Re-elect Reitz
 
If you’re seeking a proven, experienced, and smart school board leader, then Chrissy Reitz is your only choice for Position 1. I’ve had the privilege of serving with Chrissy and working alongside her on a variety of school projects. Chrissy works for all students in our district. She is sharp, results-oriented and knows how to get things done for our community. During a time of transition and change in our school district, our students need thoughtful leadership from school board members who can stay focused on longterm goals and outcomes. That’s why I’m supporting Chrissy Reitz’s re-election to School Board Position 1.
 
David Russo
Hood River
 
Blank check
 
I understand the frustration of local agencies forced to subsist on dwindling budgets.  Are Measures 65 and 66 the answer? Based on the information distributed by proponents of both measures, as well as the county itself, this appears to be an audacious undertaking.  Maybe I’m missing something, but both proposals seem to be lacking in specificity and it is difficult to view these new taxes as a panacea.
 
Government at all levels has consistently shown a lack of accountability. As I see it, 65/66 is another blank check.
 
Joe McCulloch
Hood River
 
Vote Reitz
 
Chrissy Reitz has devoted thousands of volunteer hours to Hood River County School District (HRCSD) including now serving as school board chair. Chrissy leads smart and respectful budgeting of our tax dollars, and she works hard for ongoing educational opportunity improvements for all our kids. Chrissy is committed to all our kids from Parkdale to Cascade Locks and all points between. I serve on the school board with Chrissy and I can attest to her tireless commitment. Specific to Cascade Locks, Chrissy volunteered significant amounts of her time and resources to arrange and deliver school supply back packs for CL kids and families during the Eagle Creek fire, she met those kids when they got off the bus at their temporary Westside school, she continues to assure that our construction bond projects include CL school technological upgrades, computers, and upcoming roof and entry projects, and she continues to support the expanded pre-K opportunities now offered for Cascade Locks kids.
 
District wide, Chrissy has become an expert regarding school finances – the backbone of our district’s success. Pre-K to graduation and everything between, district financial excellence is critical to the program stability and options available to all our kids. Chrissy has been a board leader in helping our community receive over $70 million of construction improvements from the $57 million we’re paying in taxes. Chrissy understands the critical Pre-K through 12 programming that achieves our 87 percent graduation rate — a new record high.
 
Interested in joining the school or other board? I suggest start by joining a budget or finance or facilities committee and attend some board meetings. That’s what I did, and in a year or two you’ll be ready to join the board of your interest as an informed and constructive member — unfortunately, I have not seen Chrissy’s challengers attend any such committee or board meetings.
 
Chrissy is a vital leader to the vast range of financial and programmatic strengths our HRCSD now has — I encourage you to vote for Chrissy and maintain excellence for all of our kids.
 
Rich Truax
Vice-Chair, HRCSD
 
Cross for Parks
 
I am writing to express my endorsement of Suzanne Cross for the Hood River Valley Parks and Recreation Board. As a coach for our local water polo teams, I see the struggles our local parks and rec department is experiencing. Our community pool is failing, there aren’t enough fields and trails to meet the demands for our sports, and our park space is limited. With the current growth of Hood River, we need to plan facilities for the higher housing density and increased population that is coming our way. We need easy and reliable access to parks, pools, fields, and trails as this is vital to the health and wellness of our community. Suzanne Cross will help Hood River’s Parks and Recreation department get back on track. With these significant changes looming, we desperately need new leadership with fresh ideas and perspectives to help bring our  parks and rec into a new era as we are currently lagging. We need to vote for a candidate that sees these concerns first hand and wants to work to improve them for all — that person is Suzanne Cross. Suzanne is incredibly passionate about not just sustaining our parks & rec system, but improving it. She is willing to put in the work to make the changes needed to ensure our community can enjoy the recreational infrastructure that we deserve. Suzanne Cross is an invaluable member of the Hood River Valley Water Polo Club board, a user of our local parks and trails, and a girl’s lacrosse coach, so she personally sees the issues. I’ve worked closely with her on our club water polo team and she has helped stabilize our program and keeps it running smoothly. She listens to my ideas and helps make them a reality. I know she would do the same for our entire community with passion and a new perspective that is much needed. I ask that you give Suzanne Cross your vote for Hood River Valley Parks & Recreation board so that she can help bring parks and recreation in Hood River into a new era.
 
