Friday, November 2, 2007

Bellevue City Council grid questions

1. As the levy approved in the last election showed, Bellevue residents have serious concerns about the level of service provided by city departments, such as police, street, and fire. What plans do you have to improve either the city's financial situation or municipal services?

2. How do you envision the growth of Bellevue, especially in light of the three recent and highly publicized annexation proceedings? If you support annexation, what do you think the allowable size and density should be? What amenities should it bring the public?

3. Do you think the city should pursue a Transfer of Development Rights program? If so, how would such a program function?

4. Do you support the proposed contracts for services with the Hailey Fire Department and the Blaine County Sheriff's Office? Should the city be looking at further consolidation with Wood River Fire & Rescue?

5. Should the council play a role in attracting new business to Bellevue? If yes, what strategies would you employ to achieve this?

“A Good Year” stars Russell Crowe as a financier who inherits a vineyard.

Steve Fairbrother

Age: 49

Occupation: Equine veterinarian, Wood River Equine Hospital.

Experience: Bellevue mayor, 1999-2001. City Council, 1997-1999 and 2005-2007.

Why running: "I would like to maintain some continuity with the council and to follow through on the projects we started."

The full effects of the levy increase will not be felt until next budget cycle. We had expenses in the last budget that will not be present next fiscal year. This should help our department's financial situation.

Size of annexation is related to phasing, projected future growth of Blaine County, and land availability. I can only vote on an application after considering all possible impacts and mitigations. Density should be least as high as current town core. Improvements in infrastructure and amenities will be negotiated, but positive effects for residents is paramount.

I support TDRs but do not see how Bellevue can currently afford them. A countywide co-operative effort appears to be the only avenue to make them work.

I support the contracts for services. Not sure how we will afford all of them at this time—that is what budgeting is all about. Negotiations are ongoing. Consolidation with many departments has always been a goal.

A role, yes. That is one facet of urban development. We have altered some of our parking, zoning, and other ordinances to make Bellevue more attractive and will continue as the need arises. More light-industrial property in the city limits may be helpful.

“A Good Year” stars Russell Crowe as a financier who inherits a vineyard.

Larry Plott

Occupation: International police consultant to six different countries, 1997-2007.

Experience: Idaho state patrolman, Wood River Valley 1965-1970. Director of Peace Officers Standards & Training, 22 years. Bellevue City Councilman, 1997-2001. State investigator decertifying corrupt police officers. Member of the Bellevue Citizens Advisory Committee, 2006.

Why running: "I'm committed to building a solid infrastructure, not giving away what we have (Marshal's Office & Fire Department), being financially smart, removing roadblocks for business, and hanging on to our identity. I have the training and experience in budget planning, administration, management, and supervisory skills to help the city through these growing pains."

The tax levy passed by voters obligates the council to use the funds as recommended: hire one additional police officer, $62,000; increase officer pay to match adjacent cities, $9,160; upgrade 911 communication record management system, $20,700; additional training $10,000. Hire full time fire marshal, $6l,000; increase hourly rate for volunteers, $12.00.

Annexation has to be a financial win for Bellevue and not just profit for the developer. Careful planning must be done restricting growth and density that would impact Bellevue with extra taxes and suffocate them with traffic and pollution. Subdivisions need to be self-supporting by user fees including cost of fire and police services.

I would have to research and do some fact finding on this issue. However, programs that control density and promote open space, maintain the rural small town atmosphere and preserve our unique identity as gateway to the Sawtooths are desirable.

Bellevue voters passed a levy allocating money to improve the marshal & fire agencies. The proposed contracts should only be considered if a survey reveals the citizens want it. I know of no such survey. Bellevue needs city employees under PERSI and equitable wages for police & fire personnel.

Yes. Meet with business owners to find out what the roadblocks are, and remove or change those ordinances that are not business friendly. Also, promote business owner involvement in sponsoring local activities that also appeal to visitors.

Gene Ramsey: Did not respond.

Josh Rand: Did not respond.

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