Ed Weathers selected to fill Hood River City Council seat

October 26, 2011

In the end they could only pick one.

Although both candidates for the council's open position drew strong reviews from council members during interviews Monday, Ed Weathers wound up being tabbed to fill the spot by a 4-2 vote.

Weathers will fill the position vacated by Donna Armstrong when she resigned last month.

The longtime Hood River resident had previously served on the council and also served on the budget committee during the city's financial turnaround over the past two years.

Weathers and planning commission member Kate McBride were both interviewed during Monday's city council meeting.

Neither candidate gave strikingly different answers, although they both clearly had their different areas of expertise.

When asked how she would spend any city surpluses in the budget, McBride said simply "I wouldn't." When interviewed later, Weathers also agreed he would not spend surpluses.

They were also similar in their views of parking. McBride said she saw the city as having a "seasonal parking problem" during the summer but not one worth building a sizable parking structure downtown to address.

Weathers said he did not see a lack of parking but a lack of "convenient parking" but also said it was not worth building a significant parking structure.

McBride said she viewed the waterfront urban renewal district as a great possibility for growth for the city and said she saw it coming to life with more people going to the waterfront already with the redevelopment that had been done.

Weathers said he saw the Heights urban renewal district as having the possibility for making the Heights more ready for businesses.

They also saw the role of government in managing growth in a similar light.

"It's our businesses that create growth," while the local government helps to steer the growth, McBride said.

Weathers said that the government should only slow down growth if it presents a negative impact to citizens.

He also said the city should not be afraid to look for improved sources of revenue, but should do it in a thoughtful manner.

"It just needs to make sure the cost of doing business in the city rises at a reasonable rate," he said.

The seated council members thanked both of the candidates for their interest and for their service to the city on both the budget committee and the planning committee.

The council ultimately only needed one round of balloting to decide on Weathers, who will be seated at the council's next meeting.

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