Editorial: City Council, Budget Committee vacancies provide excellent opportunities to serve

January 4, 2012

The new year brings new vistas, and that means at least one change at Hood River City Hall.

Ann Frodel's departure from City Council creates just such a new opportunity.

Frodel had to step down from council as she recently moved outside of city limits. Between her service on council and her tireless efforts to create and sustain the Hood River Waterfront Park, Frodel deserves the thanks of the community. This was made manifest in the key to the city, presented to her last month by Mayor Arthur Babitz (photo, Dec. 31).

But shoes to be filled are shoes to be filled, and now Hood River residents are being asked to consider lacing up.

The council was correct in deciding to open up the application process anew. Planning Commission member Kate McBride, who was a recent applicant for the council seat vacated by Dawna Armstrong in September, had notified City Administrator Bob Francis of her interest in being considered for Frodel's seat. A fresh start on the selection process will not include newly appointed councilor Ed Weathers in selecting an appointee, and, with hope, yield a new field of candidates who might be inspired to take up where Frodel left off.

Now is the time to consider seeking an appointment to City Council. Applications from residents within the city limits are now being taken and are due Jan. 6 by noon. Interviews will be scheduled for the evening of Jan. 9.

Or, if you would like to serve but aren't sure about taking on the commitment of being on council, consider the four open positions on the City Budget Committee.

The committee meets approximately weekly from April until the budget passes in late June. The candidates must be residents within the city and terms last three years.

For further details on either opportunity, residents may contact City Recorder Jennifer Gray at 541-387-5212. Citizens may log onto the city's website at http://ci.hood-river.or.us/ to download the one-page application. Click the button on the main page listed as "City Council Vacancy."

Serving on the city council or budget committee both certainly provide the opportunity to make a difference in your community, but anyone interested needs to decide soon. If you are a city resident and have ever considered getting into public service, this is the time to take that step.

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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 www.co.hood-river.or.us to opt-in for citizen alerts. Enlarge

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