Saturday, November 9, 2013
A year and a half ago, after a 3-minute interview before the county board of commissioners, I was voted in as a member of The History Museum board. The county never offered any training or advice on the extent that volunteering for a committee may entail.
Before, during and after the county commissioners closed the museum for a month and stripped it of all revenue-generating activities for the next year or longer, they never consulted with the board for its point of view. Not once. In fact, when the history board came to them with a concern, they were disinterested in our needs and no action was taken.
During this difficult time, the county commissioners and their administration team have never assisted or supported us volunteers in the activities of our service. Never. I have had to read in the newspaper what the county was doing to me in appreciation for my hundreds of hours of volunteer help.
With no warning to the board, they locked us out, canceled exhibits, removed artifacts from the museum, lost keys to the building, refused to secure the building properly, spent money we had earned without our approval, voted behind closed doors and humiliated me in front of my friends and neighbors.
All history board decisions were made at open public meetings with minutes sent to the county administrator. Why is the county blaming volunteers for what the administrator failed to read? We never hid any of our actions; just did not understand what we were doing. As a “punishment” to us, the county commissioners are refusing to allow us to handle all forms of money as long as we are a History Museum board.
The County Board of Commissioners has put the board members in a real legal quagmire. The Hood River County legal counsel states that “it is not accurate to state categorically that no criminal laws were violated.” I have been advised to seek legal counsel at my own expense to protect myself from Hood River County and its administration team for my service as a volunteer. We expected the county administration to guide us, not prosecute us.
All of the board members are respected members of our community with the average age of over 70. My family has lived in this valley since 1911. I am very disappointed with the lack of concern for us as individuals from our country government.
On Oct. 17 Double Mountain Brewery hosted a fundraiser for 44Trails Inc., an organization dedicated to expanding the trail network on Mount Hood for mountain bikers, hikers and horseman. More than $4,000 was raised.
Many local businesses were involved with this event, including Continental Bike Tires, Dakine, Dog River Coffee, Doppio, Dirty Finger Bikes, Full Sail Brewing, Ice Breaker, Kona Bikes, Mtn. View Bikes, Naked Winery, Off Piste, pFriem Family Brewing, Shortt Supply, 6th St Bistro, Sellwood Cyclery, Shimano, Ski Bowl, Timberline Lodge, Timbuk, The UPS Store and the U.S. Forest Service.
Please think of these businesses when you do your shopping. Without their support these events would be impossible.
Dress to be seen
Driving home after work on Monday it struck me that out of the half-dozen walkers, joggers and bicyclists I passed, only one was visible from a safe distance. The others were wearing dark clothing and did not have anything reflective on their person. These are accidents waiting to happen.
I’m not sure which would be worse: being the driver who hit a walker, jogger or bicyclists, or being the person who gets a call that their loved one was hit while walking, jogging or riding.
I take issue with the article you published which contended that the Hood River County volunteers at The History Museum were “sloppy.”
The term “sloppy” should be attributed to the county administration. It is responsible for establishing fiduciary protocols and the training of personal and the supervision to ensure that all policies are strictly followed. This they did not do.
To assert that the unpaid volunteers are negligent or inept is pathetic.
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Bridge of the Gods Kite Fest 2016
Kiteboarders in action during the pro competition Friday at the 16th Annual Bridge of the Gods Kite Fest in Stevenson. All photos by Ben Mitchell. Enlarge