Courtesy of Thrive Hood River are these candidate responses — submitted in preparation for the Special Elections forum on May 8 at Hood River Hotel;  doors open at 5:30 p.m., the forum starts at 6 p.m.

Port of Hood River candidates and Hood River Valley Parks and Recreation District candidates are all on the ballot for the May 21 Special Districts election.

Ballots were mailed May 1; call Hood River County Elections Department at 541-386-1442 or visit the office, 601 State St., between 8 a.m. and 5 p.m. if you have yet to receive a ballot.

PORT OF HOOD RIVER

Kristi Chapman and Mike Fox are running for Position 4, vacated by Brian Shortt, who chose not to run for re-election.

Position 5 incumbent Hoby Streich is running unopposed.

Mike Fox

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Mike Fox

Our bridge is at its end of life after serving our community well for over 90 years. In the next few years, the port must arrange significant financing (probably greater than $350 million), complete permitting, select and manage a design contractor, then do the same for construction. This will be by far and away the largest project the port has ever managed. I developed such experience after a 45 year career with a recognized premier Engineering and Construction Company building signature mega projects all over the world. I was responsible for budgeting, scheduling, performance analysis, estimating and risk management processes for all projects and operations. I’ve help manage LNG plants across Australia, Motorways and Bridges in Albania and Romania, Airports in Doha Qatar and Muscat Oman, environmental projects in Washington and Idaho. I was elected a vice president of the company, placing me in the top 100 executives of this 50,000 employee company. There are five generations of my family here in the valley. I knew I wanted to retire to this beautiful place where I spent summers picking Bartlett’s on my uncle’s orchard. I returned often to visit my brother and family who took over the family farm. My roots in the valley are deep, with my great-grandfather coming to the valley in the early 1880s. 

I recognize our bridge is in dire need of replacement. I believe I can bring the necessary skills to make this a successful project.

Kristi Chapman

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Kristi Chapman

I’m originally from Arvada, Colo., a suburb of Denver. I grew up in my family business and learned nearly every aspect of real estate, selling, property management, land development, mortgage, escrow and title. I learned about ethics, transparency, community dedication and hard work. Once married, my husband, Travis, joined the Navy and we were stationed at Pearl Harbor. After having children, it became important to us to return to the beautiful Hood River Valley, where he was raised. We moved and started his dental practice, which I currently manage.

I want to give back and help to grow and protect this amazing place. Over the past few years, I have dedicated myself to learning all I can by attending meetings, researching, having discussions with port business owners, staff, current and previous commissioners, and as many in the Hood River Valley community as possible. I have no personal or single-track agenda, I want to continue the impressive work of the current and previous commissioners and staff. The bridge is a pivotal aspect of the port’s holdings and the process towards replacement needs to continue for users safety and to serve the changing needs of people. The port’s many land and real estate holdings need to be thoughtfully managed and developed moving forward balancing their core values and mission to “initiate, promote and maintain quality of life and a healthy economy throughout the Port District and the Columbia River Gorge.” I humbly ask for your confidence and your vote.

PARKS AND RECREATION

Glenna Mahurin

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Glenna Mahurin

I have been on the board of directors for the Parks and Rec District for over 15 years. I have also been on the board of directors for the Oregon Food Bank for several years and have managed the upper valley facility since its inception. The gratification I have received from serving the community through these two organizations is immense.

I especially enjoy watching the many projects that parks and rec has planned and implemented over the years come to fruition. Some of those are our many well used trails, upgrades to the skate park, installing a disc golf course at Morrison Park, and new parks (Culbertson in Hood River, Odell Park and Golden Eagle Park near the high school). The board is currently working on a plan to acquire land in the Westside area to better serve our residents by constructing a centrally located park in their area.

The number one concern of the board remains the aquatic center, which is nearing the end of its life expectancy. I hope to be able to see the day when, through community efforts, it will be rebuilt to better serve many who use it. We hope to expand the use with a bigger and better center.

Watching the county of Hood River grow and develop and providing the citizens with safe, and viable opportunities for recreation has been a great source of pride for me..

Suzanne Cross

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Suzanne Cross

I am a full-time working mom of busy teenagers who were raised enjoying our beautiful Gorge. I care deeply about the parks, trails and aquatic center and desire to protect and help them grow as our community grows.

