Briggs files for county board

January 4, 2006

A strong belief in public service has led Barbara Briggs, executive director of the local United Way chapter, to file for a Hood River County Commissioner seat.

Briggs is seeking the Position 1 role that Carol York will vacate next year. York has decided to step down after two elected terms in office to challenge Sen. Rick Metsger, D-Welches, at the state level.

“I have always felt the need to be a part of helping to shape public policy and provide the best possible stewardship of public resources,” said Briggs, 50, who resides on Post Canyon Drive.

“The time is right for me personally and professionally to run for Hood River County Commissioner. I have a really well-rounded set of experiences and skills that I believe will enable me to do a good job,” she continued.

Briggs has spent years working in varied roles with non-profits, schools, and government agencies. She is particularly proud of having stabilized the budget of the Columbia Gorge Center during her tenure as executive director in the 1980s.

For more than 10 years, Briggs has acted as a private business consultant to facilitate public meetings, strategic planning and board training workshops. She has also provided executive staff services for boards and commissions and project management. She has testified before the state legislature to gain more programs for the disabled and on other issues of key concern.

“I believe in being a team player, but having a mind of one’s own is the key to successful board service,” said Briggs.

Not all of her service to the community has been through a paid position. Briggs volunteers with American Legion Auxiliary Post 22 and is a member of the Hood River Lions Club.

“Public service is a personal mandate for me,” said Briggs. “I’ve thought about running for a local office for the past several years and, when Carol decided not to run again, I felt it was the right time.”

She brings first-hand knowledge of the inner workings of Hood River County’s government into her campaign.

For the past three years, Briggs has facilitated the annual goal setting sessions for the county board and, for the past two years, has been a member of the budget committee.

“I think the county’s heading in a good direction and I would be honored to be part of that,” she said. “Most of my many years of experience have involved working directly with or for boards, committees, and councils, and I am very comfortable in that role.”

As a former real estate professional, Briggs has a personal interest in the affordable housing challenge facing Hood River County. She believes that steps need to be taken to prevent middle-income families from being priced out of the housing market.

“I’ve always lived in small towns and I have watched this happen in other communities,” said Briggs. “With property values continuing to go up, I don’t see affordable housing happening in a natural course; it’s going to require public involvement to make that happen.”

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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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