June - 05/16/22

Vancouver, Wash. – Construction on a new, accessible play area at Esther Short Park (W. 8th and Columbia Streets) is slated to begin in June. The new play area is part of the department’s Project Play initiative and features a fully inclusive design that invites people of all ages and abilities to play together in the state’s oldest public square.

Vancouver Parks, Recreation and Cultural Services had planned a new play area at the park for late 2022 but the project timeline was moved up after a fire destroyed the existing play area in January. The new Esther Short Park play area was designed in partnership with local non-profit Harper’s Playground and AKS Engineering and Forestry. It incorporates accessible equipment and natural materials that are key to the Harper’s Playground model. Decorative elements will reference the historical significance of the park and honor its Victorian design.

Esther Short Park will remain open during construction, but areas near the west edge of the park may be closed to help ensure the public’s safety during construction. Construction is expected to be completed this fall, weather dependent. 

Vancouver Parks, Recreation and Cultural Services is the lead agency on this project. The construction contract was awarded to Pence Construction of Lake Oswego, Oregon.

Learn more about the project at

Vancouver Parks, Recreation and Cultural Services director recognized for community leadership; department awarded $32,500 to support youth recreation - 05/13/22

Vancouver, Wash. – Vancouver Parks, Recreation and Cultural Services Director, Julie Hannon was awarded the Florence B. Wager Leading Eagle Award from the Parks Foundation of Clark County at their annual luncheon at the Vancouver Hilton on May 5. The department also received $32,500 in community grants to support youth recreation.

The Florence B. Wager Awards were created by the Parks Foundation of Clark County in 2011 to recognize staff, volunteers, and community leaders who have had a significant impact on the development and enhancement of parks, trails, and recreational programs throughout Clark County and its municipalities. Julie Hannon, director of Vancouver Parks, Recreation and Cultural Services was recognized with the Leading Eagle Award for her exceptional leadership overseeing the City’s recreation programs and 1,760-acre parks system. 

Parks Foundation of Clark County also awarded community grants to two Vancouver recreation programs that create safe, supportive and equitable recreation opportunities for children and teens in Vancouver. 

  • $25,000 to Summer Playgrounds Program from the Tod and Maxine McClaskey Foundation
    The Summer Playgrounds program provides free day camp activities and USDA-certified lunches for children ages 6-11 at three convenient neighborhood sites from June to August. The program serves more than 250 children each year.
  • $7,500 to Teen Late Night Programs from Chase Bank 
    Teen Late Night provides a safe, healthy and fun environment for local teens at Marshall and Firstenburg community centers every Friday night during the school year. Teen Late Night has been on hold since 2020 due to COVID-19 but it will return to serve youth in Fall 2022. 

“We are grateful for the significant investment our recreation programs receive from these grants and community partners,” said Recreation Manager, David Perlick. “By supporting programs that serve our city’s youth, these grants are creating a brighter future for Vancouver.” 

Learn more about Vancouver Parks and Recreation programming at


City seeks volunteers to serve on Urban Forestry Commission - 05/12/22

Vancouver, Wash. – The City of Vancouver is seeking applicants interested in filling three vacancies on its volunteer Urban Forestry Commission (UFC). The deadline to apply is 5 p.m. Sunday, June 12. 

The UFC is an active working group that helps plan and implement tree events, build neighborhood association relationships, support public education, and plan community recognition programs related to appreciation of our community’s trees. Vancouver is proud to have been named Tree City USA by the Arbor Day Foundation for the past 33 years, an honor that is due in large part to the work of the commission members.

The commission’s advisory role includes reviewing and informing Vancouver’s urban forestry policies and regulations, assisting with updating the Urban Forestry program’s work plan, and administering the Heritage Tree Program, Arbor Day recognition and awards programs. 

The UFC understands we all share in the responsibility to create a positive culture and to ensure equity, inclusion, dignity and respect for all. Those who have an interest in urban forestry and the environmental, economic, health and social benefits trees provide are urged to apply. All applicants must also be available for an interview with City Councilmembers on a date to be determined.

