Richard W. "Rick" Cheatum
Council Seat #6
- WHY ARE YOU INTERESTED IN RUNNING FOR OFFICE FOR THE CITY OF POCATELLO?
My degree in Broadcast Journalism from the University of Kansas led to working as a broadcast reporter in three communities. Reporting on the activities of the various city councils was an important part of the job and made me appreciate the dedication and work necessary to be an elected official at that level of government. I watched as decisions affecting the communities were debated and decided by council members willing to give a part of their life to see their community succeed. Since moving to Pocatello 40 years ago, I have learned to love the community, area, and state. I have always been involved in community affairs and now that I have retired from a working career, I have the time to devote to being a successful city councilman. I also feel my business, marketing, management and sales experience will complement the talents of the other members of the Council.
- IN YOUR OPINION, WHAT IS THE MAJOR ISSUE FACING POCATELLO?
I feel the major issue facing the city is the retention of good employers. During my 40 years here I have seen several major companies create boom times when they move to town and hire hundreds of residents and then leave those residents high and dry when they moved somewhere else. The economic news is very promising with the Northgate development and I would like to see that happen. The potential talent pool in Pocatello is very strong with the training and educational resources available at Idaho State University. If those students can find good paying jobs in our community, many of them will choose to stay here to raise their families and contribute to the success of the entire community. I pledge to utilize my time on the Council to maximizing the economic development opportunities that come to Pocatello, while minimizing the cost of city government.
(a) HOW WOULD YOU ADDRESS THE ISSUE YOU JUST DESCRIBED?
Each industry or type of business has different skill set requirements for successful employees. The city needs to be work closely with School District 25, Idaho State University, and employers to train, educate, and recruit the labor necessary to fill the jobs available. Conversely, recruiting new employers to utilize the local talent pool is a vital role for city government, working along with county and state officials and business development agencies. Pocatello has had a number of successes in this area of late and I would like to work to make that continue. I believe my marketing and sales experience will enable me to assist in those efforts.
- IF ELECTED, WHAT WILL YOUR FIRST PRIORITY BE?
My first priority will be to develop a solid working relationship with the Mayor, Council members and city employees. As the newcomer to city government I will have to work very hard to understand how to acquire the information and background necessary to understand budgets, agenda items and processes to make the best decisions for the city. I am certain there is much the general public doesn’t understand about city operations and I would like to better understand the inner workings to improve my ability to serve the community. At the same time, I want to be able to make myself available to citizens to hear their concerns about issues affecting the city.