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Produced & Maintained by Idaho Mountain Express, Box 1013, Ketchum, ID 83340-1013 
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Copyright © 2002 Express Publishing Inc.
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For the week of April 2 - 8, 2003


Five candidates vie for Bellevue Council seats

Douthit drops out of April 7 election

The city of Bellevue’s 2003 election will be held Monday, April 7, from noon to 8 p.m.

Bellevue City Hall will be the only polling site during the election.

Terms for the council seats and the mayor’s seat will last for two years.

Bellevue does not have voting districts. The three council candidates with the most votes will gain seats, and the single mayoral candidate with the most votes will assume that office.

The newly elected officials will assume their seats at the Bellevue City Council meeting on Thursday, May 8.

Express Staff Writer

Five Bellevue residents will contend for three Bellevue City Council seats up for re-election on Monday, April 7.

Tammy Schofield, Eric Allen, Vivian Ivie, Monte Brothwell and Rob Mays have all accepted nominations from fellow Bellevue residents to be candidates to serve on the City Council for two years starting in May.

Also at stake in Monday’s city election is the mayor’s seat. Incumbent Mayor John Barton is seeking a second two-year term in office. He is being challenged by Larry Plott, a retired state police officer and former Bellevue City Council member.

The terms of Mayor Barton, Councilwoman Tammy Schofield, Councilman Wayne Douthit and Councilman Dale Shappee will expire at the end of the month.

Of the three council members whose terms are expiring, only Schofield is seeking re-election.

As part of the city‘s charter-driven nomination process in late February, Shappee was nominated to run for re-election, but declined to have his name included on the April 7 ballot.

Councilman Wayne Douthit was nominated by candidate Brothwell, and showed an intention to run for re-election until last Thursday, when he abruptly withdrew his name from consideration. In submitting a letter to the city to have his name taken off the ballot, Douthit gave no explanation for his decision not to run again.

Monday’s election will certainly play a critical role in determining the city’s near-term future. The City Council in the last year has often been split on key issues. With Shappee and Douthit giving up their seats, a new order of alignments is certain to be established.

Schofield, an employee of the Blaine County Sheriff’s Office, has been very active as a member of the City Council. She has been a staunch supporter of programs aimed at improving the city’s parks, infrastructure and public services. Throughout the last year, she has acted as the lead proponent of establishing a skateboard park in Bellevue, and recently unveiled plans to acquire a federal grant to help improve the city’s O’Donnell Field.

Schofield has shown support for certain agenda items advocated by Barton, but has proven over time to be an individual force on the six-member council.

Candidate Monte Brothwell, a lifelong resident of Bellevue, has served the city previously as a council member and as the city’s mayor. He said last week that he believes the primary issues facing the city are proper maintenance and reconstruction of the city infrastructure, and management of noise impacts from airplanes that use Friedman Memorial Airport.

He said Bellevue should accommodate growth, but should encourage projects that blend in with the existing city.

Brothwell noted he would like to see the city more aggressively pursue impact fees for new subdivision developments, and noted that he would like to advocate legislation that benefits all residents, "not just a few."

Candidate Allen is a five-year resident of Bellevue. He currently serves as the chairman of the Bellevue Public Library Board, a member of the city’s Tree Committee, and as an unofficial representative for the city on airport noise issues.

Allen said he believes the city is facing three major issues: water supply, growth, and noise from passing airplanes. He said he believes the city should enact temporary restrictions on new water and sewer connections while the city develops a "long-term plan that will take into account future city needs in water, waste, fire protection, street maintenance, and police presence that will be sufficient for future needs."

Allen noted that he believes Bellevue "is at a vital growth junction," and city officials should seek to manage growth in a way that discourages high-density housing and "high-volume, large business chains that feed off our local business owners."

Candidate Ivie is a 25-year resident of Bellevue, and is employed at the Blaine County Assessor’s Office. She has previously served multiple terms on the Bellevue City Council and Planning and Zoning Commission.

She said she believes city officials should focus first and foremost in the next two years on properly managing the city budget. "Every department head and council person should work on the budget to make sure the money is spent in the right areas each year," she said. "Water and sewer improvements could be handled through grants and future annexation fees. The last resort should be the taxpayer."

Ivie also noted that she would support changes to the city’s parking ordinance to help promote business growth in the downtown area, and is in support of a long-standing initiative to rezone Second Street so existing residences are compliant with the zoning code.

Candidate Rob Mays, after numerous attempts over two weeks, could not be reached for comment on city issues. Mays was nominated in February by Eric Allen.


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