Meet the Cascade Locks Mayor candidates

News staff writer

October 7, 2006

The questions:

Each candidate was asked the same four questions. Some chose to make one statement while others chose to answer the questions individually.

Question 1 — What do you see as the top three issues facing Cascade Locks?

Question 2 — If you could change one thing about the way the city does business, what would it be?

Question 3 — In recent months, there has been acrimonious division with the council and community. How will you work in this environment?

Question 4 — Tell the community about your background, including biographical details and why you feel you are best suited for the position.

William K. Logue

My name is William K. Logue. I have been a Cascade Locks resident and property owner for 30 years.

I have decided to run for the mayor of Cascade Locks because I am concerned with some of the issues that are facing us. Among them are high utility rates, excessive spending, fire department issues and zoning concerns.

I feel that I can be of help in some of these areas. If I am elected I will be a “hands-on mayor.” I will be available to hear your comments, complaints and ideas. My home phone number is 374-8887 and I will be available weekdays after 4 p.m. and most Saturdays and Sundays.

I would appreciate your vote.

Rob Brostoff

Question 1

The top three issues facing our city are:

One: The economy

Two: Public safety

Three: Housing

We need jobs, places to work, and for our children too. The resort/casino will certainly do that when and if it comes. The Port is also working on a proposed resort, but that is not a sure thing. Google is setting up a server farm in the Gorge. Microsoft and Yahoo will do the same. Google is already looking at another location in The Dalles. Other high-tech firms would find the Gorge an attractive place to call home. These firms are non-polluting and require only land, electricity and infrastructure; we have these.

We are ready to build our fire station. This will help us meet codes and rules, particularly OSHA’s. The city council is asking for your support in forming a fire district to finance our fire and ambulance. The city has done this from its small budget for years, the equipment is old and unreliable; much needs to be replaced.

We need inexpensive housing: New housing in town runs between $215,000 and $315,000; not affordable by working people and our seniors. Could you buy your home at its current value?

Question 2

The past few years the city has raised millions of dollars in grant money. It’s been raised by our administrator, Bob Willoughby, and the RARE volunteers he mentors and our fire chief. This is not a reliable funding source; in fact it’s drying up, CLIK’s inability to get re-funded is an example of this.

In addition, we have one person responsible for all our city bureaus and the fire and ambulance department, I feel it’s too much for one person to be doing. In Portland each councilor is responsible for a bureau, spreading responsibility over several people and allowing for sharper focus.

The city should form a fire district, with citizens on the board to oversee the emergency services department. This will allow for more citizen input into the process. In addition, it will free up Bob to concentrate on other important functions in the city.

The emergency services department grows more important as our town grows; they need a stable source of funding that is not capricious. Over time the rules and regulations developed by different controlling agencies have made operation difficult without professional supervision. It’s becoming important to bring professionalism to our fire and ambulance department.

Question 3

There are many schisms in our community and county. I ran for county commissioner in hopes of healing some of these. It’s important to heal them on the local level also. Reaching out to those with different ideas and finding common ground is a start. Working on common projects and developing trust helps. Developing an inclusive, not an exclusive attitude makes people feel welcome. Building trust and consensus helps. Getting out into the community and looking at what people want goes a long way to build bridges.

As a mayor, it’s important to set expectations, both for the council and for the community. For the council, it can be important to hold workshops to explain what can and can’t be done, how things work, build trust and learn to work together for the common good. Staff plays an important role in this; they do the daily work. It helps for key staff to set expectations and explain what their role is and how it works.

Holding town halls on issues important to the city gives people input into the process. These are basic ways to start to heal the divisions within our city.

Question 4

I grew up in the Portland/Vancouver area; my spare time was spent in the Gorge and on the Columbia — my favorite places.

At 22 I went into business in Eugene, a pizza parlor named Rico’s.

My degree is in electronics engineering technology; I went to work for Prime Computer in 1982 in the Bay area. I worked as a factory field engineer there, and for Apollo Computer; later acquired by Hewlett Packard. I repaired, installed and taught hardware and software to customers and fellow engineers.

Retired at 54, I moved to the Gorge where I reside. Since coming to Cascade Locks I’ve been in the Lions, on the planning commission, and the city council for six years. Also the city and port budget committees.

I’ve mentored elementary children in chess at our school, and organizing tournaments. I served as Cascade Locks rep on the advisory committee to the school board; we built the music room along with rebuilding the locker and shower rooms, nearly $1 million’s worth of construction.

