A small business owner was selected on Tuesday by the Hood River Port Commission to fill the Position 5 vacancy.
Hoby Streich, co-owner of Cascade Market and the adjoining car wash, was chosen to replace Bob Nichols, who tendered his resignation on Aug. 1 because of “personal circumstances.”
“I feel I have the ability to represent all residents within the port’s district in a fair, impartial and unbiased manner,” said Streich. “The challenges ahead, though demanding in nature, appear to be obtainable through a joint work effort with Executive Director Dave Harlan and his professional and knowledgeable staff.”
Harlan said Streich’s prior experience with the port enabled him to beat out three other contenders for the 10 months remaining in Nichol’s unexpired term.
“We had four excellent candidates but Hoby having served on the budget committee and regularly attending port meetings seemed to be the determining factor,” said Harlan.
Streich and fellow applicants — Gary Fields, Mike Benedict and Kathy Watson — were interviewed by the four seated commissioners at a worksession prior to the Sept. 3 meeting. They were all asked what they believed the port’s mission was and how that goal could best be achieved. In addition, they were asked to share what they viewed as the biggest challenge facing the public agency and their suggestions about how to overcome it.
Streich, 43, contends that these questions are all linked to the same common denominator: working at the local level to create a diverse economy that will provide residents with a high quality place to work, play, and raise a family.
“If we adhere to our mission statement then we will be fulfilling our obligation as a commission, thus allowing future generations a place to belong,” Streich said.
Last spring, Streich joined the port’s budget committee and has also been involved with numerous civic organizations, including the Hood River County Chamber of Commerce, Little League, Lions Follies, Future Farmers of America, American Cancer Society and Hood River Saddle Club.
The long-time resident said he views the waterfront as a “diamond in the rough” that could become Hood River’s “crown jewel” with proper planning.
“In a bad economy people are turning increasingly to the port in the belief that it is the right entity to do something about that — and I just wanted to be involved in that challenge,” Streich said.