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Reminder: Ballots mailed Oct. 14 for the Nov. 3 General Election. Contact county elections office if you do not receive it by Oct. 20.

Gladys Rivera

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Gladys Rivera

 

¡Hola! Mi nombre es Gladys Rivera. I was born and raised in Hood River. I want to help create meaningful change for my children, and the next generation.

How does your previous experience specifically help qualify you for this elected role? 

I have nine months of direct experience as a City Councilor. I have learned a lot during my time and the benefits of in healthcare is that I have been a part of the last two Community Health Needs Assessment and can speak to systemic inequities.

Tell us why you are running for this office and list you top three concerns?

I am running for office because we must continue to diversify all decision-making bodies. I bring a different perspective because of my lived experiences, both personal and in my work. There are systemic inequities in our community that marginalize BIPOC: Black Indigenous and People of Color.

We must continue creating equitable ways to connect and establish trust with diverse community members in the Gorge.

I have a responsibility to the BIPOC youth, we can be decision makers too.

Cite a specific program or initiative the city is either not currently doing or you feel could be done better. AFFORDABLE Housing. As in affordable for folks who make less than $45,000 a year.

Integrating mental health services within our police force.

Discuss how the city council goals for 2019 should be revised for 2020 and beyond

Diversity, Equity and Inclusion training for all City staff, including leaders. We must set the example as a city with the hopes other community partners will follow. Everyone holds unconscious beliefs and we must learn of these biases in order to hold our ourselves accountable.

This will allow for us to create fair solutions. 

 

Megan Saunders

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Megan Saunders

An AmeriCorps job brought me to Hood River in 2010. I spent 9 years working for the local watershed council, becoming project manager. I now do similar work for an irrigation district. Hood River became my home because of the wonderful people that make this place a community. 

How does your previous experience specifically help qualify you for this elected role?  

During my four years on Council, I have worked hard to improve this community, build collaboration, and provide leadership. I helped lead the Children’s Park rebuild, as well as the City Manager recruitment process. I’ve also been on the parks master planning, waterfront parking, police facility, and visitor advisory committees. 

Tell us why you are running for this office and list your top three concerns. 

I value this community and want to continue to improve it through hard work, compassion, and collaboration. It is critical for the local economy, community health, and individual well-being that the City remain accessible to everyone, at all life-stages and income levels, from all racial and cultural backgrounds, and with all manner of life experiences and skills. In order to achieve this, the City needs to create a diverse and accessible housing stock, develop infrastructure in equitable ways, and improve community spaces to support physical, mental, and economic well-being. Addressing these issues requires significant resources, community collaboration, and City leadership.

Cite a specific program or initiative the city is either not currently doing or you feel could be done better. 

The City acquired land off Rand Road, as an important step towards addressing the significant deficit of low income affordable, and middle income accessible, housing within the City. Fully addressing the problem will require Council to increase and diversify funding, implement code and operational changes, and build other community supports.

Discuss how the city council goals for 2019 should be revised for 2020 and beyond.

City Council’s goals include diversifying the housing supply, increasing community engagement, improving multi-modal transportation, increasing environmental sustainability, ensuring strong infrastructure, and maintaining a healthy park system. While individual projects under these goals will change over time, these are crucial goals that will continue to serve the community. Every one of these goals, and the projects that come out of them, would be benefited by explicitly looking at each of them through the lenses of racial and social equity, environmental health, and economic sustainability to ensure access and equity, and strengthen our commitments to a strong local economy and environmental well-being.

 

 

Mark Zanmiller

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Mark Zanmiller

 

I have been an active member of the City Council for the last eight years. Prior to this, I was an elected Parks District Board member.  I was deeply involved in Waterfront Park, Rotary Skate Park, and both Children’s Park builds. Married with two adult daughters.  

Previous experience:  

Though my experience as Council President is useful, my relationships within the community, with partner entities, and with staff are key.  I listen actively and am optimistic that we can find cooperative, progressive solutions to the issues facing the City.

Why running and top three concerns: 

I believe that Hood River is truly a special place.  As city leaders and advocates, we have the responsibility to build on what we have by engaging with the community, listening honestly, and continuously improving the way we do things.  I want to continue to think progressively, work hard, and act cooperatively to make Hood River better.  My concerns are reflected in our Council work plan and to list just three, include continual improvement of City communications, continued work on housing issues, and ensuring that we acquire greenways and parklands to serve our growing City.

Specific program that could be done better: 

I think we have an excellent set of initiatives, but some have addmittedly been delayed due to response to the Covid 19 pandemic.  I am proud though of how the City has shifted to help with food security, child care, utilities, and being part of the County emergency response team

How City council goals for 2019 should be revised for 2020 and beyond: 

The City Council has an excellent process to annually review our progress and set goals for the following year.  The current work plan details six primary goals and can be found on the City Council page www.cityofhoodriver.gov.  This process (like all processes) will be continuously improved over time to be more clearly communicated both for inputs to and progress on priorities.  Current goals address housing, communications, active transportation, environment and energy, infrastructure, and parks.  I am happy to talk through these goals with anyone.

