As someone who believes in small government, I feel government should only be as big and intrusive as is required to provide the services the residence need. Anything done beyond that, means the government is either over taxing its people or overstepping its authority.
I am also a staunch supporter of both the U.S. and Idaho Constitutions. I believe that anything done should first be put up against those Constitutions, decide whether or not they fall within the preview of government, and only then make a decision.
LIST OF ISSUES
Taxes are a necessary evil that no one likes. People should only be taxed the absolute minimum to run the City and its necessary functions. All too often City’s will begin growing, taking in more and more taxes, and end up funding wants and desires instead of sticking to the necessities.
A resent example of over taxing would be the change to the “Business Impact District” tax. Yes, it’s an additional tax on those that have income properties near Indian Creek. Since property values have close to double in the last few years, and many of the property owners have long term leases, many were on the verge of being taxed out of business. So the council passed an ordinance that put a 5% cap and floor on value changes. Now, of course this only applied going forward, so the properties are taxed at the highest possible value, but why is there a floor?? Not one councilman asked this question. What if another ’08 style collapse occurs and property values drop 20% or more? When I asked a councilman about this, I was told they would deal with it then when it happens. So, basically, they would wait as long as possible, while taxing at overly inflated values. This is the type of thing that desperately needs to be addressed ahead of time and not put off to future councils!
Caldwell is one of the highest taxed city’s in Idaho, and we have very little to show for it. I would like to work to correct that.
To me, safety is the number one job of a City Council. Our Police and Fire Departments are what ensure that residents can live and conduct business freely in the City. I have spoken to both Police Chief Ingram and Fire Chief Frawley, and the rapid growth of Caldwell has put a strain on both departments. The Police need addition personnel and the Fire Department needs new facilities as well as personnel. These are challenges that should be a top priority for the City.
Under Chief Ingram‘s leadership I have seen a radically positive change in the demeanor and professionalism of all of the Caldwell Police force. I would like to see that continue while meeting the challenges that a growing city has. Crime and property damage have been and should remain their top priority.
Fire Chief Frawley is actively tackling the issues of outdated facilities and increasing personnel shortages. Under his leadership he has not only developed a comprehensive long term plan to upgrade our Fire Departments infrastructure, but he has worked hard to train and create one of the valleys finest group of men and women firefighters.
I would like to help ensure that these men can continue to improve and grow their departments while offering the highest safety and security the City has ever seen.
Growth is an area that the City Council has the most say in, and in my opinion, growth should pay for itself. The City has a long term plan; this is what should govern what and where things can be built. Due to re-zoning and rapid growth, this plan is in desperate need of revision.
The City should have no say in who can buy or sell property; that is a privet transaction between the parties involved. The City should, however, have a clear and concise plan as to what they, and the residence, want for the future in those areas. This way a buyer has very clear direction for what they can do with property to fit the City’s long term goals. An updated and specific plan would not only benefit developers that want build here, but it would also give residence a solid idea of where the City’s growth is going.
Most of what a City Council does is infrastructure and growth, yet those currently on the council have little to no knowledge of construction, construction technics, or how to actually build infrastructure. This is where I feel I can bring the greatest value to the council. I have been in the civil/structural construction industry for over 30 years. I have worked at all levels of construction doing projects that range from complex highways (including bridges, tunnels, retaining walls, etc.) to simple parking garages and subdivision development. I have often been the person on the “other side” working with Cities to get projects approved. This gives me a unique perspective on what developers are trying to do as well as knowing the “tricks” many developers try to pull.
I’d like to help this Caldwell grow, but in a constructive and reasonable way.
As a small government advocate, I am not a fan of Urban Renewal Districts. I know they are allowed by Idaho Law and I do understand that they can have benefits. Unfortunately far too many cities use them as an addition tax base, including Caldwell. The current URD is not set to sunset anytime soon, so I would like to be a voice for using it sparingly and only when absolutely necessary. Too many URDs’ have been used to benefit developers and privet industries and the residents are left to pay the bill. URDs’ should only be used in a way that benefits resident, (e.g. Infrastructure or common use facilities) and not developers.
City Councils have nothing to do with education directly, but they can affect schools in major ways. The approval, or denial, of new residential projects has a direct impact on the needs of schools in the City. The Council should not be strictly approving or denying projects based on the current capacity of schools, but the Council can be a type of mediator that urges developers to work with local schools to see if there are thing that can be done to aid schools with the increased growth. Examples could be land donations, financial help or even time delayed or staggered construction schedules that could help schools cope with the growth. Having a construction background helps me have a better concept and knowledge of what developers can and can’t do for schools and allows me to be able to work more easily with them.
If you feel I'm someone who could represent you and you would like to see me on the City Council, please support my campaign.
If you would like to find out more or help in any other way, please reach out.
I want to be a Councilman that listens and truly respects the people of Caldwell.