By KIRBY NEUMANN-REA
Hood River News Editor
May 4, 2005
The number of Port of Hood River candidates is just one encouraging thing about the three races in the May 17 election.
The community owes its thanks to the three incumbents and three challengers who stepped forth and offered to run, and for all candidates on the ballot.
It takes real commitment to put yourself into the public eye as a candidate for public office. In the case of the Port, that six people would contend for the “hot seat” says something about the Hood River County community.
With that in mind, those who are accustomed to the heat deserve to be kept in office.
Votes for Don Hosford, Fred Duckwall and Kathy Watson are in order.
Duckwall is trying for a second seat on the commission but preceded it with many years of service on Hood River County School Board. His calm leadership and deep experience is something the commission needs.
Hosford, with the longest tenure on the Port, at eight years, has remained a low-key but dedicated member of the commission. The Port needs his stable, informed presence.
Watson was appointed last year, but has given of her time to the community in the seven years she’s been in the Gorge. She deserves the chance to put that experience to use and hone her skills as a Port commissioner.
Challengers Lars Bergstrom, Cory Roeseler, and Craig Marquardo have demonstrated passion and energy as they have presented their cases to the public. But change is rarely good as an end to itself.
The Port itself is undergoing a period of change, as the agency strives to reach an agreement with the City of Hood River for a waterfront park that meets the varied needs of the community.
This is the time to maintain course and call upon the incumbents to keep working hard to find the best possible solution to what sometimes seems an intractable problem, but is not, and to continue to focus on the economic development opportunities throughout Hood River County.
Hosford and Duckwall have records of community leadership and service that fold into their work on the commission. For their demonstrated service and experience, they should be supported for re-election to the Hood River Port Commission.
Watson has only been on the commission for six months, and in that time has demonstrated leadership qualities that are needed as the Port district works to create jobs and improve the quality of life in Hood River County.