Wednesday, October 10, 2012
Perhaps the presidential debates have sparked renewed interest in politics for the average Hood River County resident. If so, the time to secure your right to vote is fast approaching.
According to Kim Kean, elections supervisor for Hood River County, Oct. 16 is the last day to register to vote. Forms are available at the county offices during regular business hours, or at the post office or library. Residents may also go online to complete their form at Oregonvotes.org.
Ballots will be mailed out Oct. 19 and need to be returned by 8 p.m. Nov. 6.
“We need to let people know that there have been robo-calls going out saying they are calling from the elections office. The callers are saying to the person on the phone that records are showing they are not registered to vote,” said Kean.
“There are no election offices initiating these calls,” she said. “The Oregon Secretary of State has issued a press release advising people that these are not official calls.”
Kean acknowledged that several individuals locally have called in to check their registrations and were quite upset and concerned. This happens in these big elections.
“If anyone gets one of these calls, they can call our office or go to Oregon votes.gov and check their registration,” added Kean about the scam calls.
For anyone who was previously registered but who may have moved or had a name change, a new registration must be completed by Oct. 16 as well.
Candidates and Measures
n Matt English and Neal Holste are in a race for Sheriff.
n Hood River City Council will see Laurent M. Picard, Nikki Hollatz, Kate Arnold McBride and Mark Zanmiller battle for three positions.
n In Cascade Locks, the position of mayor will bring incumbent Lance Masters into competition with Tom Cramblett. With three positions open, Cascade Locks City Council seats have drawn six contenders: Ralph N. Hesgard, Jeff Helfrich, Randy Holmstrom, Bruce Fitzpatrick, Richard Randall and Glenda Groves.
Other races include: Arthur Babitz running uncontested for mayor of Hood River; County Commissioners Ron Rivers, Les Perkins and Maui Meyer running uncontested for their current seats and Cindy Collins, John Joyer and Brian Nakamura running uncontested for Soil and Water Conservation Board seats.
Three measures appear on the ballot, one for all county residents and two for Cascade Locks alone.
Hood River County will decide whether to renew the Local Option Levy (first passed in 2007) to maintain school programs and staff after statewide budget cuts threatened to slash school programs.
The text of the measure from the ballot is as follows:
Question: Shall School District levy up to $1.25 per $1,000 of assessed value annually for five years starting July 1, 2013?
This measure renews current local option taxes.
Summary: If approved, this measure would provide Hood River County School District with additional funding to help maintain core academic programs; a full school year; current average class sizes; full-day kindergarten; elementary physical education and music; and electives and co-curricular activities including sports, band and choir.
This proposed rate is estimated to raise up to $1,750,000 per year for each of the next five years. In addition, under current law, if the Local Option Levy is renewed it will result in additional revenue from the state equal to approximately 38 percent of Local Option revenue collected.
The amount to be levied each year will be set by the Budget Committee and School Board after inviting public comment. The maximum rate of $1.25/$1,000 would cost approximately $206 per year for the average Hood River County property with an assessed value of $164,863. This estimated cost is based on the best information available from the county assessor at the time of the estimate.
Cascade Locks residents will decide the fates of two measures affecting local utility rates. Text of these measures will be published in the Oct. 14 edition.
For voter registration information see: oregon
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Lawnmower torches Arbor Vitae on Portland Drive
The riding lawn mower driven by Norma Cannon overheated and made contact with dry arbor vitae owned by Lee and Norma Curtis, sending more than a dozen of the tightly-packed trees up in flames. The mower, visible at far right, was totaled. No one was injured; neighbors first kept the fire at bay with garden hoses and Westside and Hood River Fire Departments responded and doused the fire before it reached any structures. Westside Fire chief Jim Trammell, in blue shirt, directs firefighters. The video was taken by Capt. Dave Smith of Hood River Fire Department. Enlarge