As part of the telecom committee, we brought you broadband, improved your TV signal, and lineup.

These accomplishments speak for themselves, and hopefully will be a strong predictor of future accomplishments.

Arni Kononen

Question 1

The top issue I see is what I call “Smart Growth.” Cascade Locks is experiencing a growth spurt. That growth is happening with or without the casino. We have to be smart about how this growth happens. How will the traffic patterns change? Do we have the right infrastructure in place? How can we keep our city’s character? We only get one chance to do this right.

The second issue is: How do we ensure that fire and emergency services are staffed and equipped properly? We need equipment now. The current fire hall is woefully inadequate. New trucks will not fit in the building. Providing adequate and stable funding for emergency services could be a life-and-death issue for some citizens. We have to make sure they have what they need.

The last issue is the city’s sense of community. We need to be a community that takes care of each other. We are a changing community. We have some who want to go in one direction and some in another. We need to put our heads together and see if we can come up with solutions that are satisfactory to all so everyone can enjoy their city.

Question 2

I would change the way the City Council communicates with residents. Some say Cascade Locks does a wonderful job by televising council meetings and sending out a quarterly newsletter, but those steps are not enough.

The Council often passes resolutions or ordinances with complicated titles and with little public discussion except in un-televised workshops. A person watching the council meeting has no idea what their council just passed. If a citizen then tries to find the ordinance on the city Web site, they are met by an unforgiving search engine that confounds and confuses them. It certainly frustrates me, and I know what I’m looking for.

We need to have more citizen input into future council actions. We need to let citizens know what we are doing and why. They need to hear the discussions and not just the vote. Several recent controversies could have been avoided if residents had been aware of the Council’s intentions.

Question 3

Communication is again the key. When a community is changing, there is often resistance to change. Sometimes we have choices and sometimes we don’t. We can try to mitigate problems, though. When reasonable people discuss all the options, solutions are usually found. The entire community hasn’t been upset with the Council, only a small part of the community. If the council had communicated with them properly, they might not have been so upset. That doesn’t mean they don’t have legitimate concerns or that those concerns should be ignored. We need to hear all concerns. It only takes one person to find a fatal flaw in a plan that everyone thought was great, and we should be glad that one person found the flaw for us. Anger and harsh words won’t solve problems. Communication, discussion and brainstorming are better tools for problem-solving.

Question 4

I’ve been a resident of Cascade Locks for approximately 18 years. My wife and I have seven children, so I understand family problems and will continue to work to strengthen families as city policy. I work for the State of Oregon Department of Human Services. I’ve been a member of the Cascade Locks Budget Committee and I currently am a member of the City Council. As a Council member I have not been afraid to challenge current policies or practices such as my recent objection to a power rate increase I felt we didn’t need. I believe in fairness for all and will work in the best interest of the entire city. I want the city to become more self-sufficient. I want to see more local jobs. I want to see better communication between the Council and the citizens. One way I intend to do this is to energize the City’s committees so more residents are involved and have a greater say in their community. I hope to give the city a positive image so we can be proud to be Lockians.

Roger Freeborn

Question 1

1. Present and future growth must be immediately revisited. Although we have a well-thought-out Comprehensive Growth Plan, developed five years ago, addressing housing and our downtown area, recent residential development and the lack of downtown improvements have raised questions. I believe most citizens’ concerns can be addressed through forming a citizens’ advisory committee coupled with public hearings to amend our current Plan to suit the mindset of the citizens at this time; no doubt, the Plan will need revisiting as growth continues.

2. The city, public servants and elected officials have, for the most part, lost touch with the citizens of Cascade Locks and the will of these citizens. As elected officials, we must remember that we are the voices of the majority of voters. It is an elected official’s duty to stay in touch with constituents. The staff must remember that they serve at the will of these elected officials. I do encourage staff to think creatively. I also believe citizens have a responsibility to contact their elected officials with their thoughts. Had this simple scenario been followed recently with the sale of the McCoy property and the current attempt to form a fire district a whole lot of bad feelings could have been avoided.

3. The size and control of government in Cascade Locks. Our lives are controlled by the actions of a city, port, county, ODOT, Forest Service and possible Fire District. Government is big business in C.L. I would like to try to lessen government’s effect on our lives in C.L. and make it work for us instead of against us.

