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Old 07-18-2014, 12:11 AM
 
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I'm hoping by creating this new thread it is helpful to residents to those looking to become residents. When someone learns new info, please post here.

If newcomers haven't used the search feature to learn from other threads, I'd recommend doing that. Both Idaho Falls and Ammon have newly elected female mayors. Idaho Falls has a City Council which has two women and four men. Half of the City Council was elected and sworn into office this year.

I believe we're already seeing several positive changes. At a special City Council meeting tonight, changes for one of my favorite departments is going to get some upgrades and interns. That is the Planning, Zoning and Building Dept. These changes should make the work flow easier for employees. And more efficient employees work better with developers

This story isn't posted on the news yet. If you see the link please post.

What do others think of the work the present City Council is doing?

And here is the general link for the city: City of Idaho Falls - The Official Website of Idaho Falls, Idaho Be sure to check out the webcam


MSR
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Old 03-04-2015, 04:06 PM
 
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Default Idaho Falls City Council Member Dee Whittier

I.F. city councilman dies of heart complications - East Idaho News | East Idaho News
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Old 03-06-2015, 05:17 PM
 
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Default Mayor Casper Will Appoint Replacement

My condolences to the family and friends of Mr. Whittier. I do not know him professionally or personally, someone here may have.

Out of respect for Mr. Whittier and especially his family, I didn't want to write more earlier. Media reported early this week that Mayor Casper will appoint the Council Member to complete Mr. Whittier ' s term, per the Idaho Constitution.

Does anyone have any thoughts about who may be selected to fill this role? I do, but I didn't vote in the election or the runoff election held for three seats. If you could advise Mayor Casper what advice would you give her?
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Old 03-25-2015, 10:57 PM
 
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Default Eight Have Applied for the Vacant City Council Seat

Given Mr. Whittier ' s death, Idaho Code allows Mayor Casper to appoint a City Councilman to serve from now until Nov, 2015, when the next General Election is held. Mayor Casper decided rather than just appoint someone she would take applications from all who met criteria and wanted to serve. Additionally, Mayor Casper asked all who were interested to address their view of economic growth and one other area she wants to tackle this year, in their application.

This vacancy was of greater interest to me given who the late Mr. Whittier defeated in the Runoff Election. The person who lost that City Council Race is someone many of us here at CDF read often, Mr. Paul Menser. I was very interested to see if Mayor Casper would appoint Paul or if he would apply. He did NOT submit an application.

Of those who did, one person was eliminated in a different City Council Runoff Race. Another served on St. Anthony ' s City Council. A third applicant has a Forensic Accounting firm. That experience could be helpful running a city with Department budgets that are growing. I was surprised to learn the retired Director of IDA, Mr. Len Nelson had applied. He could be an interesting addition, IMO. A fourth candidate is the manager of Barnes and Noble. I don't know about the backgrounds of the remaining four.

It appears there is a good response from citizens with different backgrounds and knowledge base. I appreciate the eight people being willing to serve and contribute to their city.

Good luck to all eight ccandidates
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Old 03-26-2015, 09:00 AM
 
Location: Old Mother Idaho
25,740 posts, read 17,164,176 times
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I don't think the time to submit applications has expired. Paul Menser may still have time to apply.

I agree MSR; I know several of the others who applied, and from what I know, all are bringing some good skills to the table. I'm glad so many have applied, too. Mayor Casper has a tough time ahead trying to determine who's best for the job, and that's good- selecting a replacement should be a hard decision that requires careful thought beforehand. Idaho Falls is on the verge of great growth and development, and this City Council will be making many important and long-lasting decisions this term that will affect us all afterwards.

Growth always brings unforeseen consequences, as we've already seen. Trying to peer into the future is always difficult, but I think we have some pretty good folks on the Council right now, and I'm sure whoever is selected will be a worthy replacement.
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Old 03-28-2015, 12:49 AM
 
Location: Aiea, Hawaii
2,181 posts, read 2,540,841 times
Reputation: 1398
Quote:
Originally Posted by Mtn. States Resident View Post
Given Mr. Whittier ' s death, Idaho Code allows Mayor Casper to appoint a City Councilman to serve from now until Nov, 2015, when the next General Election is held. Mayor Casper decided rather than just appoint someone she would take applications from all who met criteria and wanted to serve. Additionally, Mayor Casper asked all who were interested to address their view of economic growth and one other area she wants to tackle this year, in their application.

This vacancy was of greater interest to me given who the late Mr. Whittier defeated in the Runoff Election. The person who lost that City Council Race is someone many of us here at CDF read often, Mr. Paul Menser. I was very interested to see if Mayor Casper would appoint Paul or if he would apply. He did NOT submit an application.

