John E. Darling Jr.
Years of residence in Sandpoint and Bonner County: 37 years
Marital status/family: Married with 3 children
How can the public contact you? [email protected]
Education: Sandpoint High school, US Navy
Recent or pertinent employment history: Sandpoint Furniture Carpet One Floor and Home
Public offices held: Ponderay City Council 2 terms
Nonprofit groups, service or professional organizations to which you belong:
Panhandle Building Contractors Association, Friends of Pend dí Oreille bay Trail, Youth Sports
Other experiences or skills that qualify you for office:
Business minded, Military attention to detail,† Patient, caring father and husband
1. Among the myriad issues facing the city at present, what do you consider the most important issues, and why?
Improved streets and infrastructure, high speed internet, affordable water.
2.†The University of Idaho has announced that it intends to sell its undeveloped 77-acre property on North Boyer alongside Sand Creek. The city is currently conducting workshops and meetings to collect input on possible changes to the comprehensive plan to guide future development and use of the property. Do you have a position on the use of this property or the process the city has initiated?
I believe this would be a great site for a community involvement center, youth sports training facility or future site for additional schools.
3.†The new grandstands at Memorial Field were completed this year, but with the dedicated 5-year, 1-cent sales tax for their construction producing revenue for additional projects the city is now considering a replacement of the turf with either upgraded grass turf; artificial turf; or a hybrid. What is your position on the turf question?
Growing up and playing in this stadium,† I believe this should stay a natural grass field.
4.†A follow-up on parks: If additional funds are available for park projects, do you have projects you would want to pursue? The city is exploring a new master plan for City Beach; do you have a position or ideas for potential changes, additions or development of City Beach?
Being born and raised in Sandpoint, the City Beach was my social lifeline as a youth; I would love to see dedicated funds to improve the features and uses for this park.
5.†Jobs and the local economy are always an election issue. How would describe the economy of Sandpoint today? What role do you see for the City Council/Mayor to play in creating a healthy local economy to foster growth of living-wage jobs in Sandpoint?
Sandpointís economy appears to be on the steady climb. I believe that the Mayor and Council can focus on improving Sandpointís tourism attractions which supports our local economy.
6.†The city has moved toward construction of fiber optic or high-speed Internet in Sandpoint in order to attract and retain companies as well as benefit residential users. Do you feel this is an important project for the city to undertake; if so, do you feel the process to launch the service is satisfactory?
I believe this is the number one thing that the city can focus on to attract new companies and rural commuters that bring in high paid incomes to our economy.
7.†Related to the economy is the matter of affordable workforce housing. Do you feel affordable housing is an issue; if so, do you have plans to address it?
I believe that affordable housing is important. I do support LOCAL affordable building developments and apartment projects.
8.†Sandpoint's downtown has undergone a major realignment of traffic patterns to remove one-way streets and convert virtually all streets to two-way. A downtown redesign to widen sidewalks, add storm water swales and other changes carries on next summer starting with Cedar Street. What is your position on these changes to downtown? Corollary question: As downtown parking is a perennial issue; how do you view changes instituted by the city in the past year concerning the management and enforcement of parking? Do you have other ideas concerning parking issues?
I believe the realignment of the downtown traffic patterns was great. I have noticed increased available parking and better flow patterns through the down town corridor.
9.†Increasing train traffic, specifically trains transporting coal and volatile oil, has become an issue locally and regionally with citizens who identify environmental and public safety threats. Do you feel this is an important issue for city officials; if so, what actions to you advocate?
I am an advocate to hold the railroads accountable for their impacts on small communities.
10.†Here's a final three-part question:
- How much time will you devote to your position? As much time as needed.
- How many City Council meetings have you attended in the past two years? One.
- Why are you running for public office? I am running for office to give our community a clear option for an unbiased, consistent, good listening, and compassionate, progressive, honorable candidate.