Elect Jeremy Grimm for Mayor
Brian Cox Treasurer
Leadership. Experience. Integrity.
Welcome and thank you, engaged Citizen, for taking the time to learn about me and my motivation to run for Mayor.
I am running for Sandpoint Mayor because I care deeply about our community and have the skills, experience, and passion to lead Sandpoint through the current period of growth.
Whether a new arrival to town or a lifelong resident, you have undoubtedly been impacted by growth in the area. Maybe it is the congestion on our roads, the “big city” feel at City Hall, or the fact that our public parks and spaces are so crowded with non-residents and mega-events that it is difficult to access them.
I know that I have a lot to learn about how growth has impacted you, and I don't want to assume I know what you find most concerning about the future. I do want to hear how you think we can make changes to ensure that Sandpoint can become a thriving, more livable, and stronger community.
Thanks for taking the time to learn about my priority issues and qualifications. I look forward to meeting and hearing more about you in the coming weeks! It would be a sincere honor to be your mayor.
My Priorities and Vision As Mayor
I seek to strengthen our community, diversify the local economy, focus spending on critical infrastructure, and impart a spirit of transparency, accessibility, and service-oriented government into the daily functions of City Hall.
Diversify the local economy
Local economies based on tourism alone tend to be composed of a workforce offering part-time, seasonal jobs often without retirement or health insurance benefits. In addition, the seasonal influx of tourists can pressure the housing market, create congestion and place added demands on police, fire, hospitals, and EMS services which are not designed or funded to respond to “peak” volumes of population. Working together with Idaho Commerce, Bonner County, and neighboring communities, we can grow the complexity of the economy making the area more stable and resilient.
Strengthen our community
Good decision-making must involve the ideas, concerns, and voices of Sandpoint residents and businesses. Establishing neighborhood committees to report to the mayor will ensure that issues are not swept under the rug or that blanket city policies override neighborhood-specific challenges. Real citizen engagement takes boots on the ground and includes feedback that is sometimes hard to hear. I am committed to sincere, robust, and respectful dialog with Sandpoint residents and businesses and will not be satisfied with lip service proclaiming that “100” public responses mean City Hall is listening.
Focus spending on critical infrastructure
The current city administration is investigating the creation of a new Urban Renewal District in part to pay the cost of developing and implementing a grandiose downtown waterfront design. The tentative plans include expanding Farmin Park to accommodate an “event corridor” on Oak Street leading to Main Street and into an “arts and culture district” on Second Avenue near a new mixed-use development and a public parking structure at the current Sandpoint city parking lot. The scale and cost of this project are staggering.
Urban Renewal Districts redirect or siphon tax revenue that otherwise would flow to the Sandpoint General Fund. Rather than spend millions in tax dollars building a new “shiny” storybook tourist attraction downtown, I will lead an effort to sunset the Sandpoint Urban Renewal Districts and redirect the resulting revenue to priority infrastructure like our crumbling roads, parks, sidewalks, and stormwater system. If we can’t upkeep and take care of our roads and public space today, I see no point in taking on new responsibilities and costs.
Enhance transparency, accessibility, and level of service at City Hall
It seems silly to fill out a form or schedule a meeting to schedule a meeting in order to get even the most basic information about a city project. Today, City Hall feels sterile, “big city” like. Under the city administrator structure of management that was adopted in 2015, numerous independent and appointed “Department Head” positions have been eliminated and replaced with “yes” people who “toe the line”. I like independent thinkers, debate, and most of all, people in positions of responsibility who can make and are accountable for their decisions. If elected, I will lead an effort to reestablish the City Planner as an appointed Department Head position and expand funding for the department - ensuring that elected officials will receive frank and honest feedback and help reduce turnover (6 different planners in 3 years) for this critical department.
