Five Cascade Locks residents, including two incumbents, vie for three positions on the city council.
Also on the Nov. 6 ballot, Cascade Locks residents will be asked to renew the existing EMS services charge, which City Council voted to keep at the current rate.
Mayor Tom Cramblett faces a challenge from retiree Kathy Tittle; Hood River News profiled the mayoral candidates in the Oct. 10 edition.
Council candidates are:
- Deanna Busdieker, a five-year incumbent;
- Julie Caldwell, who works at Cascade Ale House and has lived in Cascade Locks six years;
- Butch Miller, a retired taxi driver who moved to Cascade Locks a year and a half ago;
- Sara Patrick, a 47-year resident who works as a bartender and with Brigham Fish Market;
- Richard Randall, a six-year incumbent and 40-year city resident;
Patrick, Caldwell and Miller have never held elected office.
Here are excerpts from their comments at a candidate forum held Oct. 4 at Port Pavilion:
“Having been on the council already for five years, we can say a vote for me is a vote for experience and decision. The responsibility of your vote is always something I have taken very seriously. I have attended many workshops and conferences, network with other officials and am always learning how to govern better. Have you ever contacted me as a council member? Then you know I follow up on things and am doing the best I can to make sure they are taken care of. I research beyond staff reports. I hold feet to fires, I push for more transparency and better communication with our residents.
“I’ve spent the last five years trying to make some change on council. It has worked at times, other times not.”
Busdieker came to Cascade Locks nine years ago and served on planning commission for four years before joining council. She has a Bachelor of Arts in Interdisciplinary Studies from Marylhurst University, and is a self-employed web designer.
“A lot of people said I should run for council, so I figured out if that many people thought so, I should try,” Caldwell said. “I moved away from Cascade Locks and came back six years ago, and I think I will always come back here if I leave.” She has worked for six years at Cascade Ale House.
“A lot of people want change, more community spirit, and I think we need that. I don’t know how to do that, but I think people will help out along the away. I don’t have my mind set on any (specific goals) right now. I haven’t researched enough of it, but I definitely will if I’m on city council.”
Caldwell noted that she formerly served on the citizen parks and recreation committee and is actively involved with the Pacific Crest Trail Association, including serving as “trail angel,” maintaining a box of hikers’ goods at the Ale House.
“We have to keep building in town and we have to have industry. The biggest thing that the councilor and mayor and official have to do is the safety and protection of its constituents,” Miller said.
Miller has lived in Hood River a year and a half, but his family came to the community in 1942 and he has been attending Cascade Locks Community Church for the past five years and serves on its board. A retired taxi driver and Army veteran, he served on the Private for Hire Transportation Board in Portland.
“I believe in involvement. You have to be involved. We have clubs folding in this town, and my family has always been involved and I’d like to continue that.”
Miller said he agrees that increased users of the city’s electrical program could bring added revenue, but that those who use it need to pay their share, rather than putting the cost on citizens.
“I’m wet behind the ears: A greenhorn. I’m not going to lie, but if you guys are willing to work with me, let’s do it.”
Patrick is a member of the Confederated Tribes of Umatilla Indian Reservation and has lived in Cascade Locks since 1967. “My family has been here forever as commercial fishers,” she said.
“I work as a volunteer but have not gotten involved, but my involvement now is because of the fire last year,” she said. “We have a great community and we pulled together like troopers because of the fire and it was an amazing sight to see.
“My platform is youth, elder, jobs, and the businesses. We need to work together as a community. When I first moved here, this was a thriving community. It was amazing. Grocery stores, the schools, the sports, activities going on always, and that’s what I grew up with and that’s what I remember.”
“Since 2014, we have stabilized the government, paid off the fire hall, completed the main portion of the water improvements, applied for the next steps of the wastewater improvements and worked with ODOT to have WaNaPa paved,” said Randall, who served in the military for 10 years, then worked as a cookwith the National Park Service, U.S. Forest Service and Corps of Engineers.
“Over the years, I have witnessed many problems and changes in the community. Among our top issues is the ever-increasing number in visitors, because of the rising potential for natural disasters. We need to refocus the government responsibility to provide safety and services for our citizens and visitors.
“It is critical to have a strong EMS. Our EMS department is currently struggling despite our efforts to have certification and provide funding for increased staffing. It is imperative we continue to use our EMS fee to help fill the gap in funding.”
He called for reactivating the EMS committee “so citizens can help find solutions and determine the direction our community wants to go.”