The UFC has seven resident members who can serve two, four-year terms. One of these vacancies is held by an individual whose term is expiring and may reapply. Per Vancouver City Council policy, all incumbents who wish to reapply for their positions will be re-interviewed along with any other qualifying applicants. The other vacancies are for a mid-term appointment expiring in June 2023 and a full-term that would expire in 2026. The commission meets at 6 p.m. on the third Wednesday of each month. Meetings will be conducted either in-person or through a hybrid option. 

To apply online, visit To request an application or for more information, contact the boards and commissions coordinator in the City Manager’s Office at P.O. Box 1995, Vancouver, WA 98668-1995,, or by calling 360-487-8600.

Visit to learn more about the UFC, including links to past meeting minutes and agendas.

City seeks volunteer to serve on Clark County Mosquito Control District board - 05/09/22

Vancouver, Wash. – The City of Vancouver is seeking applicants to serve as the city’s volunteer representative on the Clark County Mosquito Control District Board of Trustees. Applications must be received by 5 p.m. June 9.

The 10-member board of trustees includes one representative from each city within Clark County, with three members appointed by the Board of County Councilors. The board of trustees oversees the administration and operation of the county’s Mosquito Control District, including adopting the district’s work plan, preparing and approving expenditures, and contracting for services to keep mosquito populations below levels where they become a nuisance or a public health problem leading to an outbreak of disease.

Board members are appointed to two-year terms. Applicants for this recruitment must be city residents and must be available for an interview with Vancouver city councilmembers on a date to be determined.

Terms on this board are for two years but this seat would be for a mid-term appointment that expires in December 2023. A member could then seek reappointment for additional two-year terms, if they choose.

Regular board of trustees meetings are currently being held virtually. They occur at 7 p.m. on the second Tuesday of February, May, August and November. 

To apply for this vacancy online, visit To request a printed application, contact the boards and commissions coordinator in the City Manager’s Office at City Hall, P.O. Box 1995, Vancouver, WA 98668-1995, or by calling 360-487-8600. 

Visit for more information about the board of trustees, including links to past meeting minutes and agendas, or call Christy Gerhart at Clark County Mosquito Control District at 360-574-7906 with any questions.


City Council formally recognizes National Day of Awareness for Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women - 05/04/22

Vancouver, Wash. – On Monday, May 2, Vancouver City Council issued a proclamation formally recognizing May 5 as National Day of Awareness for Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women, Girls and Two-Spirit people (MMIWG2S).

The observance is an annual, national event to acknowledge the epidemic of missing and murdered American Indian and Alaska Native women, girls and other Natives in the United States, while also raising awareness of this ongoing humanitarian crisis and refocusing attention on issues affecting Indigenous women.

“At least 70% of the violent victimizations against Indigenous women and girls are committed by persons outside of the Indigenous community. There is no comprehensive estimate for the number of Indigenous people who are missing or have been murdered since the beginning of colonization, said Vancouver City Councilor Kim Harless.

I hope the City can explore ways with our local organizations to raise awareness and bring healing that include wearing red on May 5 and more importantly lobbying legislators to enact law reforms that address the prevalence of this violence and bring justice to families and victims. I-5 goes through the heart of our city and is where many missing victims are trafficked.Personally, I have a family member that has been missing since May 19, 2015, and I am told that their missing persons case will be officially cold on the seven-year anniversary of their disappearance,” Councilor Harless continued.

The City recognizes that the acts of violence against—and issues of—missing and murdered indigenous women are not isolated to reservations or rural communities but in Washington’s urban areas too. As of May 2, the Washington State Patrol’s Missing and Unidentified Persons Unit reported 126 active missing Native American persons.

Through its proclamation, the City is committed to spreading awareness of this issue and urges community members to take action for all Missing and Murdered Indigenous women, girls, and two-spirited individuals and stop this epidemic and heal within our communities.



