Longview City Council candidate Spencer Boudreau reportedly posted a video last week criticizing city Public Works Director Jeff Cameron for failing to address pedestrian safety concerns and releasing his home phone number.
The video prompted Cameron, who normally avoids discussion of city politics, to write a Letter to the Editor that says, “Mr. Boudreau’s tactics indicate he is not ready to serve on the city council and lead this community.”
The letter appears on today’s editorial page.
Boudreau confirmed in a brief phone conversation with TDN on Tuesday that he did post a video last week on pedestrian safety and crosswalk concerns. He said he released Cameron’s office phone number at City Hall, but he said he did not remember whether he released any personal information.
Boudreau did not return multiple follow-up phone calls and messages for comment.
“If a citizen has a concern about my performance, the proper avenues for expressing this concern are to contact me at work; contact the city manager; or contact the city council, who will discuss it with the city manager,” Cameron wrote in his letter. “Posting my personal telephone number is highly inappropriate.”
In an interview with TDN, Cameron said he was on vacation when a member of his staff sent him a screenshot of Boudreau’s video. (Boudreau, who is running in a primary to fill the seat Councilman Ken Botero will vacate, broadcasts community events and interviews with local people on his Facebook page, Cowlitz Citizens Update.)
In the screenshot, the Facebook page wrote, “Is Longview Public Works Director Jeff Cameron unresponsive to safety concerns from citizens at 7th Avenue? Many think so. On January 24, he was instructed to work on a lighted crosswalk at the location. In that seven months since then, nothing has been done and a girl was recently struck and critically injured on July 3rd.”
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Cameron said by the time he got to a computer Tuesday evening, the video had been taken down. He never saw the video, but he said he trusts what his staff told him about the video, calling them “pretty darn reliable.”
“When I’m picked on, it’s a reflection of them and they’re pretty tired of it as well,” Cameron said.
Cameron, who is an incumbent in the primary race for Cowlitz 2 commissioner, said Boudreau likely got his personal phone number from election filings. But it was “inappropriate” to release that number in relation to his job with the city, he said.
“The way it was characterized to me, the context in which my number was given out was essentially an invitation for harassing phone calls,” Cameron said.
So far, however, he had not received any phone calls to his home number.
“The other piece that prompted me to write the letter was the allegations told to me about my lack of performance in various areas indicated that he did not take time to learn the facts of the situations,” Cameron said. “That’s also something a leader does not do when they go to publicly criticize somebody. Get facts first before you decide to speak up.”
Boudreau is an ally of City Councilman Mike Wallin, who has also criticized Cameron by name on social media. A Daily News story documenting the rocky relationship between Wallin and the public works department — and which is said to have prompted unexpected resignations in the agency — appeared in The Daily News on June 16.