Posted on 13 Sep 2023, 11:22 - Category: News
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 issues. 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 to develop and implement a grandiose downtown waterfront design including 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.
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.
Enhance transparency, accessibility, and level of service at City Hall
Having 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 seems out of touch for a small town. Today, City Hall feels sterile, “big city” like. Under the city administrator structure of management 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 to reduce turnover (6 different planners in 3 years) for this critical department.Read More...
Posted on 12 Sep 2023, 18:16 - Category: News