Of those who did, one person was eliminated in a different City Council Runoff Race. Another served on St. Anthony ' s City Council. A third applicant has a Forensic Accounting firm. That experience could be helpful running a city with Department budgets that are growing. I was surprised to learn the retired Director of IDA, Mr. Len Nelson had applied. He could be an interesting addition, IMO. A fourth candidate is the manager of Barnes and Noble. I don't know about the backgrounds of the remaining four.

It appears there is a good response from citizens with different backgrounds and knowledge base. I appreciate the eight people being willing to serve and contribute to their city.

Good luck to all eight ccandidates
That sounds like a good idea. The Mayor taking applications for the vacant city counsel position.
Hope the it turns out well.
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Old 04-03-2015, 08:53 PM
 
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Default Councilwoman Sharon Parry and Mayor Rebecca Casper -Is This a Personal, Professional or Media - driven Conflict?

What gives with I. F. City Councilwoman Sharon Parry and Mayor Rebecca Casper ' s recent conflict with each other?

Most of us here were around when these two highly competent women ran against each other for Mayor, in 2013. Mayor Casper obviously won and Sharon Parry pledged to work with her as she returned to her City Council Member role. If we had assumed it was a congenial situation, between what the Post Register has printed this last week and the special opinions columns in today's paper where Parry writes,

"This is not intended to be personally offensive to anyone. Reasonable people can disagree. But isn't it time to discuss the eroding relationship between Mayor Rebecca Casper and the council?"

There is no doubt in my mind with what Ms. Parry said there have been some strained times between the two.

To reiterate Mayor Casper also has a guest column on the same Post Register (PR) page, although she does not name anyone. Both women write strong guest columns, IMO. They write differently, but both write well. Mayor Casper explains what this most recent difference is about, although she is diplomatic and won't name which city employees are the reason for this discussion.

How much have these two and maybe others on the council struggled to work together? Sharon Parry didn't leave it up to the reader to try to remember or even check personal math skills. Parry wrote this, earlier in her guest column: "(Parry) wonders if the Idaho Falls City Council is just (for the show)"▪▪▪▪ "an elected body with little practical use or value because our duties and powers have either been relinquished or usurped over the past 15 months."

The issue here was summarized in a PR article four or five days ago and in Mayor Casper ' s guest column. City employees had been through their annual employment reviews. Because a few are significantly underpaid, per Mayor Casper, she wanted to raise the salaries of three employees in particular into the range these employees would be compensated by a private employer or a much larger municipality. Everyone is in agreement of wishing to retain these competent employees and to compensate them fairly. We're not talking a three percent or $10,000 raise. Rather Mayor Casper wants to pay one employee about $70,000 more annually to about $165,000 with another being compensated at around $125,000 annually. I think that is more than the City Attorney receives for his salary.

The employees are skilled at what they do. They've gotten small pay increases like other city employees that weren''t as much as some may have liked. However, during the recession the city couldn't afford to pay them more, just like other city employees. Most were grateful for their jobs and benefits during a rough time for many.

Mayor Casper informed the City Council of all the employee raises she had approved either in an email or a packet of papers each council member received. Many received increases. Sharon Parry objected to the two employees I've mentioned above receiving the amount of increase they each may receive without the city council discussing their high salaries. As a result, Mayor Casper was forced to put those proposed city employees raises on the next council meeting for discussion.

I am unaware of what other issues or votes etc. these two have disagreed the past 15 months. If you know more please add it. I'm searching for some original information and will update this when I find a couple of things. The PR asked two other council members if they felt Mayor Casper could make those decisions without a council discussion. Both said they thought that was acceptable from the Mayor.

What do you think and how do you feel? Do you want council members to be involved when the city is compensating employees more than $100,000 annually? Or are you comfortable having the Mayor decide that by him/herself? How much of this might be due to the city council having to review most things as the previous Mayor started having memory problems?

What role is the Post Register playing in this? I don't believe any other media has addressed this impasse. Is the PR just keeping citizens informed or helping create a deeper divide between Parry and Casper, ensuring many more well written local columns by each?

Please post your view..... I look forward to reading your thoughts and observations.

Last edited by Mtn. States Resident; 04-03-2015 at 09:07 PM..
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Old 04-03-2015, 10:50 PM
 
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Default Specifics of Salary Increases

Let me give you some more hard facts, as reported by the PR only to this point.

1. One employee would be given a 37% raise in salary to a new annual of $164,569.

2. A second employee, in the same department as the first example, was to receive a new total salary of ~ $142,000. This is about a 15 % raise.

