Recall petitions filed against Cascade Locks mayor, five council members

August 13, 2011

Cascade Locks citizens will vote Sept. 20 on recall petitions filed against five city council members and Mayor George Fischer.

"They have more than enough signatures. They're definitely going to make it," said County Elections Supervisor Kim Kean about recall petitions naming Fischer and City Council members Tiffany Pruit, Kevin Benson and Don Haight.

Chief petitioners Arne Kononen, Ralph Hesgard and Shawna Hasel turned in the petitions on Aug. 4 to Cascade Locks City Hall. City Recorder Kathy Woosley forwarded the petitions to Hood River County Elections, in keeping with state law.

In a separate action, a recall petition was filed Aug. 2 by chief petitioner Michael Blakley against council member Lance Masters. Woosley said the signatures have not been submitted, but she expected them to be turned in Friday.

Each of the five petitions must contain at least 62 valid signatures from registered voters residing in Cascade Locks, according to Kean.

Kean also noted that the initial four petitions contain about 180 signatures and there are about 600 registered voters in Cascade Locks. State law requires that a petition contain at least 15 percent of the number of Cascade Locks voters who cast ballots in the last gubernatorial election.

The City of Cascade Locks will be billed for the cost of the election, which includes ballot preparation, printing, and mailing. Kean said she does not yet know what it will cost.

Kean said that after the petitions are turned in, her office has 10 business days to verify the signatures.

After the 10-day period, the elected officials named in the petitions have five days to respond with a rebuttal of 200 words or less. The rebuttals are published as part of the ballot. The election must be scheduled within 35 days after the five-day rebuttal period ends.

The 10 or more allegations in the petitions against Fischer, Haight, Benson and Pruit include "drastically cutting fire and EMS funds," slashing wages or eliminating valuable city positions, demeaning city employees and knowingly violating city laws.

Hasel, Hesgard and Kononen also accuse two of the elected officials of illegal behavior on behalf of one of the council members named in the recall petitions.

The petition against Masters states that Masters exhibited "manipulative and obstructive behavior," and allowed "uncontrolled" spending by the city.

The petition against Masters was submitted to Cascade Locks City Recorder Kathy Woosley Thursday and to Kean on Friday. Kean said all five petitions will be processed together in preparation for the September ballot date.

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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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