Kitt trades council for fatherhood

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 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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Parkdale third graders sing "12 Disaster Days of Christmas"

Welcome to your sing-able Christmas gift list. What follows is an emergency rendition of “12 Days of Christmas” – for outfitting your home or car in case of snow storm, earthquake, flood or other emergency. Read it as a simple list, or sing it to the tune of “12 Days” – you know, as in “ … and a partridge in a pear tree…” Not to make light of it, but the song is a familiar framework for a set of gift ideas that you could consider gathering together, even if the recipient already owns items such as a bunch of coats, tire chains and flashlights. Stores throughout the Gorge are stocked up on all these items. Buying all 12 days might be prohibitive, but here are three ideas for checking any of the dozen off your list (notations follow, 1-12.) The gift items needed to stay warm, dry and safe are also coded to suggest items in your abode (A) in your car (C) or both (B). 12 Gallons of Water (A) 11 Family meals (B) 10 Cans of propane (A) 9 Hygiene bags (B) 8 Packs of batteries (A) 7 Spare coats (B) 6 Bright red flares (C) 5 Cozy blankets (B) 4 Tire chains (C) 3 Flashlights (B) 2 cell phone chargers (B) 1 And a crush-proof first aid kit (B) Price ranges? Here’s a few quotes for days Three, Two, Four and Nine: n A family gift of flashlights (three will run $15-30, Hood River Supply, Tum-A-Lum) n Cell phone chargers (two will run $30-60) n Tire chains (basic set, $30, Les Schwab, returnable if unused for the winter) n Family meals ($100 or so should cover the basics for three or four reasonably well-fed days) n The home kit should be kept in a handy place near an exit, and remember that water needs to be replenished every few months. If you have a solid first aid kit already, switch out the gift idea with “and-a-sto-o-u-t- tub-for it-all …” Otherwise, it’s a case of assembling your home or car kits and making sure all members of the family know what the resources are and how to use them (ie flares and propane). Emergency situations are at worst life-threatening, at best deeply uncomfortable if you and your family are left without power for an extended period, or traveling and find yourself in a situation where you need to wait out a storm, lengthy traffic delay, or other crisis. Notes on the 12 gift ideas: 12 – Gallons of water: that’s one per person in a four-member family to last for three days, the recommended minimum to be prepared for utility outages. 11 – Easy-open packaged goods, energy bars, dried food and nuts are good things to include for nutrition. Think of what your family of four needs for three days to stay fortified and hydrated (see number 12). Can-opener also recommended 10 – If you have a propane camping stove, keep extra fuel handy. 9 – Hygiene bags: put packaged moistened towelettes, toilet paper, and plastic ties in large garbage bags (for personal sanitation) Resource list courtesy of Hood River County Emergency Management, Barbara Ayers, manager/ 541-386-1213. The county also reminds residents to Get a Kit, Make A Plan to connect your family if separated, and Stay Informed. See to opt-in for citizen alerts. Enlarge

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