Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Questions & Answers

Bellevue City Council

Bellevue City Council candidates:

Should the city move forward with a bond to shore up the Fire Department or look further into the possibility of consolidation with other agencies?

What are the top infrastructure priorities facing the city, and how should they be funded?

What could be done to boost the local economy?

What role does Bellevue play in the regional economy?

How would you like to see the airport (relocation/expansion) issue resolved?

Name: Amber L. Avila

Age: No response.

Education: High school graduate, currently attending college (full-time student).

Why running: I decided to run for City Council because I want to give back to the community that I've grown up in. I want to have a positive impact on my fellow citizens and help preserve Bellevue's quality of life for future generations. I value integrity, community, family, service and honest leadership.

Government/public service: Although this is my first attempt at local government, I do spend a large amount of my time involved in public service. I am currently a Bellevue Library board member, and I've held the past positions of Bellevue distribution site leader, mentor, and Hope Garden volunteer for The Hunger Coalition.

1) After attending the public Fire Department meeting where Bellevue citizens voiced their opinions in favor of remaining an independent fire department, we should put the bond to a vote, and I hope the door for possible consolidation in the future remains open.

2) One, the sewer plant completion (lab stairs, 40-acre pivot, cover over the membrane, etc. Funding would come from the irreversible user fee increases. Two, street repair and maintenance, funded by the state highway fund and grants.

3) Bellevue Chamber of Commerce re-established to actively recruite businesses to Bellevue, market assets of Bellevue, like affordable housing, a newly remodeled elementary school, available land and turnkey buildings. Explore expanding and marketing the outdoor recreation options Bellevue has to offer.

4) Bellevue supports the rest of the county in providing the affordable house and the workforce.

5) It would be beneficial for Bellevue if the airport were to be relocated south. I am concerned about the health and safety of Bellevue residents if the airport did expand at the current location. Not enough information provided to make a sound decision yet.

Name: Janet Duffy

Age: I am old enough to vote and too young to collect Social Security or withdraw from my IRA.

Education: Bachelor's degree from Oregon State University. Graduate work in chemical engineering at Montana State University.

Why running: I want to make sure that every citizen's voice is represented and that the laws and regulations are applied equally across the board. I am running to continue the great things that this council has accomplished since January and to build a better Bellevue.

Government/public service: Currently a member of the Bellevue City Council, appointed in May to fill Gene Ramsey's position. I also have volunteered for several organizations, including Habitat for Humanity, Special Olympics and Operation R.E.A.D.Y, received Commander's Award for Public Service from the Department of the Army.

Absolutely, the Fire Department has been underfunded for years. The bond would provide necessary equipment and facilities for the entire city limits of Bellevue and was one of the recommendations from the consolidation study. It also puts us in a better position for possible consolidation in the future.

2) Finish the sewer plant, which by statute can only be funded by user fees. Street repairs and water main upgrade project. These are being funded by the current taxes, state highway revenue allocation, water user fees and grants.

3) Support the 140 business that are already in Bellevue. We need a Bellevue Chamber of Commerce to work with Urban Renewal to actively recruit new businesses to Bellevue. Continue relationship with Sustain Blaine. We have a sewer plant that is ready for industry.

4) Bellevue is the workforce for the area and home to many of the area's service businesses. Should exploit having the Sawtooths to the north and world-renowned fly fishing to the south. Bellevue is business friendly and zoning regulations that support growth.

5) I am not in favor of expanding the current airport outside of the fence; there are just too many unresolved safety issues. A regional airport to the south would benefit the whole county.

Name: Dave Hattula

Age: 48

Education: University of Oregon.

Why running: To continue providing accountable and reliable city government that keeps the best interests of the city first.

Government/public service: Member of the Bellevue Common Council for the past two years- council president since January. Member of Bellevue Urban Renewal Agency, January 2010 to July 2011. Vice president of Bellevue Historical Society since March.

1) Bellevue should absolutely approve this low-cost bond for the Fire Department. With this supporting the acquisition of our new fire station, Bellevue will have some recommended capital improvements in place should we consider any form of consolidation or joint powers agreement.

2) Continue to upgrade the water system funded through applicable grants and citizen user fees. Street upgrades are increasingly becoming more of a priority and can be funded by state highway revenues, tax dollars and grants.

3) Concentrate on promoting and supporting the current 140-plus businesses within our city limits by creating an active and diverse chamber of commerce that is accountable for the events that promote the city as a whole and includes all businesses that wish to participate.

4) Bellevue, more than ever before, is the most affordable source of workforce housing. When the airport is relocated, Bellevue will be primed for growth from new residents that an airport will support.

5) I 100 percent support airport relocation! Safety is the key issue. It's not a matter of if an accident occurs, it's when. Loss of life is priceless, so we need to keep the pressure on the FAA so this issue does not fall off the radar screen.

Name: Tammy E. Eaton

Age: 42

Education: B.A. in political science. Associates degree in paralegal studies. Certification from North West Community Development institute in Community & Economic Developer.

Why running: I am running again after taking a year off for personal family reasons because I believe I made a positive impact on the community of Bellevue as a whole, and I would like to continue by picking up that momentum where I left off.

Government/public service: I was appointed to Bellevue City Council in 2000 after George Moore had to step down for medical reasons. I proudly served my community in the capacity of Bellevue councilwoman/alderperson for 10 years. Haunted Forest, Hot Summer Nights, Memorial Park upgrade grant.

1) I do not believe this bond request adequately funds the overall proper operation of a stand-alone fire department for the city of Bellevue. Our community would be more appropriately served with a contract for services, such as is being done with police.

2) The sewer treatment plant has been replaced, but has financial impacts to our citizens that warrant a review of the overall long-term plan. Review the financial plans laid out for the plant and try to work with the city of Hailey to offset their potential impact of replacement/upgrades.

3) There is no magic wand to boost the local economy, but continuing to work together with the other cities in our community, building on our "brand," will be instrumental in assisting to revitalize our local economy.

4) We are a tourist-based economy. Bellevue can work to find its economic niche and capitalize on the role it can play in the overall community's economic health. Bellevue should promote its "Gateway to the Sawtooths" status.

5) As I read on the website and have come to understand, expansion was not an option, because it would not cure the issue of "reliable" commercial air traffic. Expending any more time or money on that fact seems unnecessary.

Name: Shaun Mahoney

Age: 51

Education: B.A. in international studies and a minor in economics, from St. Cloud State in Minnesota.

Why running: I am running because I feel that our downtown business core has little representation and needs representation.

Government/public service: I have had six years on the City Council. I left last year.

1) Unfortunately, the bond came on us very quickly, and currently I am waiting for more information this week to make my final decision. Even if this bond passes, we still need to look at working with other departments. It's time to do so.

2) We are currently continuing our replacement of water infrastructure, which we are continuing from three years ago. I would like to continue that and like to tackle our city streets next, and continue supporting our fire and marshal departments.

3) We need to sell the great benefits of Bellevue. I would like to get our local Chamber of Commerce back up and get running again to attract more businesses to come to Bellevue.

4) Since we are the city that houses much of the workforce for Ketchum and Sun Valley, we are a major player in the regional economy. We need to be involved in the regional planning with the other cities of our county.

5) I do not believe in expanding the current airport. I do support building a regional airport that would support all of southern Idaho. We cannot do it on our own. Regional flights to our community would be greatly benefited by this.

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