Online, the longer link right to the work plan page is: https://cityofhoodriver.gov/administration/city-council/hood-river-city-council-goals/

 

Don Harring 

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Dan Harring

 

I’m a Northwest native, who spent time growing up in White Salmon. I have a BS in Mechanical Engineering from WSU, and a MS from University of Detroit Mercy. I am a manager at Insitu, my wife is a nurse at Providence, and we have two amazing kids!

How does your previous experience specifically help qualify you for this elected role?

I have a proven track record of making decisions, managing people and budgets, and accomplishing projects. Before Insitu I worked at Ford Motor Company managing the electrified powertrain for the Ford Mach-E. I also have a strong background in green technology.

Tell us why you are running for this office and list your top three concerns. 

I don’t agree with the push to defund our police. I think we need to adopt a local solution to address local problems. My top three concerns are: first supporting our services, including police fire EMS and public works. Second promoting small business. COVID has had a drastic impact on everyone, and working with our vibrant small business community to meet their needs is critical. I have heard many horror stories about trying to start a business and Hood River. My third concern is that we maintain our special community, and expand intelligently, from new developments to parking structures.

Cite a specific program or initiative the city is either not currently doing or you feel could be done better.

Parking! How many studies have we done on this? The solution is simple, add capacity. I have several ideas on how we can do this with minimal impact to city budget. In addition if elected I will push for Hood River residence, to buy annual parking passes.

Discuss how the city council goals for 2019 should be revised for 2020 and beyond

First, the 2020 should be SMART (Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Relevant, and Time-bounded). This will improve transparency, and accountability. The majority of the ideas behind the goals are good, but I would make changes in a few key areas. First there is no goal related to helping small businesses and their employees. I have been reaching out to our small business community, and they feel neglected by the city, some have had hostile interactions on the construction side. We must also address the parking, and housing  situation with a “get something done” attitude. 

 

Brian Towey

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Brian Towey

 

I am a Northwest native and 24-year resident of Hood River. I am married to Elke Geiger Towey.  I am a business owner/contractor in the automotive industry. I am an outdoor enthusiast.

How does your previous experience specifically help qualify you for this elected role? 

My career of working with other businesses, and athletes, places a premium on time-critical results. My work as a motorsport coach and driver has included the development of teaching curricula and risk management plans designed to achieve results in high-stress environments.  I am adept at identifying and implementing creative solutions. 

Tell us why you are running for this office and list your top three concerns.

Hood River needs an advocate for laws that support the needs of citizens and put infrastructure to support housing, jobs, and safety first. 

Current City leadership has systemically prevented public participation from citizens with views in contrast to their own favored policy proposals.  The most divisive of those was the decision to rezone and then sell Morrison Park to a private developer.  Other examples are the treatment of downtown businesses with respect to parking needs, failure to include businesses and neighbors early in the Heights Urban Renewal discussions, and changing requirements related to retail development at the waterfront.

Cite a specific program or initiative the city is either not currently doing or you feel could be done better. 

Our own reports state we are failing with our number-one goal of housing. To reverse course, we must: review all actionable elements of the largely ignored 2015 Housing Needs Analysis; and develop a framework for acquiring and funding parks to support Westside residential development.

Discuss how the city council goals for 2019 should be revised for 2020 and beyond. 

First, I would like to see public input on goals at the beginning of the goal setting process.  Now we only get to comment on the Council’s preferred selections.

Then, I would ensure that the Council’s goals are measurable.  For example, we have one goal related to housing and another for parks; we persistently fail on both because we don’t commit to a definition of success.

Once goals and metrics are determined, we should establish and monitor systems that produce results.  That is the job of City administration with guidance, not micro-management, from Council.  

 

Susan Johnson

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Susan Johnson

 

I have been a resident of Hood River for 28 years and a former Hood River City Councilor (2014-2018). As a nurse of 22 years and having worked in a variety of leadership positions has helped me understand the needs of this community.

How does your previous experience specifically help qualify you for this elected role? 

My experience working as a Nurse, a volunteer with the homeless shelter, a residential treatment counselor/high school liaison for The Next Door show my

commitment to our community. Having former experience as a City Councilor, passing a ballot measure and continuing engaging with the community further

demonstrate my qualifications.

Tell us why you are running for this office and list you top three concerns? 

After serving on the Hood River City Council and participating as one of the key leaders involved in passing a successful ballot measure for parks, I have decided to continue with my community service and run for council. I feel that my previous experience on council has given me a broad exposure to issues facing all members of the community. The recent ballot measure demonstrated that I provide a perspective that is not adequately represented. Council will benefit from the balance and confidence I can help restore. Three concerns include, need more public involvement, public safety, infrastructure and housing.

Cite a specific program or initiative the city is either not currently doing or you feel could be done better. 

The city needs better representation of their constituents and more community involvement. They could add a Citizen Involvement Advisory Commitee (CIAC).

As per the Land Conservation and Development Commission committees required by statute, Citizen Involvement Advisory Commitee Goal 1. 

Discuss how the city council goals for 2019 should be revised for 2020 and beyond. 

1. Community involvement, relations, communications, community building. This has been one of the cities goal’s since 2014. The city should take more than the

minimal amount of public input needed to meet the legal requirements and include the community in decision making process.

2. I strongly believe the function of city government is that our primary job is to provide for public safety and infrastructure. We can make progress toward most of our goals by doing that.

3. Look at different housing for all people of all ages and walks of life. 

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