Engineer bids for city office

By RAELYNN RICARTE

News staff writer

September 2, 2006

A lone citizen has stepped forward to challenge three incumbents for one of the at-large seats on the Hood River City Council.

Electrical engineer Arthur Babitz filed this week against Councilors Paul Blackburn, Martin Campos-Davis and Carrie Nelson. Mayor Linda Streich is running for a second term unopposed in the Nov. 7 general election.

Babitz, who operates Animation Toolworks, Inc., from his Hazel Avenue home, believes his strong analytical abilities will help overcome the city’s budget woes. He also sees his experience of leading software and hardware development teams at several major firms — without micro-managing — as a plus for an elected leader.

“Just by running I’m guaranteeing a real discussion of the issues,” said Babitz. “I could have waited for a council member to resign and then apply for the position, but I think a real race will be a good antidote for cynicism.”

Blackburn and Campos-Davis are running for their first elected four-year term. Blackburn was appointed in November of 2004 to fill a vacancy created by the departure of Paul Thompson. Campos-Davis was chosen in January 2005 to take the seat vacated by Streich after she assumed the role of mayor.

Nelson was appointed to the council in 1998 and then won two subsequent elections.

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