Saturday, December 2, 2006
By SUE RYAN
News staff writer
November 4, 2006
Cascade Locks city administrator Bob Willoughby resigned earlier this week to take a position with the city of Florence, Ore.
His last day in Cascade Locks will be Dec. 1. Willoughby has managed the town since 2000. He said the current political climate was a contributing factor but not the entire reason he sought work elsewhere.
“My preference was to stay here six months ago … but a couple of things happened to make me send out resumes,” he said.
His summer vacation took him to Florence for fishing and, while there, he heard about the opening. Florence is a town of 9,000 and Cascade Locks has 1,150 people.
“When I returned, there was a group of candidates talking about putting their own staff into city hall,” he said.
There are 11 candidates vying for four city council positions in the Nov. 7 election. Willoughby said while it was uncertain who would win the election, he thought it would be prudent to send out resumes.
“I hadn’t decided I wanted to leave Cascade Locks but thought it wise to have options for myself and my family,” he said.
He also applied for positions in Monmouth, Fairview and Woodburn and believed the process would take a number of months; which would give him more time to decide.
“Then I was thrown a curve ball when I was called for an interview in Florence a few weeks ago,” he said.
The town and its council impressed him. He said it has undergone some growth issues similar to what Cascade Locks is going through. Willoughby cited one capital project as an example, that of Florence’s need for a stormwater drain system.
“My experience here is what made me a candidate for them,” he said.
When he returned from the interview, he read statements in the Cascade Locks town newsletter “The Locks Tender” by candidates running for office. He referred to statements mentioning financial accountability and micromanagement at city hall giving him the final push toward deciding to leave.
“I have absolutely no desire to be micro-managed,” Willoughby said. “I’m a professional manager, have done this for a number of years, and know what I’m doing.”
He said criticisms swirling in the community and at the council level in recent months have been particularly troubling because he feels he has just been doing his job.
“I’ve done what I have been asked to do then I’ve been criticized for doing it,” Willoughby said. The sale of the McCoy property and subsequent controversy following it made him feel councilors who had supported him reversed their position.
“I had talked to the council for more than a year about affordable housing, paying the debt to the county, and raising money for the fire hall,” he said.
The vote over the sale of the city-owned land in July sparked a recall petition for two councilors, which is also on the Nov. 7 ballot. Willoughby said he is disappointed the situation reached the point that he felt he had to quit.
“Florence is a great career opportunity for me with substantially more resources, money, and less headache,” he said.
He said he is grateful to his staff that have worked hard as a team on projects that have helped propel the city forward. Among his accomplishments in Cascade Locks, he revived the $250 million proposed tribal casino project, obtained $700,000 in grants for the city’s new fire hall, and obtained $1.8 million in Congressional earmarks for undergrounding the city’s power line to Multnomah County.
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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 www.co.hood-river.or.us to opt-in for citizen alerts. Enlarge