© The Reflector, 2021
Cherish DesRochers announced that she would be seeking a second term on April 26. She was initially appointed in 2016 to serve as councilor pro tem for Bill Ganley, a longtime council member who died later that year. She previously served on the city’s planning commission.
DesRochers ran unopposed in 2017 for her first term, a year when all four seats up for election were one-candidate contests. She said running for a second term was a foregone conclusion.
“I don’t feel like I’m done,” she said.
She mentioned she recently earned her Advanced Certificate of Municipal Leadership from the Association of Washington Cities, the culmination of a process she started about the same time she was elected.
DesRochers serves on the city’s Law Enforcement Officer and Firefighter Disability Board and is the city’s representative on Clark County’s Urban County Advisory Board, a news release announcing her campaign stated. In the latter capacity she noted she’s particularly proud of a process she spearheaded that brought $1.3 million in federal grant dollars.
“I’m proud to bring federal tax dollars back into our community … whether it’s funding for nonprofits like Battle Ground Health or the Foundation for the Challenged or adding sidewalks to better connect our community,” DesRochers said.
Over her tenure DesRochers said she’s seen more community input in the city over the course of her current term, pointing to the Parks and Community Engagement Advisory Board formed in 2019 as an example.
“It feels like the community wants to play a greater role in what we’re doing as a city,” DesRochers said.
She said she wishes to see through the long-term vision plan the city began working on in 2018. She added Battle Ground’s annexation into Clark County Fire District 3 has also changed some of the city’s operations, as the city now has access to property tax levy funds that used to be tied to the fire protection service contract.
DesRochers said she is also involved on the advisory group for the city’s Housing Action Plan. A final draft was completed in January. Supported by Washington State Department of Commerce funding, the plan looked at housing stock, equity, and diversity.
DesRochers has a personal connection to housing equity efforts, noting that growing up her family benefitted from a program where the neighborhood cooperatively built their homes, somewhat similar to a Habitat for Humanity home.
“Housing stability made a big difference for me,” DesRochers said.
Born and raised in Clark County, the longtime Battle Ground resident said she is committed to keeping taxes low “while maintaining livability, and continuing to be a safe, friendly city to live in,” she stated in her campaign release.
“I love our city. I care about our people,” DesRochers said. “And when I look at things, I want to do what’s best for everyone.”
DesRochers is the third Battle Ground City Council candidate to formally declare their intentions to seek a seat open for re-election this year. Position 4 incumbent and current Battle Ground Mayor Adrian Cortes has announced he will seek re-election, while current Battle Ground Public Schools board member Troy McCoy has declared his intent to seek the Position 1 council seat currently occupied by Brian Munson, who has not made a formal declaration for re-election. Current Position 5 councilor Mike Dalesandro has announced he will not be seeking another term.