Photo by Emily Fitzgerald
Commissioner Les Perkins speaks with attendees at the Oct. 24 workshop.
As of Friday, November 2, 2018
Hood River County held its first Budget Workshop at the Fairgrounds Community Building in Odell last week; and a second, identical workshop will be held at the Hood River Valley Adult Center next week.
The goal of the workshops is to inform the public about the county’s extensive budget problems and to get input on potential solutions.
“We had a lot of good feedback about the process and look forward to the next one,” said Paige Rouse, who helped the county organize the event.
The workshop was held as an open house, with crowd-control barricades and informational banners guiding visitors through a self-guided tour of the county’s budget challenges.
County commissioners and several department representatives, including Sheriff Matt English, Senior Planner Keith Cleveland with community development and Chief Appraiser Duane Ely with records and assessment, were stationed throughout to answer questions and weigh in on discussions.
After passing through all of the information stations, attendees were each given four colored dots they could use to rank some proposed solutions, such as a property tax capital or operating levy, a prepared food and beverage tax, continuing to cut services, and others.
“(Last week’s Budget Workshop event received) mostly positive feedback on graphical presentations that explained the county’s budget issues in easy-to-understand displays and offered opportunities to engage with commissioners or county managers for questions and explanations,” said a press release.
The second budget workshop will be held at the Hood River Valley Adult Center on Nov. 8 from 6:30-8:30 p.m. “Since it is an ‘open house format,’ people need not be there at 6:30 sharp. Ideally, arrive anytime between 6:30 and 7:30 and allow about an hour,” Rouse said, “The Nov. 8 event at the Hood River Valley Adult Center is in a smaller venue than the Fairgrounds Community Building, so we hope to keep people moving and flowing through.”
The Hood River Valley Adult Center is located at 2010 Sterling Place in Hood River. For more information, contact Hood River County Administration at 541-386-3970, or email firstname.lastname@example.org.