In early 2017, the President/CEO of the quietly dissolving and recently audited CWEDA org, Paul Dennis, spoke to most of Camas' currrent city council members about their master planning opportunities including the north shore. Dennis told the council about their "opportunity to work with private property owners" and he spoke to them about "leaving a legacy". He mentioned Grass Valley and Camas Meadows momentarily before he talked about "jumping north of the lake" focusing on how the city is running new infrastructure and "has a new school coming online". He finished,
(Speaking of the north shore) "The time is now, it has been for the last 12 months, to look at what are some of the opportunities out there because as the infrastructure comes into play the market will also have some interest out there as well"
A council might want to listen to Paul Dennis as a former city planner himself. His experience might have even held more weight than the mayor at that time, Scott Higgins, who's past professional experience seemed to consist of time spent as a copier salesman - that is before he became Vice President at a Vancouver Real Estate firm within the same year he received his first real estate license (Higgins currently has a single listing by the way, it's in Kalama and it seems to be an abandoned building).
Was your first title in a brand new profession ever Vice President?
At one point in the video, Dennis joyfully mentions "Lugliani" and his 38th street project - referring to a Vancouver based investor/land developer named David Lugliani. Lugliani has a checkered past in the way of illegal land transfers, misuse of protected land and complicit city councils/HOAs attempting to shepherd him through troubled waters. Lugliani is also a governor in Paul Dennis' personal LLC for his own private business, Forged Custom Homes.
Paul Dennis built and ran CWEDA in a very specific way. According to the WA State Auditor's report, It was an "association (that) had no direct employees" - Dennis wasn't alone at CWEDA though. Listen closely in his presentation and you'll hear Dennis mention working with "a variety of different partners" as he calls them in his presentation to council that day. These partners are in fact consultants with regular contracts, some of the same that worked on Camas' ill-fated 2019 pool bond. The consultants served as the "employees" of CWEDA and it seemed a very efficient machine to get a lot of people paid, including the nearly $1m in checks Dennis wrote to his own company without government oversight according to that same report - that nearly $1m did not seem to include Dennis' reported $11k per month base salary.
Why did CWEDA actually need the services of Dennis' Forged Custom Homes at all? They are/were a group that remodels luxury single family homes?
With the city of Camas never raising the alarm and seemingly staying involved all along CWEDA's journey, including current councilor Don Cheney serving as a governor in the official organization of CWEDA, citizens are left to wonder why? Did council not SEE or did they not SAY what was going on? Either deserves examination.
Did Camas adopt or maybe even inspired Dennis' tendency towards consultants? This city spends millions each year on the services of various groups with three letter acronyms, most of their names reappearing in project after project through a revolving door. Consultants and their fees considered, many of Camas' full time city staffers get paid over $100k per year themselves. With all of that regular staff expenditure for a relatively small town, why does Camas need to pay so much more, and so regularly, for nebulous outside expertise from these groups? Can Camas do anything meaningful on it's own, or is it lost without it's "partners"?