3. Seven employees were to receive a raise of ~ $2,700 for a new total of almost $93,000. This was about a three percent increase. ($651,000)

4. And three employees were to be given about three percent increase to a new total of $103,814. ($311,442)

These 12 employees would receive a total of $1,269,011 for their annual salaries.

All of these salaries are more than $90K. Mayor Casper, the City Controller and the HR Director all signed off on memos from mid March describing the need and amounts of the increases. Mayor Casper believes this is within her power as Mayor to approve and implement the raises independent of the council. Council members Mike Leto and Ed Marohn agreed. Sharon Parry did not. She is quoted as saying, "The Mayor did not have the authority to do this."

Just to be clear these raises had not been discussed by the I. F. City Council and only will be now, on April 9th, because of Parry ' s objection.

The PR quotes the Idaho Falls City Code as written, "the City Council shall determine the salary and benefits to be paid etc." There is no mention of the Mayor authoring these raises alone.

Seeing the City Code do you think Sharon Parry is trying to be difficult or follow the laws? If your answer is the later, what hasn't clicked for Mayor Casper yet that Parry will know and quote the code so shortcuts won't be taken?

Any suggestions to the I.F. City Council and Mayor of how to resolve differences so they can work together more harmoniously in the future?
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Old 04-04-2015, 12:35 AM
 
Location: Aiea, Hawaii
2,181 posts, read 2,540,841 times
Reputation: 1398
Quote:
Originally Posted by Mtn. States Resident View Post
Let me give you some more hard facts, as reported by the PR only to this point.

1. One employee would be given a 37% raise in salary to a new annual of $164,569.

2. A second employee, in the same department as the first example, was to receive a new total salary of ~ $142,000. This is about a 15 % raise.

3. Seven employees were to receive a raise of ~ $2,700 for a new total of almost $93,000. This was about a three percent increase. ($651,000)

4. And three employees were to be given about three percent increase to a new total of $103,814. ($311,442)

These 12 employees would receive a total of $1,269,011 for their annual salaries.

All of these salaries are more than $90K. Mayor Casper, the City Controller and the HR Director all signed off on memos from mid March describing the need and amounts of the increases. Mayor Casper believes this is within her power as Mayor to approve and implement the raises independent of the council. Council members Mike Leto and Ed Marohn agreed. Sharon Parry did not. She is quoted as saying, "The Mayor did not have the authority to do this."

Just to be clear these raises had not been discussed by the I. F. City Council and only will be now, on April 9th, because of Parry ' s objection.

The PR quotes the Idaho Falls City Code as written, "the City Council shall determine the salary and benefits to be paid etc." There is no mention of the Mayor authoring these raises alone.

Seeing the City Code do you think Sharon Parry is trying to be difficult or follow the laws? If your answer is the later, what hasn't clicked for Mayor Casper yet that Parry will know and quote the code so shortcuts won't be taken?

Any suggestions to the I.F. City Council and Mayor of how to resolve differences so they can work together more harmoniously in the future?
From a outsider. The mayor should have proposed the raises to the city Council. Who should have the authority yes or no for pay raises. They control the check book as they say.Those raises do seem high to me? The bottom line the Mayor and the City council have to work together for a smooth running city Government, in my option. They have to put aside personal agendas for the good of the city government. I know that is easier said than done!
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Old 04-04-2015, 01:04 AM
 
Location: Old Mother Idaho
25,740 posts, read 17,164,176 times
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There are some city offices where their top people could be tempted away by private enterprise.

I think Idaho Falls Power is one, for sure, and our sanitation plant another; Jackson Hole just lost its most senior sanitation plant worker to a terminal disease, and who better to know local conditions there than here? The new plant by Shelley could also be looking for some long-time experience locally as well.

Another threatened loss could be the chiefs of the city sanitation services. Garbage collection is big business, especially in a fast growing county like Bonneville.

Mayor Casper might just be giving some raises to keep the seniors who really know their stuff on the job here in the city.

The new proposed north power loop will need some real experience and expertise, and for sure, once its built, so will new developments. I'm just supposing' here, but heading leadership problems off at the pass could make for greater savings than new hires who have similar qualifications.

I also think Councilwoman Perry's bones to pick with Mayor Casper aren't all personal. Sharon is a fiscal conservative, and is determined to keep the council from becoming a rubber stamp to a progressive Mayor. Personally, I think the friction isn't a bad thing; both are competent and smart ladies, and this is the kind of stuff that needs an anvil as much as a hammer now, before things get critical. I don't think Mrs. Perry is blindly oppositional, but she wants to slow down any rush decisions that may happen too fast.
At least I hope that's her position. Keeping a careful financial balance to our city government is always critical, especially in times when expected growth lie just ahead.
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