18th District lawmakers host town hall marathon

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18th District lawmakers host town hall marathon

 Katy Sword, The Columbian

In order to address citizens across the 18th Legislative District before the new session starts Jan. 14, Sen. Ann Rivers, R-La Center, Rep. Brandon Vick, R-Felida, and Rep.-elect Larry Hoff hosted a marathon town hall session on Saturday starting at 9 a.m. in Ridgefield and ending at 4:30 p.m. in Salmon Creek.

The schedule was so jam packed Hoff even got a speeding ticket trying to get between Ridgefield and Battle Ground in a timely fashion.

Room after room was packed full and the public came armed with insightful questions about everything from opioids and climate change to mental health, education funding and as many might predict, what’s going on with the Interstate 5 Bridge.

Vick said Ridgefield and Camas both focused more on environmental issues, Battle Ground dove into property rights and the railroad and Salmon Creek asked about anything and everything. The Salmon Creek town hall was a first for the 18th Legislative District; usually the stops include just Ridgefield, Battle Ground and Camas. But as Vick noted, Salmon Creek had the best attendance and nearly everyone who stopped by asked it to become a regular occurrence.

Rivers said as she marked off her 60th town hall Saturday, she’s looking forward to adding more events to the schedule.

“My district is changing, the demographic, the issues that my district cares about is changing significantly,” she said. “I just want to know where my district is at with respect to the myriad of issues so that … I can hear things, I can sort of pluck out and see if I can come up with elegant solutions or compromises.”

Vick added that while town halls can be a grab bag of emotions, the day’s events were productive.

“And I don’t think too many feelings were hurt,” he said.

Here’s a quick look at some of the discussions.

Read More: https://www.columbian.com/news/2019/jan/05/18th-district-lawmakers-host-town-hall-marathon/