Correction: Candidates for Vancouver Police Chief Position Announced - 05/03/22

Correction: corrected spelling of first name of candidate Jeffrey Mori


Vancouver, Wash. – Five candidates have been selected to interview for the City of Vancouver’s Chief of Police position. The City’s recruitment was expansive and included direct outreach to organizations focusing on equity and diversity in law enforcement. The finalists were selected following a targeted national search, gathering community input, and preliminary screening interviews. In alphabetical order the candidates are:

Joel Fitzgerald, Chief of Police for the City of Waterloo in Waterloo, Iowa

Michael Lester, Assistant Chief of Police for the City of Vancouver in Vancouver, Washington

Jeffrey Mori, Assistant Chief of Police for the City of Vancouver in Vancouver, Washington 

Andrew Neiman, Police Captain for the City of Los Angeles in Los Angeles, California

Troy Price, Assistant Chief of Police for the City of Vancouver in Vancouver, Washington

Candidate bio summaries can be viewed on the City’s Police Chief Recruitment page.

“I am committed to Vancouver’s next chief embracing an equity leadership role as well as being a champion of progressive policing policies that support safety for our entire community,” said City Manager Eric Holmes. “To achieve this, listening to and including the community in the search is an important part of the hiring process. I have invited several members of the community to participate on the panels interviewing the finalists. By including leaders from a range of organizations and communities, we will be able to hear voices and perspectives that have not previously been a part of our hiring process.”

In addition to panel interviews, the finalists will participate in three Community Q&A Sessions May 3-5. During these moderated discussions, candidates will share their thoughts about the future of public safety in Vancouver, be asked about community priorities, and answer questions submitted by community members. Questions can be submitted now at Written questions will also be collected from audiences at the events.

Community Q&A schedule

Tuesday, May 3 

6:00–7:30 p.m.
Bates Center for Educational Leadership 2921 Falk Road, Vancouver, WA
For tickets, visit
Spanish and Russian interpretation will be available
Co-hosted by the Boys and Girls Clubs of Southwest Washington 

Wednesday, May 4 

6:00–7:30 p.m. 
C-Tran Administrative Building 
10600 N.E. 51st Circle, Vancouver, WA 
Broadcast on CVTV Channel 23/323HD and CVTV Facebook page
For tickets, visit
ASL interpretation will be available 
Co-hosted by Clark County Family YMCA 

Thursday, May 5 

8:30–10 a.m.
Ripple Space
275 W 3rd St Suite 400, Vancouver, WA
Spanish and Russian interpretation will be available 
Hosted by the Greater Vancouver Chamber 

The City has contracted with Bob Murray and Associates to help manage the national recruitment and hiring process, with the goal of an appointment in June. Find the latest information about the recruitment process, including the position description, at

The City is seeking a new chief due to the recent retirement announcement from Chief James McElvain. Chief McElvain is working with the City to ensure a smooth transition before his June 30 retirement date.  

City seeks volunteer to serve on Civil Service Commission - 04/29/22

Vancouver, Wash. – The City of Vancouver is seeking a volunteer to fill one seat on its Civil Service Commission. The deadline to apply for this position is 5 p.m., May 29. 

The Civil Service Commission is responsible for adopting rules for regulation of classified service, appointing a secretary/chief examiner, maintaining meeting minutes, providing for competitive testing to prepare civil service eligible candidate lists for the Vancouver Police and Fire departments, hearing and determining appeals, and investigating and reporting on matters relating to enforcement of civil service matters. 

To serve on the Civil Service Commission, applicants must be a citizen of the United States and a registered voter of Clark County. This seat must be filled by a union representative. The ideal candidate will be interested in public service, city government and police, and fire and civilian hiring practices under state and local civil service rules. Applicants must also be available for an interview with Mayor Anne McEnerny-Ogle on June 10, 2022.