I am eager to listen and learn from those before me. I am passionate about having a well-run, well-established park and recreation system that provides opportunities for all members of our community — young and aging — regardless of ability or language spoken. Our community’s growth has surpassed the capacity of the current parks district. It’s time for us to explore creative ways to make sure we meet the needs of all community members for parks as well as for recreation, facilities and programs.

In addition to my energy and interest, I bring a great deal of experience to the board. Having worked 30 years in the field of public health, I know how to be creative with limited resources, run programs, budget and access grants. I’ve lived in Hood River for 18 years and am a very active volunteer as a water polo board member, lacrosse and robotics coach, school district volunteer and recent swim instructor for the adult learn to swim program.

Most importantly, I value the need to create parks and recreation activities that support the health and well-being of all community members.

Jeff Hunter

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Jeff Hunter

I believe deeply in parks and recreation for the health and well-being of the whole community. In a time of inequity, our community pool, parks, trails, ball courts and ball fields are open and well used by all. They bind us together.

The next four years will be challenging for our park and recreation district:

1. The pool needs the heating system replaced and a permanent cover at the very least.

2. HRVPR District is currently working to develop a much needed valley wide Master Plan for parks.   

3. It is past time for a large community park on the west side. No new ballfields have been constructed in nearly 20 years. 

4. The Indian Creek trail to the high school and beyond has had an approximately 1,000-foot interruption for nearly a decade. With community partners, we can acquire this section by easement or ownership.

Any and all of these will take cooperation between Parks, other local governments and private entities and the trust of voters to support the necessary financing. I bring to this job:

  • Experience serving on other non-profit boards and the Hood River Co. Planning Commission
  • 28-year career selling, developing and valuing real estate in this valley
  • A deep belief in an open and fair public process and the importance of listening to all points of view
  • The time and passion to do this job

Peter Cornelison

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Peter Cornelison

Thanks to our current parks and recreation board, we have some great assets, but as Hood River County and the city grows, we need more parks and more connectivity.

Refurbishment of the pool is critical because the physical plant there is beyond its useful life and, while we are at it, should we build a city recreation center?

Completing the Indian Creek Trail to allow kids to bike to the high school is a high priority. Currently, the bike racks there are almost empty because most of the access roads are busy and dangerous with steep hills but the school parking lots are overflowing. There is a strong need for parks on the west side of Hood River as the city develops in that direction. These are just some of the decisions facing the parks and recreation board in the years ahead.

I would like to offer my experience to help guide the board as a former member of the Hood River City Council, 2015-18, who voted to preserve Morrison Park. I helped found Streets Alive! HR and am its managing director. I sit on the board of the Hood River Waterfront Park Committee, which raised the funds to build the Waterfront Park and since 2003, I have worked for Friends of the Columbia Gorge, helping to preserve the Columbia River Gorge National Scenic Area and enhance recreation.

Art Carroll

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Art Carrol

I have been on the board for many years.

My career was in forest management, including recreation areas in urban forest settings. I had experiences and skills that could help Hood River Parks and Rec District then and now. My personal interest was to “Help make things happen in the field.” This means connecting and building new community trails. Some projects were undertaken and accomplished, yet some are not finished because of lack of permission for trail easements. I have worked on connecting and constructing all four segments of the Indian Creek Trail and also the Westside Trail. There is a need to finish some of these projects.

The Aquatic Center is one of the most important health and safety facilities in our county, but is now in need of replacement and merits our community support. The parks district legal charter merits change so it supports existing and new recreation operations of community trails and other new venues.

In 1987, Hood River County Commissioners envisioned a park district “that would broaden its scope at some later time.” The present parks and recreation district hopes to further expand recreation opportunities with the city, county, school district and port district, and hopefully with private developers in the future. The Westside Concept Plan implementation will be a significant challenge to create recreation opportunities.

I have worked diligently to help broaden the scope of recreation opportunities for the people of our community and will continue those efforts if re-elected.

Mike McCarthy

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Mike McCarthy

I am running for my second term on the Hood River Valley Park and Recreation District Board. I have previously been elected to serve on boards for the Crystal Springs Water District (15 years) and Middle Fork Irrigation District (25 years). I have also served on several non-profit boards.

I ran for the parks district board my first term with two main goals: To improve the district’s financial procedures and to acquire land for a multi-purpose park on the west side with ball fields for kids. We have not acquired land on the west side. I hope to work on that for my second term as well as work on a plan for rebuilding the pool. I will work to make sure the public gets good value for their investment in the Parks District.

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