University of Denver, Geomorphology
Muskie School Of Public Service, Community Planning and Development
Owner, Whiskey Rock Planning + Consulting, 2020-Present
Principal Fiscal/ Economic Analyst, TischlerBise, Inc 2018-2019
Program Officer, LOR Foundation, 2017-2018
Director of Public Relations and Communications, Kochava, 2015-2017
Planning & Community Development Director, Sandpoint, 2007-2015
Vice Chairman, Idaho Economic Advisory Council 2021-Present
Governor’s Workforce Development Task Force Member, 2017
Commissioner, Sandpoint Urban Renewal, 2012-17’
Board Member, Sandpoint Rotary, 2014-15’
Idaho Smart Growth-Grow Smart Awards Jury, 2013 & 2014
Association of Idaho Cities, Technical Analysis/Legislative Committee, 2012-15’
In the News ...
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE Jeremy Grimm Announces Candidacy for Mayor of Sandpoint, Idaho
SANDPOINT, ID (September 12, 2023) – Jeremy Grimm, a dedicated community leader with a deep-rooted commitment to Sandpoint, is proud to announce his candidacy for the position of Mayor of Sandpoint, Idaho. With a rich history of public service and a passion for authentic, place-based economic development, Jeremy seeks to strengthen our community, diversify the local economy, focus spending on critical infrastructure, and impart a spirit of transparency, accessibility and service-oriented government into the daily function of city hall.
Jeremy has been a resident of Sandpoint since 2007 and brings a wealth of public and private sector development experience to the table, including having served as the Planning and Community Development Director of the city from 2007 to 2015. His tenure in this role allowed him to witness firsthand the growth and changes that have occurred in Sandpoint over the years. It is this experience that fuels his drive to address the impacts of growth while preserving the unique character of our town, something that he argues doesn’t require a paid consultant to identify.
One of Jeremy's primary objectives is to strengthen the community by valuing and actively engaging citizen voices as well as those of our skilled employees in all aspects of local government decision-making. “Beyond the abnormally high rate of employee turnover — including 6 different land use planners in the past 3 years— City Hall feels hostile and authoritarian, almost aloof to the concerns of the public. This must and will change under my leadership.”
Grimm strives to diversify the Sandpoint economy, moving it away from an overdependence on tourism. “For the future of my children and my friends, who work two or three part-time jobs, I believe in and will work for a Sandpoint dominated by businesses offering high-quality year-round jobs.” Jeremy recognizes the important role of tourism locally but states concerns about the current trajectory at city hall. “Under the current administration, our parks, facilities, and public spaces have been developed or are planned to be developed into mega-regional complexes or tourist attractions. It seems like we have lost our priorities and an understanding of who our parks should serve.”
By no means the lowest priority, Grimm will lead efforts to enhance transparency, access to information, and impart a customer-focused approach at City Hall. “I’m very well acquainted with the customary process required to safeguard the public and follow Idaho Code. No resident or business should ever feel shunned, frustrated, or confused when requesting information from City Hall. Sandpoint can and needs to be a regional leader in this area.”
The most important accomplishment in Jeremy’s life has been raising his two children with the love of his life, Nichole Grimm, a family nurse practitioner at Bonner General Hospital. Together, they have cherished the great access to public lands in the area and frequently enjoy hiking, biking, fishing, and hunting. Jeremy's dedication to family mirrors his commitment to the Sandpoint community, as he seeks to leverage his public and private development expertise to lead Sandpoint through this period of growth.
Grimm's professional background is rooted in land use planning and economic development. He holds a degree in Geomorphology from the University of Denver and completed his graduate studies in Community Planning and Development at the Muskie School of Public Service. Grimm's public service extends beyond the City of Sandpoint. He has served multiple years on the Sandpoint Urban Renewal and Panhandle Area Council boards, was appointed to Governor Butch Otter's Workforce Development Taskforce in 2017, and currently serves as the Region 1 representative and Vice Chairman on the Idaho Economic Advisory Council, appointed by Governor Brad Little. These roles demonstrate Jeremy’s recognized leadership and commitment to collaborative solutions for the challenges facing Sandpoint and the broader region.
“I invite all Sandpoint residents to join me in this important journey to shape the future of our beloved town. Together, we can work towards building a stronger community that is more economically diverse, and celebrated by residences and businesses for the highest level of government service, access, and transparency.”
For more information or to get involved in Jeremy Grimm's campaign, please visit www.grimm4mayor.com or contact Jeremy by email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
I would be honored to have your support!