Commissioners serve six-year terms with no term maximum. The commission typically meets monthly on the third Wednesday of each month at 8 a.m. Currently, meetings are being held remotely due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Applications may be submitted online at To request a printed application or for further information, contact the boards and commissions coordinator at Vancouver City Hall, P.O. Box 1995, Vancouver, WA 98668-1995, by email at or 360-487-8600. 

Visit to learn more about the Civil Service Commission, including links to past meeting minutes and agendas.


City seeks volunteers to serve on Parks and Recreation Advisory Commission - 04/29/22

Vancouver, Wash. – The City of Vancouver is seeking local parks and recreation enthusiasts to fill three vacancies on its Parks and Recreation Advisory Commission (PRAC). The deadline to apply for these positions is 5 p.m., May 29.

PRAC is a 10-member volunteer community group made up of city residents, two school district representatives and a liaison from the Parks Foundation of Clark County. The commission advises Vancouver City Council and city staff on needs, plans and programs necessary to provide an adequate system of parks, open space, playgrounds, facilities and recreation services to the residents of Vancouver. 

Commissioners serve three-year terms and meet from 4:30 to 6 p.m. on the third Wednesday of every month at Vancouver City Hall, 415 W. Sixth St., as well as occasional special meetings. Currently, meetings are being held remotely. 

To serve on PRAC, applicants must live within the Vancouver City limits and be available for an interview with the Vancouver Mayor on June 17. One open position is a mid-term seat that will expire in July 2023, with the option to seek reappointment. Another is a full-term appointment currently held by an individual who is not eligible for reappointment because their term is expiring and  they have completed the maximum three terms of service. The final position is a mid-term appointment currently filled by an individual eligible for reappointment into a full-term position. 

Applications may be submitted online at For a printed application or for further information, contact the boards and commission coordinator in the City Manager’s Office at P.O. Box 1995, Vancouver, WA 98668-1995,, or 360-487-8600.

Visit Parks and Recreation Advisory Commission | City of Vancouver, Washington, USA to learn more about PRAC, including links to past meeting minutes and agendas.

Small Business Month Logo
Small Business Month Logo
Vancouver celebrates Small Business Month in May (Photo) - 04/29/22

Vancouver, Wash. – On Monday, May 2, Vancouver Mayor Anne McEnerny-Ogle will proclaim the month of May “Small Business Month” in Vancouver. The designation coincides with National Small Business Month and National Small Business Week (May 1-7). 

“This year’s Small Business Month invites residents and visitors to support the recovery of Vancouver’s small business community as we emerge from the COVID-19 pandemic,” said Mayor Anne McEnerny-Ogle. “Small businesses are the heart of our city’s economy, representing more than 95 percent of our businesses. They are an essential part of what makes Vancouver a vibrant and thriving community.” 

Throughout the month of May, the City will showcase local small business stories, share ways for the community to support small businesses and promote opportunities for entrepreneurs, startups and existing small businesses to grow and thrive in Vancouver. Follow the hashtag #CouveSmallBiz and visit the City of Vancouver on Facebook, Instagram or Twitter to watch, learn and stay informed. 

The City is committed to supporting the growth of its small business community by removing barriers to success and bolstering a thriving local economy through programs such as: 

  • Business license surcharge fee refunds: On April 4, Vancouver City Council unanimously approved the extension of the City’s refund program for businesses most impacted by pandemic-related restrictions until Dec. 31, 2022. A new, easy-to-complete application is now available online.
  • Street Eats: An internationally-recognized program developed during the pandemic to remove barriers and support businesses in establishing outdoor seating in parklets, sidewalks, and other public rights of way will remain in place through March 2024. The program features a complimentary desktop and mobile-friendly Street Eats App tool to help the community explore 65 businesses offering outdoor services.
  • Start Up In A Day Initiative: An initiative to make opening a business in Vancouver easier, so that any entrepreneur can apply for the basic permits to start a business within one day.
  • Business assistance: Awarded $477,040 for business assistance to respond to COVID-19 and aid in support or recovery of local businesses in 2021. An additional $290,000 in business assistance is proposed for microenterprise education and technical assistance, including business license/certification programs, microloans and credit repair in 2022.

