Council Seat #6
- WHY ARE YOU INTERESTED IN RUNNING FOR OFFICE FOR THE CITY OF POCATELLO?
I believe in Pocatello, I believe we have a lot of potential, and I believe that we can achieve that potential. It’s going to take a lot of hard work, dedication, and willingness to think outside the box in order to lead the city toward accomplishing the amount of positive change that we’re capable of. I happen to be young and full of energy with the vision and follow-through to get us to where we need to be. I think that makes me an excellent choice for Pocatello’s new City Councilor.
- IN YOUR OPINION, WHAT IS THE MAJOR ISSUE FACING POCATELLO?
Our biggest issue is a local government that treats symptoms of a struggling economy without acknowledging the underlying causes. They have been working very hard to court new businesses at any costs to our residents because businesses keep leaving town, but what they haven’t seemed to give much thought to is that we would have an easier time convincing businesses to invest in our community if we showed that we’re a community that’s willing to invest in itself. There’s a lot of excitement behind the idea that committing $5 million to a project outside the city will result in doubling our population, but the fact is that as of right now, we’re not ready for that kind of growth. We don’t have the infrastructure to support it, and we won’t if we continue committing to these developments before taking care of essential projects within the city first.
(a) HOW WOULD YOU ADDRESS THE ISSUE YOU JUST DESCRIBED?
The only way to address this issue is by reprioritizing government projects and more importantly, the budget. $5 million is about the same amount that has been set aside for street maintenance in recent years; if we had taken our $5 million investment in this new development out in the county and instead doubled our street fund, it could have meant twice the amount of road repaired, more jobs and shorter construction time. If we took that $5 million and invested even 10% in renovating our run-down historical district, we would find that businesses are more willing to put roots there. The point is that before we put our resources into bringing in new residents and new businesses, we need to make sure that we are investing in the ones that are already here.
- IF ELECTED, WHAT WILL YOUR FIRST PRIORITY BE?
Before any of these big projects can get started, the government needs to ensure that they are working at the directive of the residents. We need to encourage the community to be more involved with these projects and more involved in holding their elected officials accountable on their actions as representatives. Therefore, my first priority will be pushing for restructured public meetings to give more voice to the public. Introducing more opportunities for questions and commentary during regular city council meetings, or adding a clarification forum for the public in addition to having one for city employees are good places to start. People speak to those that they know will listen to them; it’s time we made it clear that our local elected officials are here to listen to their constituents.