VANCOUVER, Wash. -- Vancouver Mayor Anne McEnerny-Ogle took the oath of office among a large crowd in council chambers, Monday night.
McEnerny-Ogle was elected the first female mayor in city's history. Before that, she served as Mayor Pro Tem and Vancouver City Councilor.
At her first Vancouver City Council meeting as mayor, McEnerny-Ogle hit the ground running. First, the city council voted unanimously to buy the old Washington Department of Fish & Wildlife building on Grand Boulevard to use as a day center.
“I like to see this not as just a day center just for the homeless, but as a community center for anyone who needs help,” said McEnerny-Ogle.
Not everyone at the meeting agreed on the proposed location, and asked the council to reconsider.
“I'm concerned about how the day center will negatively impact the safety of my family and the value of my property,” said one man who lives near the proposed day center. “[We are] a working class neighborhood trying hard to pull itself up.”
For McEnerny-Ogle's city council, there will be more issues to discuss in the near future. Perhaps none bigger than the idea of building a new Interstate 5 bridge over the Columbia River.
“We need that bridge replaced,” said McEnerny-Ogle. “We need that commerce to flow through swiftly, the congestion is horrendous.”
McEnerny-Ogle said she requested a meeting with Portland Mayor Ted Wheeler to discuss a new I-5 bridge. A request to Mayor Wheeler's office for comment on the bridge discussion was not immediately returned.
McEnerny-Ogle said she would work with state and local law makers from both sides of the river in an effort to mend fences over the last I-5 bridge proposal.
“We dropped the ball on the Washington side when we didn't fund it, when the old Columbia River Crossing project was part of that discussion,” said McEnerny-Ogle.
As for funding, McEnerny-Ogle said tolling options would be part of the discussion next month and beyond.
“Everything is exciting,” said McEnerny-Ogle. “It's a new year.”