Question 2

If I can change one thing about the way the city does business: financial accountability — take away any doubt of the citizens that their city government is not squandering money. We are a town of approximately 1,000 people; to put that in perspective, the size of a large apartment complex. We purchase all of our essential services from the city or county and some non-essential services through either taxes or monthly billing. I believe that in a few areas, we are living beyond our means and the city has only a general accountability. I know that any government staff hates this but the new council must implement some micro-management and cost analysis of certain government services to rein in spending or at least have an accurate accounting of department expenditures. A case in point: The city auditor for years recommended that the clerical department have a work order system in place to track expenses; to this date no system is in place other than general government budgeting.

Question 3

I realize that the new mayor and council have their work cut out for them bridging the communication gap that has festered in recent months between the city, council and citizens; how would I work in this environment? Listen, listen and listen some more; when I feel myself and the council have all the facts I would act to best serve the will of the people.

Question 4

I have been elected to this office twice before, fulfilling one term and having to resign shortly into my second term due to a bout with cancer. I have now sat on the sidelines for about three years, observing my local government in action, and have learned a lot by watching. I feel that having been there, serving with a fairly diverse and successful Council and now having observed another Council gives me a unique perspective of how this city should be governed. I have served on the city’s budget and tourism committees. I have been party to negotiations concerning a casino, electric rates, water and sewer rates, hiring city and county staff, Dry Creek low-impact Hydro project, Comprehensive plan review and I have worked with two separate governor’s staffs to mention a few. I spearheaded the formation of the Cascade Locks Drug-Free Zone and created what I consider the town’s largest event, the Cascade Locks Kart Grand Prix. I also started what I believe to be the first CL Mayor’s Ball. I am involved in the construction industry, car sales, and event promotion and management. It is these life experiences, and more, that make me feel I am qualified to serve as mayor.

Bob Walker

Question 1

One: Restoring the community’s confidence in the mayor, the City Council and city administration.

Two: Assure that our high school not only remains in Cascade Locks, but that it will also grow and improve.

Three: Come to a consensus on what the citizens really want Cascade Locks to look like not only today but in 10, 20 or 30 years.

Question 2

Our local cable channel is virtually unchanged from what it was 25 years ago. I believe it is underutilized. As mayor I will explore ways to maximize its use as a source for information-sharing for city-related activities, school and the rest of the community. I think this can be done with very little or no cost to taxpayers. Perhaps we can partner with the high school? Students could earn credit for producing informational videos and videos of events of interest to all of us.

The city Web site is another area where there is a lot of room for improvement. Much of the information found there is not updated. People gather and share information online — that’s the way things are done now and we need to do a better job of making information available.

If there is a meeting of the City Council or Planning Commission Monday, I want the minutes of that meeting to be available on our city Web site by Thursday.

The city newsletter latest edition appears to have become comprised more of opinions than actual fact and useful information. It could be published more often.

I believe that by working harder on sharing information, we can better deal with the three issues I have identified.

Question 3

The level of dissatisfaction with our city government is easily recognized. In my 40 years of living in Cascade Locks, I can’t remember another time that five people were running for mayor of Cascade Locks. The recall effort against two council people is another indication that a portion of the community feels that their opinions are not being seriously considered. I believe we can begin to solve the problem of confidence in our city government by making information more accessible. People are complaining that they are not being listened to. No reasonable person can expect to get things their way all the time but when unpopular and difficult decisions are made, are the city council and mayor making every effort to give people all the same information as the Council has?

We need to communicate better so everyone can see all sides of the issues.

Question 4

I have lived in the Gorge for all but one year of my life. My family moved here from Bridal Veil in 1967. My grandfather and father worked in the mill in Bridal Veil back in the days when the mill was owned by the Kraft family and they made boxes, mouse traps and window and door frames. I attended Cascade Locks School and graduated in 1973. I married Myra Klapprich after she graduated here in 1974. I have two sons, a daughter, three granddaughters and one grandson. In the past I have served on the Cascade Locks Fire Department as Assistant Chief, served on the City Budget Committee, and I was on the Local School Committee. I have coached several kids’ sports teams at the youth and high school levels.

I have been employed with the Oregon Department of Transportation since 1993. I worked my way up to Supervisor of the ODOT Region One Sign Crew, which I managed for six years.

In January 2005 I was promoted to Assistant District Manager of ODOT District 2B. My work in state government has enabled me to gain valuable experience in dealing with regulations, contract maintenance, purchasing, dispute resolution and being a servant of the public.

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