Friday, January 13, 2012
Persistence paid off for Kate McBride.
The long-time planning commissioner interviewed for a spot on the city council for the second time in three months Monday, and this time earned a spot behind the council table in the newly remodeled chambers.
McBride had previously applied in October for the position vacated by Dawna Armstrong. She didn't get a spot then, but applied again when council president Ann Frodel announced her resignation last month.
This time around McBride was a unanimous pick, including the approval of newly appointed council president Ed Weathers, who beat her out for the previous appointment in October.
McBride was the most experienced of the three candidates who applied for the position. The other applicants were two-year budget committee member and small business owner Ross Brown, and Jennifer Gulizia, a small business owner, former US Bank branch manager and recent addition to the planning commission.
McBride is a lifelong county resident who has lived in the city since 2004, and said she wants to emphasize her planning experience as well as affordable housing during her time on the council.
"I'm looking forward to the planning session in February," she said. "My passion is in planning but the thing I'll be pushing is affordable housing."
McBride will serve out the remaining year of Frodel's term before deciding if she will run again.
"I'm just looking at the next year to begin with," she said. "But I won't rule out running at this point."
Mayor Arthur Babitz said after Weathers was appointed in October, Frodel's resignation last month proved to be the right time to add McBride to the council.
"We've all been aware of Kate's skills for the last seven years on the planning commission," he said. "We're glad she was willing to step up to this position."
McBride will take the oath of office prior to the Jan. 23 council meeting.
Also at Monday's meeting:
The council heard from City Manager Bob Francis and Fire Chief Devon Wells about negotiating a contract with Cascade Locks to allow Wells to serve as a consulting interim chief in Cascade Locks until June.
Wells is currently working as a consultant for Cascade Locks approximately 15-20 hours a week in addition to his Chief's duties in Hood River, but has no decision making authority.
The Cascade Locks fire department has been undergoing reorganization in recent months following the resignation of chief Jeff Pritchard. Wells said when he began consulting for Cascade Locks he gave the city the option of either making Jess Zerfing chief, hiring a chief, or giving the interim city administrator chief's duties.
"They were not comfortable with any of those," he said.
The Hood River City Council agreed to negotiate a contract with Cascade Locks which would allow Wells to be a consulting interim chief in Cascade Locks so long as it did not interfere with his duties in Hood River.
"I think we made it clear what our concerns were. I'm feeling more comfortable with it. I would just like to see it," said councilman Laurent Picard, a Portland firefighter, of Wells contract with Cascade Locks.
Francis said he felt having Wells working with Cascade Locks was a good way to bring the cities together and to provide stability in the area, sentiments Babitz later echoed.
"Anyone driving on the freeway wants a functioning fire department in Cascade Locks," he said.
The council approved $6,500 to hire a temporary administrative assistant through April to fill in for another assistant who is out on medical leave.
Francis said hiring a temporary employee is cheaper than attempting to have current city staff pick up the slack, as the city is having to pay overtime for staff members to handle extra duties.
Council member Jeff Nichols suggested that the city budget include some money every year to be able to hire temporary workers when necessary.
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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