Kellie Dunn
Hood River
 
‘Yes’ for Kristi
 
Having known Kristi Chapman for over 15 years, I would heartily recommend her for Port Commissioner. She is intelligent, creative, and is just what our port needs. Kristi listens well to people with varying opinions and does her homework when issues arise. She is resourceful and seeks to provide win-win situations for everyone. Kristi also has extensive background in real estate and understands the nuances that come along with development, especially for port property. The port will be undergoing many new projects with the final development of the waterfront area and the replacement of the bridge. We need commissioners who will help to set policy and oversee the fiduciary responsibilities for these projects and more.
 
Kristi Chapman is a great choice for Port Commissioner. Please cast your vote for her — she will represent you well!
 
Susan Froehlich
Hood River
 
‘Two thoughts for voters’
 
Probably like you, I try to be an informed voter. I have been doing my research, reading the details, talking to other residents and pondering Letters to the Editor. Here are two thoughts that I hope will encourage you to join me in voting “yes” on Measures 65 and 66.
 
First, we are lucky to have a wide variety of unique and delicious food establishments in our town! We have amazing chefs and brewers who have worked hard to build a large and loyal group of local customers. When I choose to go out, it is because I want to enjoy a new, delicious cider or local wine with a fresh-cooked, farm-to-table meal! Or, maybe I need something quick and basic. I’m going grab something at my favorite taco truck or fast service restaurant. A small tax will not keep me away!  Because I know food service workers, I know that tips are important, and I will keep tipping too.  Restaurant owners, you have created an amazing bounty that your local patrons as well as tourists, enjoy and will keep coming back to you. A small tax, that we know will also benefit us, is not a factor.
 
Second, what makes Hood River County livable to me may be different than for you and both of our needs are valid. Years ago, my husband and I had begun to settle in to our new community of Cottage Grove, Ore. When our first child came along, our priorities changed. We ended up making the decision to move because voters there (mostly older) consistently voted down school bonds. Good schools were not as important to them as they were to us, a young family wishing to set down roots and contribute to a small town. Will Hood River county residents vote to take care of each other, regardless of our particular needs?
 
Let’s come together to support all the county-funded services that make this community a safe, healthy and great place to live for all!  I got my ballot today and I’m voting ‘yes’ for both Measure 65 and 66. I hope you will join me!
 
Ann Harris
Hood River
 
Vote for Chrissy
 
If you live in the Westside/Cascade Locks School Board zone, please vote for Chrissy Reitz for School Board. She has served on the Hood River County School Board and has chaired the board. She is passionate about education, a community builder, and a tireless volunteer for community causes. 
 
When Cascade Locks families were evacuated to the Clark County Fairgrounds during the 2107 Eagle Creek fire, Chrissy gathered up school supplies for the Cascade Locks children and got them to the kids.   Nothing speaks better to her heart for kids and passion for learning.  Vote for Chrissy — she is a terrific school board member.
 
Pat Evenson-Brady
Hood River
 
‘No’ on 14-66
 
For nearly 30 years Riverside, Cebu and the banquet department at the Best Western Plus Hood River Inn have been serving local and visiting guests. Being a restaurant operator can be extremely gratifying. Serving others, being a place where friends, neighbors and visitors come to celebrate the big moments in their lives: Anniversaries, birthdays, graduations, family reunions, company Christmas parties and regional conferences and conventions.
All of these things help get us through the tough times when sales are lower than you’d hoped they would be or when you’re trying to decide how to keep all your staff working through the off season and make sure they make enough money to take care of their families. We take the responsibility to our employees in that respect very seriously. Being a restaurant operator can also be extremely challenging and right now is one of those times. The Hood River County Commissioners are asking you to vote for a 5 percent sales tax on meals to pay for services that everyone in our community will benefit from. If this ballot passes the Hood River Inn will be less competitive when bidding on conferences and conventions when our competition from other Oregon communities don’t charge a meals tax. Guests will be less likely to dine out as often or perhaps less likely to tip as generously as most of them do. We are part of this community and have loved being able to support our friends and neighbors with jobs, charitable contributions and donations to worthy causes. Now I’m concerned we’ll be challenged to do this because of this sales tax on meals. You’re being told that this is a tax on tourists, but it should be noted that locals will pay far more of this tax than the tourists will, in fact, most estimates are locals would pay upwards of 60 percent of this tax. It is just wrong to target one industry. Please vote “no” on Measure 14-66 to help protect jobs and our vibrant restaurant industry.
 
Chuck Hinman
Hood River
 
Editor’s note: Chuck Hinman is the general manager at the Hood River Inn.
 
