First-term Vancouver City Council member Anne McEnerny-Ogle prepares to announce her candidacy for Vancouver mayor during a press conference Monday, Jan. 2, 2017.

First-term Vancouver City Council member Anne McEnerny-Ogle prepares to announce her candidacy for Vancouver mayor during a press conference Monday, Jan. 2, 2017.

Amelia Templeton/OPB

Vancouver City Councilmember Anne McEnerny-Ogle has announced her intent to run for mayor. 

Launching her campaign at the Vancouver Firefighters’ Union Hall, she said she wants to help Vancouver grow into a city that’s culturally and economically independent.

“We want a self-sustaining economy, and we want to be able to spend all our leisure time on this side of the river,” she said.

McEnerny-Ogle is the first candidate to announce her candidacy. Her bid for the mayor’s seat will create an open seat on the Vancouver city council in 2018.

“My candidacy for mayor then allows all those other individuals to jump in and announce their candidacy,” she said.

Vancouver’s current mayor, Tim Leavitt, has said he will not seek re-election when his term runs out at the end of 2017, according to The Columbian newspaper.

McEnery-Ogle is serving her first term on the Vancouver city council. She is also the Mayor Pro Tem, fulfilling the mayor’s duties when the mayor is unavailable.

Prior to serving on city council, McEnerny-Ogle was a teacher in the Lake Oswego School District for 30 years, where she served as the chair of the mathematics department.

Larry J. Smith, a former city council member and director of the Vancouver city parks department, introduced McEnerny-Ogle at the union hall, noting her many years of leadership with community groups ranging from the Boy Scouts to the Shumway Neighborhood Association.

Vancouver City Council member Anne McEnerny-Ogle announced her candidacy for Vancouver mayor during a press conference Monday, Jan. 2, 2017.

Vancouver City Council member Anne McEnerny-Ogle announced her candidacy for Vancouver mayor during a press conference Monday, Jan. 2, 2017.

Amelia Templeton/OPB

“You find me another person who brings these skills and involvement in the community to public service, and I’ll take you out on the bridge and kiss your rear end,” Smith said.

McEnerny-Ogle said her priorities, if elected, will include public safety and pushing the state legislature to come up with a new plan to replace the Interstate 5 bridge across the Columbia River.

“It’s not just Vancouver, it’s Camas and Washougal and La Center and Ridgefield and Yacoult and Battleground; the entire county needs this bridge replaced,” she said.

McEnerny-Ogle also pledged to look for a solution to fix the city’s projected budget deficit.

Washington state caps the amount cities can increase property taxes at 1 percent per year. McEnerny-Ogle says that means the city’s revenue hasn’t kept up with inflation and the rising cost of services.