By Cameron Rasmusson
Four candidates seek public support this Tuesday when voters fill two open seats on the Ponderay City Council.
We reached out to the candidates to gather their thoughts on the most pressing issues facing Ponderay and their priorities if elected to office. Listed below are their answers.
Most pressing issues: Growth management will be a long-term concern for Ponderay. As more people move to the area and more businesses seek to operate in Ponderay, the council will have to address infrastructure issues, such as securing our own water system, in the not too distant future.
Priorities: My priority is to get the community and businesses involved with city government. I would like to see more citizens and businesses represented at the council meetings.
Most pressing issues: Streets, property and parks. The streets are poorly maintained, and the city has spent a lot of money for parks development. This property remains undeveloped and the city doesn’t have a plan for it. How can the city afford to develop and maintain parks when it can’t maintain the streets?
Priorities: To work with the mayor, council and city clerk to make sure city government represents all citizens and to develop a plans for parks and street maintenance and implement the plans. The public needs to be part of the decision-making process.
Most pressing issues: As anyone can see, Ponderay is growing. Our challenge as a city government will be in keeping our way of life and values as they are stressed by the accelerated growth in housing, business and congestion while maintaining and improving our traffic infrastructure, water and sewer within the constraints of the budget. No small job.
Priorities: We must continue working to improve and increase the communication and coordination between the council and community including businesses. Though my local business, work with Ponderay Planning and Zoning, and involvement in Ponderay Community Development Corp.(PCDC), I have developed relationships with state and federal officials as well as business leaders. My hope is that these contacts can be used for the good of Ponderay.
Most pressing issues: The rapid growth of Ponderay presents challenges as the city works to build a proper infrastructure to support that growth in a responsible manner. High-speed, reliable internet would be helpful, to the business community as well as, to residents. Affordable, quality childcare facilities and family-oriented activities to keep children active year round would be good for Ponderay. There is also a need for a solid, well-paying job market to raise the standard of living for those who reside here full time. Sandpoint can only grow so much, and there are businesses that I know personally who have explored the possibility of moving to Ponderay, but were unable to do so as the infrastructure was not there to support their needs.
Priorities: As a member of City Council, I will vote with the needs of the community in mind, above all else. I have no associations with those who would lobby to sway votes for self-gain, and I would not be susceptible to that. Fiscal responsibility and transparency in government are crucial and my votes would reflect these concepts. I have been and will continue to listen to citizens and evaluate the concerns and needs of the community and move forward to learn how to best address those concerns and needs.