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Old 08-20-2015, 12:23 PM
8,440 posts, read 12,700,684 times
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At a press conference this a.m. I.F. City Councilwoman, Sharon Parry, announced she won't seek another term. She encouraged others to run.

I agree three terms is enough. I'd like to see her run for the Legislature. There are many who are criticizing Mayor Casper's request for a 3% tax increase. Citizens aren't allowed to give feedback, given how Mayor Casper has proposed the increase.

I didn't know Mayor Casper got a 2% increase for employees last year. As those writing letters to the editor have written, do the math. If Casper continues the pattern, she'll increase taxes 11% her first term.

Yes, good employees are desirable for a city. But as others have written, the city is not a private business and can't always compete in salaries. How many employees at private companies got raises during the recession? Probably not as many as city employees.

The city has the reserves it does due to the watchful eye of Sharon Parry and others. Ten new fire fighter/paramedics can be hired and in place by 10/01, given the city finances.

I do know Sharon Parry lost her father-in-law about two or three weeks ago. Her kids are progressing in their careers or training and all hope to return to Idaho Falls. Maybe Sharon needs some time to see her grandchildren and help her son's and their families move back. Whatever her reasons are, I thank her for her service and wish her the best. But I hope she'll consider the Legislature......except she might be too bright for some. Teamed up with Bart Davis, those two could make a lot happen in Idaho, imo.
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Old 08-20-2015, 04:06 PM
Location: Old Mother Idaho
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It's always a balance in city government.
I'm only speaking for myself.
Kimball Mason saved Idaho Falls a lot of money for a long time by allowing offenders to plead to lesser charges, but did he do us good in the long run?
Besides his thefts, I have wondered ever since about how many criminals he let back on the street all to easily, just so he could keep their impounded guns. We didn't have to pay the legal costs of trials, but how much have some of those offenders have cost us in other ways since? How much did Kimball himself cost us in both reputation and money?

How much does a cop with an excellent reputation and a clean record cost in wages? Compared to a cop who was booted off another police force for being a bad cop, so now, he's willing to take any law enforcement job he can find at any wage? Which one has the potential of costing us a lot more than the wages we pay him?

For sure, there are a lot of good policemen who would love to move here, but don't want to just scrape by. At the same time, there are just as many bad ones who are willing to go anywhere, just to keep a job with a badge. Wages can be negotiated, but only by so much.

The same goes with our city managers. We nearly lost a very expert electric power manager just a few months ago. He didn't want to leave, but his career could have demanded a much better wage elsewhere, and elsewhere was very eager to have him.
Would his loss been cheaper for us in the long run? Or more expensive? If he had left, would a person of equal experience and quality be eager to work for his wage? I doubt it very much. Giving him a raise was a better and cheaper option, for sure, and kept him here.

We have a very sophisticated bunch of managers like him in several of our most important city departments. I know several of them, and they are all Idahoans. None of them throw our money around wastefully. Some are nearing retirement. Do we hire cheap and suffer through a long learning curve and all the mistakes that come from one, or do we hire good and have a smooth transition?

Nobody likes to pay taxes. But the dangers of keeping our tax burden too low are great, especially at a time when Idaho Falls is poised on the teetering edge of another boom. if all we are willing to pay is chump change, we cannot expect to find anyone but chumps willing to take on some very important city jobs. We could easily trip over dollars to pick up nickels if we aren't careful in our judgement.

Mayor Casper is no big spender, in my opinion, but I think she is seeing what's coming down the road at us pretty quickly. I don't believe any 11% tax increase is a given at all, but any increase is a possibility, if nothing else but from growth alone. There is no pattern of any kind yet to indicate anything for sure.

The same goes with our City Council. They aren't throwing our money around either. Nothing like our state government is doing, that's for sure, or how Boise did for so long.
It's good that Sharon stands on the brakes, but standing on the brakes is not always necessary. Acceleration is needed as often as the brakes if we are to keep ahead and going down the road.

Growth often demands some careful forethought and plans that may be best done roughed out in a closed meeting before input from an open meeting can polish them up. For sure, a city is not a business. But at the same time, a city has different priorities than a business. A good city works for the common good, while a good business works only to stay in business. Wages alone are not the only consideration professional public service professionals look at when choosing a new city to work for.

In the end, it's all up to us. We can either be like our closest neighbors, or we can still be Idaho Falls, the center of regional enterprise. Our forefathers chose to be civically progressive and take risks, and back those risks up with their tax money.

