Four years ago I made key promises and have delivered on them with the help of so many others including the City Council, our department heads, dedicated city employees, private businesses, INL participants, nonprofits, engaged citizens and friends in the region:
- Promise: Explore turning EITC into a community college. I raised the issue in 2013 and worked on it for two years. In 2016, with Ammon Mayor Dana Kirkham and County Commissioner David Radford, we put together the study panel. This all-citizen panel created the report that led to the vote last May in which 71% of county residents (and 74% of those in the City of Idaho Falls) voted to create the College of Eastern Idaho.
- Promise: Economic development would be central to my role as Mayor. Helped form the regional economic development organization (REDI) and put an in-house economic development coordinator on my staff. I have worked aggressively to bring the Small Modular Reactor to our region.
- Promise: Create citizen review panels to scrutinize City Departments. Done thanks to the help of so many local residents who were willing to step up and serve.
- Promise: Capitalize on the strengths of the Idaho National Laboratory to ensure its mission is strong and secure. I serve actively on the LINE Commission to secure Idaho's nuclear future and have pushed aggressively for the Small Modular Reactor technology. The Naval Reactors program has the new $1.65 billion naval facility under construction and the INL has the rapidly growing cybersecurity program. We have two new INL buildings coming soon to University Blvd. The cybersecurity program is growing rapidly. Each year we have hosted the Intermountain Energy Summit to discuss key policy issues in the energy arena. Idaho Falls supports every aspect of our DOE and DOD missions and I have made sure our federal leaders know it.
- Promise: Full development of our cultural and recreational attractions. Our Greenbelt and Riverwalk now extends to Sunnyside and beyond and much has been or will be refreshed and expanded. We now have an expanded Saturday farmers' market. Heritage Park on the Snake River near Sunnyside will begin construction this coming year. We have the bold new city entrance on Broadway and the Wayfinding signs to get tourists to spend more time (and money) here. We are in the process of connecting our community with a network of biking and walking paths. Downtown has new restaurants, shops, businesses and, most important, more residences.
My priorities, if re-elected, are to work together to:
- Renew Our Community by repurposing Idaho Falls High School if the voters approve the new school and complete the projects on the corner of Memorial and Broadway and the renewed Bonneville Hotel downtown.
- Build a Competitive Economy by supporting a Kindergarten to Career education system (the new College of Eastern Idaho is a key part) to provide our employers the workers they need to prosper because prosperous employers provide good jobs with good wages. Also, by expanding our fiber optic system offerings, we can enhance our competitiveness.
- Enhance Our Energy Portfolio by encouraging the Small Modular Reactor and maintaining Idaho Falls Power's cost advantage that comes from generating 90%+ of its energy from clean sources.
I outlined these points at my campaign announcement on August 30th. Review my remarks in full here.