I am Anna Cavaleri. I am running for the Parks & Rec District Board because having attended the District meetings for the past 18 months and by serving on the District’s Budget and Pool Enclosure Steering Committees, I have learned a lot.
It is amazing what the District has accomplished with limited resources. In addition to managing our pool, the District developed and maintains the Indian Creek Trail, our skate park and is developing more park projects.
If given the opportunity to serve on the Parks & Rec District Board, I would focus on the following priorities:
- Accountability – ensure the District wisely allocates and tracks financial resources and plans for a range of recreational facilities
- Collaboration – foster mutually beneficial relationships with City, County, Port, School District and other partners to implement a Parks Master Plan to expand recreational opportunities
- Communication – work to ensure that the community knows who the District is and what they do; current and long term Parks & Rec projects – not what the Board wants to do, but communication should be an exchange of information – what does the community want the Board to do?; and how the community can be involved
- Creativity – Parks & Rec shouldn’t just be about the pool; we need creative solutions for funding the development of new parks, trails and recreational facilities.
I would like to see more recreation for everyone in Hood River, and I believe we will all benefit from the fresh perspective of new board members.
I believe that parks matter, and my experience as a land use planner would be an asset to the Board. I have an undergraduate degree in Economics from Macalester College and a graduate degree in Community and Regional Planning from University of Oregon.
I live with my wife, Lauren, 3-year-old son Perry, and dog Barlow in the Hood River Heights, and we spend lots of time at Jackson Park, Indian Creek Trail, and the pool.
As our community grows — and density increases –- I believe that parks, trails, and access to recreational activities become an integral part of keeping our community a special place. I am very interested in working on the upcoming Parks Master Plan Update to ensure that parks are developed within walking/biking distance for most people.
I have been an advocate for the Westside Park and supportive of the parkland proposed in the Westside Plan. I am also a proponent of transparency and public process — I want folks that live in the district to have a voice. Lastly, I very much believe in collaboration and would seek to partner with others on mutually beneficial projects.
I want my son and all members of our community to be able to safely access parks and green spaces. There are tremendous benefits to having a robust parks program.
Now is the time to rally around the development of parks to serve our quickly growing community, and I want to be a key player in this.
In the last 4 weeks, I’ve met with a recent County Commissioner, the current Superintendent of Schools, a former member of the parks and recreation board, a member of the Hood River Valley Residents Committee, and parents of soccer and lacrosse players. I also cornered a group of trail enthusiasts in Post Canyon for an hour during a run, and attended the Children’s Park forum.
During these conversations, I’ve learned of others’ concerns and the history of how we got here. While attending the budget committee and board meetings for the P&R district, I was encouraged to see that some shortcomings I had identified are being addressed.
However, the standing master plan of P&R from 2012 includes a list of good ideas whose outcomes demonstrate how slowly change must happen, the challenges that the department has recently faced, or are testament to our lack of parks and recreation progress.
This next fiscal year, a new master plan is being developed. Our new P&R director is seeking to collaborate with other districts and coordinate with the city, county and schools. He’s going to need good ideas, contacts and communication with our community and community partners.
I’m just the sort of candidate to do his homework, cut through the fog of confusion, and help lead us to greater recreation opportunities.
I want trails that go places, rectangle fields for sports, and a recreation plan that’s the best for all residents. I’ve participated on boards in the past and I’m ready to do the heavy lifting.
My own three children were born and raised here, and spent their childhoods in Hood River’s parks, pool, trails, and Parks and Rec programs.
Also, I’ve seen all seven seasons of “Parks and Recreation.” Lesley Knope is my hero.
I love our parks. I just moved to Odell and I see the best, happy, most amazing things at the Odell Community Park: diverse groups of kids use it all the time; a squad of adult men play dangerously intense basketball there regularly; naked babies sometimes run wild.
It’s all good. I want to serve my community, and I love parks. That is all.
After being appointed by the HRVPRD board to a vacancy last year, I have been involved in shepherding the district through the loss of three key staff members, hiring a new director, the development of Golden Eagle Park, and starting the process of evaluating options for the repair or replacement of the pool and Aquatics Center.
While the past year has been challenging, being able to serve the community that I have called home for the past 18 years is deeply satisfying. I am running to continue to develop recreation opportunities for the Hood River Valley. I feel that the following three areas are ones where the HRVPRD should focus its energy:
- Building partnerships with other local agencies including the city, county, port, and school district. With land prices skyrocketing, this will be important to expand ballfields and parks.
- Pursuing an inter-agency master plan and be involved in future conversations related to parks issues, including the development of the west side of Hood River.
- Working with our partners to expand recreational opportunities, especially developing new ballfields and parks, increasing trail connectivity, and the possible expansion of the Aquatics Center.
I feel that I am well qualified for a seat on the board –- I am a lifelong recreationalist, the father of two active children, a teacher, and hold a BA in Recreation Administration.
The Hood River Valley Parks and Recreation District (HRVPRD) needs new voices. If elected, I hope to revive interest in the Westside Park, ensure proper financial management and transparency of the organization, and plan healthy, connected communities. As the Vice Chair of the Hood River City Planning Commission, I have been actively involved in recent efforts to plan the Westside Area and ensure that a high quality of livability continues to exist in Hood River. On the HRVPRD, I would continue these efforts and champion a smart balance of housing and open space in and near the City, while protecting agricultural uses and forestlands throughout the Valley.
Currently I am a Planner for the Wasco County Planning Department. Prior to this I spent a decade as a wildland firefighter for the U.S. Forest Service, which included an assignment as the Trails Supervisor for the Columbia River Gorge National Scenic Area. I have undergraduate degrees in Psychology and Geography from Villanova University, and a graduate degree in Urban and Environmental Policy and Planning from Tufts University.
This professional development, as well as my position on the Planning Commission, has given me extensive experience in leadership, recreation and natural resource management, and a thorough understanding of Oregon’s statewide program for land use planning. As the HRVPRD continues to grow along with the County and City, these experiences will be invaluable in ensuring the right decisions are made so that every citizen in the County can benefit from an excellent, well-managed Park system.