Sam Laoboonmi

Mayor's Seat


Candidate Answers


 
  1. WHY ARE YOU INTERESTED IN RUNNING FOR OFFICE FOR THE CITY OF POCATELLO?
    Pocatello is my adopted home.  After many years; during which I raised a family, pursued a career, and opened several local businesses, I’ve grown to love this city.  Pocatello has given me a great deal, and now I want to give something back.  With my background, I believe I’m ideally suited to the task of being Mayor.  As Pocatello looks toward the future, we face great challenges in balancing growth while preserving those things that make this city such a special place.  These issues will require a proactive individual with demonstrated problem-solving abilities and I am that person.
     
  2. IN YOUR OPINION, WHAT IS THE MAJOR ISSUE FACING POCATELLO?
    The major issue facing Pocatello at the moment concerns the recent Idaho Supreme Court decision that found the city liable for millions of dollars in repayments for illegal water and sewer overcharges.  It is imperative that we rectify this situation and regain the trust of city residents.
     
    (a)  HOW WOULD YOU ADDRESS THE ISSUE YOU JUST DESCRIBED?
    Before we decide how to proceed, we must first determine the exact amount due for refund, and how we might effect reimbursement.  Will the city be required to pay interest?  Will there be punitive damages assessed?  At the moment, the answer to these questions remains unclear.  Until these matters are clarified, it is difficult to decide on a course of action.  Ideally, the city would be allowed to incrementally reimburse those affected through credits applied to their water and sewer bills, but--this may not be possible.  If not, then these funds will have to be diverted from other areas; such as the proposed Siphon Road/I-15 interchange.  In any event, we must make repayment a priority.  The residents of Pocatello do not exist in order to turn a profit for the city.  Particularly when the profit was accrued through unlawful means.
     
  3. IF ELECTED, WHAT WILL YOUR FIRST PRIORITY BE?
    As Mayor, my first priority will be a department-level review of the city’s operations in order to ensure that we are providing services to city residents in the most efficient, and cost-effective, manner possible.  Additionally, we need to make a detailed review of the manner in which the City has gone about conducting procurements in the past.  I intend to emphasize the use of local vendors whenever and wherever possible in order to support local businesses.  This is hardly a revolutionary idea, but rather a fundamental precept.  Lastly, I want to carefully examine how city equipment, material, and manpower are utilized to ensure that Pocatello residents receive the full benefit of those things funded by their hard-earned tax dollars.