Rich Carson hired as interim city manager in Cascade Locks

March 9, 2011

Rich Carson, who has more than 30 years' experience in local government, started work Monday as interim administrator for the City of Cascade Locks.

Carson, 63, lives in Hockinson, Wash., a rural community in Clark County.

"I think we're extremely fortunate to get someone of his caliber and experience," Mayor George Fischer said. "He's very well-qualified, he understands budget and how to get things in order and I think he's the man to do the job for us."

The city will pay Carson $7,500 per month. He was selected from three candidates interviewed after referral from the League of Oregon Cities.

The city needed to find an interim after the Jan. 31 departure of former administrator Bernard Seeger, who reached a separation agreement with the city in December 2010.

Carson will work until a permanent administrator is hired, which Fischer said he expects to take four months or more. "It could be longer. It just depends on how the search goes and candidates for filing for the job," Fischer said.

City council unanimously approved his contract last week. Carson is now responsible for overseeing all city departments. One of his main responsibilities will be to come up with a plan to search for and hire a new administrator.

On his first day on the job, Carson delved into "a stack of documents," he said, starting with "where are we in the budget," and scheduled a meeting with the regional housing authority, to discuss scope and responsibility for a planned 13-unit affordable housing unit to be placed in Cascade Locks.

Carson worked for nine years as Director of Community Development with Clark County and was planning director for Metro, the tri-county planning agency based in Portland. He did similar work as assistant city manager for four years in Oregon City.

The proposed Nestlé bottling project and the Warm Springs casino issue are two issues he said will dominate his schedule.

"I am not for or against (the casino) but it is interesting to me because almost the first day I started in Clark County there was the proposal by the Cowlitz," he said, noting that the Warm Springs gaming facility would be in direct competition, with the same driving time from Portland as the Cowlitz facility.

"So it will be really interesting to participate in this," he said.

For the past three years, Carson has served as senior associate with the Sacramento-based Citygate Associates, which provides consulting services to local governments.

"I did organizational development work to help local governments be more cost-effective," Carson said. He worked in Solano, Sacramento and San Diego counties, as well as in West Linn.

Carson served with the State Economic Development Office in the 1970s and 1980s under former governors Vic Atiyeh and Neil Goldschmidt and for a portion of the Barbara Roberts administration.

"Part of the reason I liked working in Oregon City and I like working here, is I am a descendant of Kit Carson," whose Oregon Trail expeditions took him west.

"My interest in the region, especially in the Gorge, has been a personal one," Carson said.

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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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