County commission approves voting ordinance change

December 20, 2011

Hood River County residents will have the opportunity to have their voices heard on the state voters pamphlet in the next statewide election - for a price.

At a public hearing Monday the Hood River County Board of Commissioners approved a change to the county voting ordinance to allow county residents and political committees to place arguments for and against a county measure in the state voters pamphlet.

Brian Beebe, head of county records and assessments, which supervises county elections, said that a demand for the service had arisen in the last election, in which library proponents wanted to place arguments for library funding in the pamphlet but found no way to do so.

Now they will, by paying a $300 fee to the county for arguments for or against a measure, which must be 325 words or fewer.

Like many smaller counties, Hood River does not publish its own election pamphlet and Beebe said that many voters get their information on ballot measure straight from the ballot.

The county will charge a $300 fee for the service, but it is not so much to make money off the process as it is to offset the cost. Beebe said it costs the county $200 per page placed in the state voters pamphlet.

"It's something we want to make available to the citizens," Beebe said.

In other agenda items from Monday's meeting:

The county's finances and financial process received a clean bill of health.

An audit conducted by Tigard firm Pauly and Rogers found very few problems, with its primary recommendation being that the county finance department put together a written policy and procedure manual.

The county entered in a memorandum of agreement with the Port of Hood River regarding the Orchard Road vacation to move the runway at Hood River airport east. The agreement requires the port to provide a study of sight distance at the Tucker Road/Orchard Road intersection; commit up to $20,000 to improve sight distance conditions; remedy road design efficiencies by providing 30 percent of the preliminary work to widen Highway 281 (Tucker Road) to enhance farm truck access; complete a conceptual design for bicycle lane construction along Tucker Road between the north and south Orchard Road intersections; and dedicate a right-of-way for future bicycle lane improvements.

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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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