‘Thank you’
 
A big thank you to everyone who attended, organized, and supported the Six Rivers Dispute Resolution Center Annual Dessert Auction and Fundraiser. Thanks to everyone who joined us, we are able to continue spreading conflict resolution throughout the Gorge. It was a fantastic evening, with music from Scot Bergeron, dinner from Route 30, and entertainment from The Dalles Floozies and Friends. We especially want to thank the National Neon Sign Museum for hosting us! The museum is incredible. If you haven’t checked it out, we recommend it.
 
On behalf of the families and farms, thank you again for giving us the opportunity to continue serving those in conflict.
 
Marti Dane, Andrea Pacheco and Nicolia Mehrling
Six Rivers Distribution Center
 
Support those who serve
 
An event has come that gives many of us an opportunity to give our input on the future of our county. The event is, it’s time to vote.
 
There is one issue on the ballot that I would like to bring to your attention. The issue is the continued funding for many of our public services programs. One of the programs is funding for our Veterans Service Office. For many years, the office has served many hundreds of our county’s veterans to get the services that they earned by serving our country.
 
One of the main services they provide is to help our wounded service men and women get the medical services so greatly needed. For many veterans, this is an ongoing service to help them get back to and continue being productive members of their family and of our community.
 
It is because of their service, that we have the many freedoms and privileges that very few people have throughout the rest of the world. By supporting this measure, it is a great way to say thank you for serving our country.
 
For these reasons, I most highly recommend that you vote to provide the funding to keep all the services available to all our local veterans who helped make our country what it is today.
 
Nick Kirby, retired commander, US Navy Reserve
Hood River
 
Support veterans
 
I would like to express my sincere thanks to the Hood River County Veterans Service Office. Since I began seeking services there in 2014, I have come to lean on their help and assistance in navigating the VA and applying for other benefits.
 
Like other residents in the county I do not want to pay additional taxes, however, it seems one way or another us residents will be suffering. If we do not pass this measure, we are facing losing our veterans office, several sheriff deputies and services at the health department. This is a painful predicament for us to be facing but I feel obligated to advocate for the veterans in our county and our continued care by the veteran’s office.
 
Tricia Stevens specifically has always been informative, helpful, kind, and has efficiently secured my benefits through applications to the VA. Working with the VA is cumbersome and overwhelming, I feel it is a travesty to force our veterans to seek these services from other entities outside of our county. Considering my age, 84, being forced to drive to Portland or do these tasks myself is unacceptable.
 
I ask for support of the measures and continuation of our Veterans Service Office.
 
David Nash, US Army Veteran
Hood River
 
Vote Chrissy
 
I am supporting Chrissy Reitz in her re-election bid for the Hood River County School Board, position 1. I have known Chrissy for many years and she is a passionate supporter of education for our kids. Her record of service and volunteer actions back this up. She is always available and has the time to talk with me or other members of the community when we have questions or concerns regarding HRCSD. I know her as someone who can listen to and consider multiple points of view. She never misses meetings or school board related functions and understands the commitment that comes with being on the school board. Of special interest to me, she understands the importance not only of a solid classroom education, but also the role athletics and school activities play as part of a high functioning school district. Please join me in supporting Chrissy Reitz for Position 1 on this May’s ballot.
 
Erick von Lubken
Hood River
 
Unaffordable
 
We are being told that in order to have a “Safe and Healthy” Hood River County that we need to pass to tax two increases on the May ballot. The key word that the tax proponents don’t use is ‘affordable.’
 
That’s because each of the tax measures will make Hood River County less affordable. The proposed property tax hike is a 63 percent increase in the county’s portion of our property taxes. We are being told that we should be like Multnomah or Wasco counties that have much higher levels of county taxes. I know I speak for many other local residents when I say I don’t want to be like those counties. And I’d like to be able to continue to afford to live here!
 
Its more than a little ironic to me that at the same time the city is doing everything they can to try to create “affordable” housing (including giving away city park land to develop it), the county is proposing a major increase in property taxes, that will only further increase the cost of housing. Have senior groups in the county been consulted about how those living on fixed incomes will be able to deal with a 63 percent increase in their county property taxes? “Safe and Healthy” sounds great but if you can’t afford to live in a community it’s not of much value.
 
I fully support our county government and the vital services that they provide like public safety and road maintenance. But we are now at a time where we need all of our local governments working together to find lasting solutions to the challenges we face. As long as the city and the county stay in their silos and don’t collaborate on consolidation of services and finding efficiencies, consumers and tax-paying residents are going to be caught in the middle and life here will only become more unaffordable.
 
Because of this I’ll be voting no on ballot measures 14-65 and 14-66.
 
Ken Ebi
Hood River

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