Saturday, January 25, 2014
The Hood River County School District is looking for committed citizens to join its budget committee: the committee of community and school board members tasked with scrutinizing and approving a budget of approximately $40 million. Vacancies are in the following regional areas:
Zone 1 (Cascade Locks/West Hood River) — three-year term through June 2016
Zone 2 (West Hood River) — one-year term through June 2014
Zone 4 (Odell) — one-year term through June 2014
Zone 5 (Parkdale) — three-year term through June 2016
Next year’s budget is gearing up to be the first in a few years without requiring cuts to a significant number of jobs and programs. That’s mainly a result of the state increasing education funding for all K-12 schools; though still woefully short of the Oregon’s own “Quality Education Model” recommendations. More stable state level funding is a chance to preserve critical educational and extra-curricular programming.
The future of state education funding is murky, however, including proposals by the state to change the way “poverty rates” are calculated (which would have a negative impact on HRCSD’s budget), pending legal challenges to public pension cuts, and flat student enrollment.
With this backdrop for school funding, enter the budget committee: The school district releases a proposed budget around May. The budget committee, made up of citizens and school board members, meets in May to review the draft, hear from the public and suggest changes. Once approved, it’s set for final adoption by the school board.
Applications are available online at the district website (hoodriver.k12.or.us). The deadline for applications is Feb. 19, 5 p.m.
The schedule for the 2014-15 budget process starts Feb. 26 with appointment of committee vacancies.
The proposed budget is published by April 12, and the first meeting of the budget committee is at 6:30 p.m. on May 6 at the HRVHS library. The committee is scheduled to meet May 13 and May 27, with a public hearing planned June 11, and adoption no later than June 30.
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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