Thursday, November 3, 2005
September 28, 2005
Hood River City Councilor A.J. Kitt has stepped down from his elected role to get ready for fatherhood.
Kitt and his wife, Amy, are expecting triplets later this fall. He felt it was important to spend as much time as possible with his wife right now and then focus in a few weeks on caring for his new babies.
But Kitt, who was first appointed to his position in mid-2004 and elected several months later, plans a future return to the seat — if the voters agree.
“Unfortunately, I feel like it’s a job that has been left unfinished and I figured it’s something that I need to go back and finish at another time,” he said.
After being appointed last summer to replace Scott Reynier, who moved outside the city limits, Kitt set to work. He was immediately faced with the “hot button” issues of waterfront zoning and water fluoridation. While working through the government processes to resolve these controversies, he became frustrated by rumors circulating around the city that were often erroneous. So, Kitt set up www.hoodriverfactcheck.org to provide a neutral explanation of the council’s actions.
“I think the biggest thing that I’ve learned is that the public process takes a long time. And it is extremely important for someone to come in to office and leave their own agenda and prejudices behind,” said Kitt. “The council’s decisions are really about what’s best for the community as a whole and what’s best for the big picture — not what one person or entity wants to have happen.”
City Recorder Jean Hadley is now advertising for the remainder of Kitt’s unexpired term, which ends in December of 2008. She will be accepting applications for the vacancy until 5 p.m. on Oct. 5 at the city administration building, Third and Oak streets. To qualify, individuals must have lived within the city limits for the past 12 months and have been a registered voter during that same time period. The council will interview all candidates on Oct. 11 and possibly appoint Kitt’s replacement that same evening.
For more information on the city council opening call Hadley at 387-5212.
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Lawnmower torches Arbor Vitae on Portland Drive
The riding lawn mower driven by Norma Cannon overheated and made contact with dry arbor vitae owned by Lee and Norma Curtis, sending more than a dozen of the tightly-packed trees up in flames. The mower, visible at far right, was totaled. No one was injured; neighbors first kept the fire at bay with garden hoses and Westside and Hood River Fire Departments responded and doused the fire before it reached any structures. Westside Fire chief Jim Trammell, in blue shirt, directs firefighters. The video was taken by Capt. Dave Smith of Hood River Fire Department. Enlarge