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Samantha Verschuren

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Samantha Verschuren

My name is Samantha Verschuren and I have lived in Cascade Locks for 20 years. I have been married for 15 years and have two grown children who also live in Cascade Locks. My hobbies include volunteering my time to the community, rock hounding, racing cars, and raising animals. 

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

I have owned several successful businesses and was a Port Commissioner for Cascade Locks. I am civic-minded, passionate, and always strive to be the best leader possible. Being a port commissioner and the classes I took during my tenure taught me a lot about government. 

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

I feel it is time for change, new ideas, and a new leader. My biggest concerns are citizen safety and involvement, financial stability, and communication. I believe everyone deserves to live in a safe community where they don’t have to worry about losing property or being attacked. Many people want to be more involved but that door has been shut to them previously. I believe in an open-door policy. Financial stability is critical to me and I want to help this community become self-sufficient. I believe communication is an issue and citizens deserve better reciprocal communication with the city.

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

Many community members have expressed interest in creating a neighborhood or community watch. One of my biggest goals is to work with the sheriff’s office to create a program that will allow the community and deputies to work together for the safety of our children, homes, and families. 

What are ways the city work can maximize its effectiveness in enacting policy and carrying out services? 

I believe better communication between the city and the community could maximize the effectiveness of the city work and make services easier to carry out. City council and staff should be expected to respond to emails and phone calls promptly. Discussions with community members in council meetings should render faster responses to questions and comments. The website should be more user friendly and updated more frequently, as well as better and more effective use of social media and the Reverse 911 system to communicate with members of the community. 

 

Bob Walker

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Bob Walker

I have lived in Cascade Locks since 1967. I graduated from Cascade Locks High School in 1973 and have been married to my wife, Myra, for 46 years. I retired from ODOT after 26 years. I managed various maintenance teams and Interim district management.

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

I have served on the city council for five years. I am the city council president. I have served on planning commission and I was a former planning commission chair, (and served on the) city Budget Committee. These positions have allowed me to participate in many decisions affecting city operation and projects.  

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

I am running for mayor because there is still a lot of work to be done.

My top concerns include continuing to replace or repair our infrastructure. So far this work has consisted of replacing the main water line under WaNaPa and parts of Forest Lane, adding a storage tank near the top of Moody Street and upgrading services to the Port Industrial Site. Water, sewer and electricity availability are the cornerstone of attracting new business and residential opportunities. 

We need to continue to support our Fire and EMS Department. The ability to respond to emergencies in a timely manner is critical to our residents as well as the thousands of visitors Cascade Locks attracts each year.

The city needs to continue to work closely with the Port of Cascade Locks. One cannot succeed without the other. 

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

As mayor I would like to see us return funding to youth recreation. This program was defunded a few years ago and it needs to be returned. If you grew up in Cascade Locks or raised your kids here, chances are you have used this important program. Once the COVID-19 pandemic is dealt with, let’s fund activities for our younger citizens. 

What are ways the city work can maximize its effectiveness in enacting policy and carrying out services? 

Funding is the driver for carrying out services. Finding and obtaining federal or state dollars is one of the areas that the city and port must work together on.

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