Public Servants: In appreciation for taking on the challenge

Transitions at city halls in Hood River and Cascade Locks officially happen Monday as a new Cascade Locks mayor takes the reins and new city councilors take on the role of decision-makers.

Longtime council member Tom Cramblett succeeds Lance Masters, whom he defeated in November, and new councilors Bruce Fitzgerald and Glenda Groves will also take the oath.

Meanwhile, in Hood River, Kate McBride and Laurent Picard will be sworn in, along with newcomer Mark Zanmiller.

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Meanwhile a dual “power couples” distinction takes hold, in both communities, with the election of Kate McBride and Glenda Groves in November.

In both Hood River and Cascade Locks, a married couple now bridges the Port Commission and City Council: Kate’s husband, Rich McBride, serves on Hood River Port Commission, and Glenda Groves’ husband, Jesse, is the Cascade Locks Port Commission chairman.

We have no idea whether this is unique, but it is unprecedented in this area, and certainly there will be no shortage of dinner table discussion topics in those households.

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In all cases, those serving in elected positions deserve the community’s thanks for taking the time to serve and demonstrating the willingness to put themselves in the oft-challenging position making decisions that affect the public.

So appreciation is in order, followed in due time by the necessary scrutiny, sometimes resulting in something other than appreciation from all quarters.

With the economy still in recovery, and laws and regulations growing increasingly complex, and revenues ever receding, combined with growing expectations and potential for rancor, the challenge of serving in public office is as great a one as it has ever been.

To borrow a sailing analogy that Cascade Locks and Hood River have in common, the same winds that fill the sails can throw a vessel off course or stall completely and leave it in doldrums. It’s a matter of expecting the gusts and relishing the breezes.

Happy, or at least effective, sailing to all those who have their hands on the rudders.

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