By SUE RYAN
News staff writer
October 11, 2006
The deadline to respond to a recall petition came Monday night for two Cascade Locks city councilors and both chose to stay in office.
Lee Kitchens and Rob Brostoff each submitted a 200-word statement to city recorder Kate Mast. She filed the statements with Hood River County Elections Tuesday for inclusion in the Nov. 7 election ballot. The statements are a justification in response to the statement filed by Stan Bowyer stating his reasons for the recall.
The situation stems from a July 10 meeting where, following a public hearing, the Cascade Locks city council voted to sell 1.8 acres of city property. They split on the sale by a vote of 4 to 3. The decision sold the land to the Columbia Cascade Housing Authority for $300,000.
The nonprofit organization, based in The Dalles, plans to build 30 units of affordable housing on the site next to an undeveloped parcel known as Toothrock Park.
Bowyer filed the same statement for the recall against both Kitchens and Brostoff. It states:
“The recall of (Kitchens, Brostoff) is (their) misrepresenting the people of Cascade Locks. (They) did not listen to the citizens when they asked for low density on the McCoy property. When the proposal was given, (they) represented only the development of said proposal. That proposal only and not at all any of the citizens’ ideas or comments. We the people feel that (they) represented (their) own self interest and the wishes of the citizens of Cascade Locks. (They) asked no questions about the impact that this proposal would be on the neighbors of Cascade Locks near and around the proposed site. Traffic problems that will be caused by the amount of people and there (their) cars, noise that it will bring, and the disruption of the streets. (They) had no concern for (their) constituents and their needs.”
Councilor Rob Brostoff wrote in his statement of justification:
“Cascade Locks doesn’t have affordable rental housing. Apartment complexes are full with waiting lists for units. None have been built for nearly 40 years.
“There are only 36 units in two complexes, plus the Cragmont. Two studies done by the county show a need in our city. I voted to build the McCoy development for these reasons. We’ll gain eight units for seniors and 22 senior eligible units for a total of 30. It will include a community center available to the public, and resident community gardens.
“The city made over $240,000 by selling the McCoy property. This will help us finance a badly needed new fire station. The two projects will bring in $5 million-plus in construction and new jobs. All done to serve the citizens, and without any new taxes. An excellent value for our city.
“Traffic will have little effect, with only 30 units, over one-quarter for seniors and the rest senior eligible. Approximately the same amount of traffic as produced at the Clark Street units where there is never a traffic backup. Both complexes use two lane roads with a stop sign at a main road.
“This is serving our community and the Edgewood neighborhood.”
Councilor Lee Kitchens wrote in her statement of justification:
“I believe that the persons requesting my recall feel they are justified not because they have studied the facts but are simply misinformed. Because of limited time in council chambers a lot of questions and answers are done by phone to staff and concerned parties.
To date, not one person who started this recall or signed the petition has called me, stopped by or otherwise tried to contact me. I feel my vote on the McCoy proposal was in the best interest of the city and to date I would not change it.
I still feel this is not a ‘done deal.’ Small details will happen; more questions will be asked and more problems will be solved. In the end, the city will come out a winner.
We will have much-needed affordable housing for our seniors in a beautiful setting and funds to build a much-needed fire hall. How can this be a bad thing?
I know we can’t make everyone happy but I believe the council has tried its best for all concerned parties.”