Rigby and Blackfoot were never so willing. They could have been what we are now. If we become what they are, they could become what we are in the future. Whether that is bad or good is up to us citizens to decide, but for me, life here in Idaho Falls is nicer than life in Blackfoot or Rigby. I like both those towns, but not as much as right here where I am.

I do hope Sharon runs for Representative. She would be better at it than who we have now, and the job would suit her better too, I think. I fully agree she would make a very good partner for Bart.
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Old 08-27-2015, 12:30 PM
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Default Greenbelt Improvement

It's nice to see the original Greenbelt get a $900,000.00 face lift and improvements. The city received a $500,000 grant and is using $400,000 of redevelopment money. The Greenbelt is the #1 attraction in Idaho Falls. With this addition, the completion of Phase II by Taylor's Crossing of the Gardens area and the park Ball Ventures donated, the west side of the Greenbelt should be much more appealing and available to to even more residents and visitors.

Idaho Falls Greenbelt construction begins | News - Home

The $900,000.00 improvement close to hotel row will be completed in spring 2016. Everyone will benefit, IMO
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Old 10-11-2015, 10:36 PM
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Congrats I.F. for winning the city plan award. Of merit to those who decided was the fact Idaho Falls asked residents what they wanted for the city. Other cities just implimented plans. Some think it is good to ask residents.

Just click Comprehensive Plan.

City of Idaho Falls - Planning Division
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Old 10-22-2015, 01:16 PM
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There is a debate tonight for the City Council positions. It's at the Senior Citizens Center.

There are some differences in the candidates.

Go if you want to know more.
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Old 02-16-2016, 03:11 PM
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I'm thrilled to learn that former Idaho Falls City Council member, Mike Lehto, has been appointed to the I.F. Auditorium Events Center Board. In his 16 years serving on the City Council, including as President, I believe Mr. Lehto served the citizens very well. It doesn't hurt that he got things built in the city when others couldn't.

The fact the Ice Rink at Tautphaus Park was originally named after his late father, after it was built. That suggests to me that Mr. Lehto might be interested in Hockey and making sure citizens can play Hockey and Ice Skating etc. I suspect he might want to watch some minor league hockey locally.

I look for progress on the Events Center now much more quickly.
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Old 02-16-2016, 04:41 PM
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FANTASTIC new video posted on eastidaho.org website

Really shows off what a great community we have here. Good work to all those involved!
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Old 09-03-2016, 07:27 PM
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This is an old thread we can recycle.

I want to know what you think about a couple of things. The Zoo is going to move to a five year strategic plan. There are several goals for the five years, such as concessions, variety in animals etc. I was honestly surprised who visits the zone. Like most other things in Idaho Falls, it should be considered a regional Zoo.

Two ideas are in the strategic plan that I want to know what you think. I'm sure there will be a public hearing before the plan is implemented.

1. Do you think if physically possible with maintenance needs, should the zoo be open in the winter? A variation on that theme is to remain open longer during the six months it is open. Any thoughts about the hours/day?

2. Add an Aquarium. The city has been approached by a private company about an Aquarium.. Would you prefer to see an Aquarium at the Zoo or maybe elsewhere?

Not all changes can be done immediately, but some would start as soon as the City Council decides. Greg Weitzel, who has won so many awards, grants and other honors on the Greenbelt, is focusing on the zoo for a while. Mr. Pennock, who use to be at the Museum of Idaho is now the new director of the zoo (that title will be changed!). My point is two men who have had fresh ideas, been able to secure grants etc. will be starting the update process at the zoo. I think they can make big changes, what do you think?
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Old 09-04-2016, 09:24 AM
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Default Bike Fix It Station on River Walk

This is kind of cool. A station to fix bikes on River Walk. I bet we'll see more. It was a gift by local organizations not the city. But it seemed to fit well here.

Bike repair station installed on River Walk | News - Home


BTW, please check my earlier post about the Zoo.

The questions about year round accessibility, longer hours daily the ~six months year it is now open and whether or not you'd like to see an Aquarium at the Zoo are all important ones in the five year plan. If we start thinking about these possibilities now, we can give feedback when a hearing is held, or by email.

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Old 09-04-2016, 10:06 AM
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Reputation: 137
I don't see a zoo being much of a draw between November and March, whether it's tourists or locals. Could be wrong, though. There are probably better ways to use that money.
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