Explore more services, business education and resource opportunities through the City’s Business Assistance Center. 

Attached Media Files: Small Business Month Logo
Sunday Sounds Concert at Columbia Tech Center Park
Sunday Sounds Concert at Columbia Tech Center Park
City announces lineup for summer music, movies and special events (Photo) - 04/28/22

Vancouver, Wash. – Discover the art, culture and natural beauty of Vancouver without breaking the bank. City of Vancouver special events are back this summer, including festivals, concerts, movie nights and more. Check out local craft vendors and breweries one day and enjoy a movie under the stars the next! Make the most of your summer and explore these exciting community events in Vancouver.

Free concerts

Dance your summer nights away at Vancouver’s two summer concert series. Concerts are free, family-friendly and offer the opportunity to hear some of the Pacific Northwest’s most talented artists. Enjoy food from local businesses or pack your own picnic. Smoking, alcohol and BBQs are not allowed in parks. For the full concert schedule visit

New in 2022 is the Waterfront Park Concert Series presented by Riverview Community Bank. Building on the success of the previous Six to Sunset Concert Series, the Waterfront Park Concert Series is poised to become downtown Vancouver’s signature music event. Vancouver Waterfront Park (695 Waterfront Way) is the place to be on Fridays from 6 to 8 p.m. with performances running from July 8 to Aug. 12. This year’s stellar lineup features the Bobby Torres Ensemble, Pride of the Northbank, Conjunto Alegre, Curtis Salgado, Mbrascatu and LaRhonda Steele. 

“We care about community and look for ways to bring people together. This new concert series is a perfect opportunity to showcase all that Vancouver’s beautiful waterfront development has to offer. We look forward to warm Friday nights, listening to music with families and friends along the Columbia River. We also hope people will take this unique opportunity to enjoy the concerts from their boats on the water,” said Denise Barr, Vice President, Marketing Strategist at Riverview Community Bank. 

The Sunday Sounds Concert Series presented by Columbia Tech Center and iQ Credit Union hits the stage on Sundays from 6 to 8 p.m. Don’t miss exciting performances from Hit Machine, Promdate Mixtape, Dancehall Days, Jessie Leigh, Kalimba and 5 Guys Named Moe. Sunday Sounds concerts run weekly from July 10 to Aug. 14, in the beautiful new amphitheater at Columbia Tech Center Park (Southeast Sequoia Circle at Southeast Tech Center Drive) in east Vancouver.

Free movies

Start your weekend off right with the Free Friday Night Movies presented by HAPO Community Credit Union and Country Financial. Movies are shown at parks throughout Vancouver every Friday between July 8 and Aug. 12. Arrive at 7 p.m. to enjoy musical entertainment before the movie begins. The big screen comes to life at dusk with blockbusters like “Encanto,” “Spider Man: No Way Home” and “Sing 2.” All movies are closed captioned. For the full movie schedule visit


Summer is the season for festivals, fun runs, and cultural events in Vancouver. While some offer free admission, they all provide fantastic opportunities to connect with neighbors and celebrate a wide variety of interests. Festivals and events slated for Esther Short Park (West Eighth and Columbia Streets) include the Juneteenth Freedom Celebration on June 17; Vancouver USA Pride Festival on July 9; 4 Days of Aloha from July 21 to 24; and the Vancouver Wine and Jazz Festival running August 26 to 28. 

Plan your summer

Seize the summer and save with City of Vancouver special events! Since there is no cost to attend City concerts and movies, consider setting aside some funds to purchase food, gifts and other treats to support local vendors and businesses this summer. 

Connect with Vancouver Parks, Recreation & Cultural Services on Facebook or visit to plan your perfect summer in the Couve!