About Jack

Jack has a long history of working hard to make our community better for all. Upon the end of his third Vancouver City Council term in 2017, The Columbian said, “Burkman, meanwhile, has long been among the most thoughtful and engaging of local officials, providing a voice of reason while being willing to explain complicated issues in a fashion that eschews the typical bombast of politicians. His eagerness to engage with citizens on social media about important policy should serve as an example for all elected officials to follow.” At the same time, former Mayor Tim Leavitt said, “Jack Burkman’s leadership in our community, on our city council, has been nothing less than exceptional. His preparedness, reasoning and articulation of the many complex issues we have faced is unparalleled.”

Burkman, meanwhile, has long been among the most thoughtful and engaging of local officials, providing a voice of reason while being willing to explain complicated issues in a fashion that eschews the typical bombast of politicians.

35 of his 46 years of marriage with his wife Sherry have been spent in Vancouver raising their three kids, working, and finding volunteer opportunities in their community. After attending the local public schools from Kindergarten through graduation, each of his children went on to earn their respective degrees and build families of their own. Jack and Sherry's greatest happiness is their relationship with their adult children, their seven grandkids, and of course their dog Tazzy.

For over thirty years Jack has actively served his community in many different leadership roles including twelve years as a Vancouver City Councilmember, ten years as a Clark College Trustee, eight years as a Regional Transportation Council Director, seven years as a Fort Vancouver Regional Library Director, four years as an Executive Officer on the local LULAC Council, and many more.

Jack’s roots are in the neighborhood associations; he became involved in his local association within days of moving his family to Vancouver.  Over the next several years he guided his neighborhood association to become a strong, influential organization that focused on protecting quality of life in what later became the eastern part of Vancouver. He served on several committees and groups including the Clark County Planning Commission during this time. 

When the city of Vancouver annexed the east side and doubled the city’s population, Jack served on numerous citizen committees to address questions of council representation, service provision, and many diverse concerns. 

Jack Burkman’s leadership in our community, on our city council, has been nothing less than exceptional. His preparedness, reasoning and articulation of the many complex issues we have faced is unparalleled.

Following the annexation, Jack ran for Vancouver City Council and won. He was active in the creation of over two dozen parks, initiation of the Firstenburg Community Center on the east side of town and redevelopment of a substantial portion of the degraded downtown area. He also played a strong role in significant budget reform that enabled services to be maintained at a time when expenses increased much faster than revenues.  

Jack served on the Council through the end of his term in 2001. He didn’t run for re-election after completing his term. Instead, Jack supported his family while dealing with one of the biggest challenges of his life – helping his daughter who was struggling with drug use and going through rehab. She’s doing great today!

Jack Burkman

In 2005, Jack left Hewlett Packard after almost 30 years. For twenty years he was an R&D manager leading the development of new technology and products for global markets. He is skilled in business and technical management, as well as managing and helping people reach their full potential. More on LinkedIn.

In 2009, veteran Vancouver City Councilmember Pat Jollota decided not to run again. The Council was changing. Jack felt the City Council could use his skills to help make Vancouver better, so he decided to run again. He was once again elected to the Vancouver City Council and re-elected in 2013, serving until the end of 2017. He was a recognized leader on the council, focusing on guiding the city through the financial turmoil of the Great Recession, improving street maintenance and keeping transportation projects on track, keeping the Waterfront project moving ahead, adequately staffing the police department, rejecting the oil terminal project, recruiting businesses to Vancouver, and making many other contributions.

Jack continues to be in service to his community, believing that “You make a living by what you get. You make a life by what you give.”

His education includes a Bachelor of Science in Mechanical Engineering from Montana State University. He also is a Certified Professional Coach, with training from Antioch University in Seattle. In addition, Burkman has continued his education by taking numerous courses in management processes, facilitation, interviewing and diversity. 

More about Jack

“I am running for Vancouver Port Commissioner, District 3, to bring my experience in business, local government, and leadership to the port board.”

- Jack Burkman