The mayoral transition began in earnest Monday with Mayor Paul Blackburn reading his letter of resignation aloud — to take effect Aug. 31 — and passing the gavel to Mayor Pro Tem Kate McBride.
City Manager Rachael Fuller also confirmed that the council will determine at its next meeting, Sept. 9, which applicants are eligible to be considered for appointment as mayor. Interviews will happen at the Sept. 23 meeting, with appointment likely that evening.
So far, two people have been certified as qualified for appointment: McBride and Ed Wilder of Hood River.
(A third individual has turned in application materials but his residency has not been fully verified.)
The meeting was Blackburn’s final one after more than four years as mayor; he and his wife, Dr. Kristen Dillon, are moving to Washington, D.C. Blackburn also served on City Council from 2004-10.
About 30 people attended a reception for Blackburn at Hood River Fire Department Monday afternoon, where speakers thanked Blackburn for his years of service to the community, and his leadership and openness as mayor. Speakers cited his stands for inclusion, with projects including the Hood River Latino Advisory Board and his support for programs including Hood River’s designation as a sanctuary city.
Blackburn, who also plays the banjo, announced that his professional prospects in D.C. are yet unknown but he has lined up musical gigs including farmers’ markets in the D.C. area.
Streets Alive canceled
Organizer Peter Cornelison announced to council Monday that the community event planned for the Heights on Sept. 29, second annual Streets Alive, has been canceled, citing opposition and complaints from unnamed businesses and individuals.
“There is confusion in the community about our agenda, the event and its purpose,” Cornelison said. “A small group of individuals and Heights businesses publicly and privately coalesced to oppose Streets Alive. This group lobbied against us with our fiscal sponsor, Hood River Chamber of Commerce and permitting agencies, Oregon Department of Transportation and the City of Hood River through the Urban Renewal Advisory Committee.”
He added, “This made it untenable for the event to continue this year.
“We recognize that change is hard for people. The Streets Alive team has worked with the community and city leaders to create an inclusive event that brings together neighbors. It was an enormous success last year that showed people the vision for safer streets and underscored our city’s goals of supporting more active transportation.”
Aug. 28 movie
Cornelison said the Streets Alive committee will continue to sponsor smaller events and advocacy efforts, starting with the Aug. 28 showing of the film “Motherload,” at 7 p.m. at The Ruins in connection with Oregon E-Bikes and Wildwood Academy.
Details are availableon Facebook.
The Streets Alive commitee invites feedback at StreetsAliveHR@gmail.com.
See the website, StreetsAliveHR.com, for more details.