Wednesday, September 15, 2010

6 vie for 3 Bellevue council seats

Chris Koch running unopposed for mayor

Express Staff Writer

Six Bellevue residents are running for three City Council seats in the November election. Two council members, Shaun Mahoney and Tammy Schofield, will be stepping down after many years of service to the community.

Mayor Chris Koch is running unopposed to keep his seat.

The filing deadline was Sept. 3.

"This is fantastic," said Koch of the number of candidates. "It shows great interest in the community."

Council members serve two-year terms, voting on city spending, policies and ordinance changes.

"The pay is $50 dollars per month, so people are not in it for money," said Mahoney, who is stepping down after six years on the council. "Its time for some new blood. We have worked on infrastructure, water, sewer, police and fire departments, but there is still a long way to go."

Maria Anta, Sara Burns, Nola Kacalek, Randy Leighton, Barb Patterson and Larry Plott are running for seats that will be left vacant by Mahoney and Schofield on Jan. 1, as well as a seat held by Burns. Burns has been in office for about one month, after being appointed to fill a seat left vacant by Koch. Koch left the council to become mayor when Jon Anderson stepped down in June.

Of the group, only Plott is a longtime council veteran.

"It's a big commitment, but I enjoyed it immensely," Schofield said.

Schofield, a 10-year council veteran, said accomplishments she is proud of taking part in include construction of a new sewer treatment plant, a remodel and upgrade to the Bellevue Memorial Park, and progress toward acquisition of property south of the bowling alley for a public transit station.

She offered a word of caution to those who are seeking a seat on the council.

"Don't step in because you want to fix only one thing—we work on everything," she said. "The learning curve is at least six months. I highly recommend that someone take a training session from the Association of Idaho Cities before running for office."

The election will be held Tuesday, Nov. 2, at Bellevue Elementary School from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. Candidates are not running for specific seats; the three who get the most votes will win.

Absentee ballots can be obtained at the Blaine County Election Office at the Old County Courthouse in Hailey.

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