Years of residence in Sandpoint and Bonner County: 6 years
Marital status/family: Married, 5 Children, 5 Grandchildren
How can the public contact you? [email protected]
Education: Post-Grad Nursing
Recent or pertinent employment history:
Public offices held:
Nonprofit groups, service or professional organizations to which you belong:
Previously worked with homeless, recovering drug addicts - getting them off the streets and into the appropriate care programs to transition them off the streets.
Other experiences or skills that qualify you for office:
Inventor of Card Cooler Graphics Cooling Fan for computers - Founded Cool Solutions Inc - Personal Asst to President of Nutraceutical Corp - High Level Finance Position within Nucor Corp - Full business and financial background.
1. Among the myriad issues facing the city at present, what do you consider the 2-3 most important issues, and why?
1. The sewage system. I am deeply concerned with the fact that Sandpoint has 20 discharge violations this year, according to the most recent ICL report. This has been an ongoing problem for many years and progress to correct it has been minimal. I would like to see a more aggressive approach to resolve this issue so we can move on to other city projects knowing our water is safe.
2. Downtown Parking. I have spoken with many people who express that they do not shop downtown because parking is difficult for them. I would like to look into various solutions for this. One option may be a multi-level parking structure. Kaniksu has already expressed an interest in renting 60 parking spaces which could help offset the costs over time. I would want to see designs to the structure that blended in with the surroundings as much as possible so that it would not be an eyesore, but rather, an enhancement to the area. We could also look into the possibility of bringing back the trolley; which would not only add convenience but charm to the downtown area.
3. I feel Sandpoint citizens and businesses have been getting lost in the pursuit of the big money of attracting the wealthy and luring in tourists. While tourism is a vital part of our economy; we have to be careful to be balanced. I would like to see Sandpoint get back to its' roots of a small town, business and residential family friendly area to live and work. We need to structure our spending with the residents and local businesses being top priority.
2. The University of Idaho is in the process of selling its 77-acre property on North Boyer alongside Sand Creek to a private developer and builder. The city has conducted 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 city's role in its development?
It is my understanding that when that land was deeded to the University, it came with a stipulation that it be used "for the public good". I am happy to see that the city has made some efforts to obtain public input and my hope is that the original stipulation will be followed. Personally, I would like to see it remain in as natural a state as possible so that the public can continue to enjoy the property, as they have for many years.
3. The city right now has a master planning process under way for the city's parks. Recently its consultant, Green Play LLC, unveiled recommendations for major changes at City Beach, Memorial Field, Travers Park and the Sand Creek Landing. What's your take on this master plan process, and do you have an opinion on the changes recommended in their draft plans for these parks?
First I would like to say that the plans do look beautiful and many of the changes would bring things that our local community would certainly enjoy. I love the idea of more indoor recreation, ice skating and the carousel. That being said; I do have some concerns regarding the parks plan. With a business and financial background; my first question is always going to be - "how will this be paid for?" To my knowledge, there have been no cost estimates given to the public for these projects, and no plan to pay for those costs. We need to be sure we have our priorities in order. First take care of vital infrastructure (such as sewage and parking issues) and proper city maintenance needs and then move onto these other projects as funds allow.
4. Two specific follow-ups on the parks plan:
• The initial conceptual plan presented for City Beach is dependent upon the City being able to negotiate a land swap with the Best Western Edgewater Hotel property owner. What is your position on the proposed land swap?
From what I have seen, the swap looks like it is a great opportunity for the city, where they would receive more land/water access to build docks. My personal hope is that Trinity will be able to remain part of the beachfront area. That being said, There are a lot of factors to consider on this issue and I would want to research all sides before coming to any final conclusions.
• The initial concept for the Memorial Field plan would replace the grass playing field with artificial turf. What's your position on the grass vs. turf question?
When there is an option, keeping things in their natural state will always be my personal choice. Again though, I would like to hear the pros and cons of each side before coming to any final conclusion.
5. Bonner County has initiated a lawsuit against the city of Sandpoint over its lease of Memorial Field to the Festival at Sandpoint, which bans guns at its concerts. What is your take on this, and what action do you think the city should take?
First of all; I am a solid supporter of the 2nd amendment. We should always follow the law, whatever the law is and if we do not agree with what the law is. then we have a constitutional process to change the law. I Simply would like the city to follow the law. I would like to see the city exercise good faith by agreeing to meet with the county to discuss and work together for a resolution without forcing it into court and wasting taxpayer dollars.
6. Jobs and the local economy are always an election issue. How would describe the economy of Sandpoint today? What role, if any, 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?
More important than what "I" feel about the local economy, is how our local businesses feel about it. I have spoken with many frustrated business owners and I have a heart for them. I feel the city council/Mayoral role is to keep our business community free of excessive tax and regulation. I am also concerned with the impact of excessive and lengthy roadwork in the downtown area and I would like the opportunity to look more into what we can do to alleviate it. It all comes down again, to priorities. We have to make sure we have our priorities in order to support and care of our local residents and business above all else.
7. Related to the economy is the matter of affordable workforce housing. Do you feel affordable housing is an issue the city council can tackle; if so, do you have plans to address it?
Unfortunately, There is no blanket solution. Yes, a council can vote to relax some of the regulations and restructure the impact fees. Council can also vote to limit the number of vacation rentals permitted within city limits. Beyond that, I would want to look into and work with the rest of the council to find any other way to help the situation because I do personally feel it is a serious problem in our city.
8. Downtown Sandpoint is in the midst of a multi-year revitalization project, that last year rebuilt Cedar Street and right now is rebuilding First Avenue with wider sidewalks, new parking schemes and new furniture. Do you support this, or is there anything you would do differently? One concern that has been voiced in the face of these and other changes brought about by growth is their impact on the character of our town. Do you share that concern; if so, do you see steps to take to help Sandpoint retain its small-town character?
I believe the work they have already done is indeed beautiful and of course we all want a beautiful and inviting city. My concerns would be to make sure that we do not ignore our responsibility to maintain clean waterways and properly care for our residential and business community. In general, I will say again, that we need to make sure we have our priorities in order - necessities must always come first and move onto elective projects.
9. Generally speaking, do you feel the city council and the mayor have been taking the city in the right direction at present? Anything you would want to do differently if elected?
This is a viewpoint question and I recognize there are many different opinions on this topic. The mayor and city council have an, admittedly, difficult job. There will always be people who agree or disagree with their actions. Do I personally feel we need a change? Yes; that is why I am running for city council. What I would prefer to focus on, is the direction we want to go from this point forward and what the direction the citizens of Sandpoint would like to see the city go. My desire is to always be sure to maintain a good communication between the people and those who represent them.
10. Here's a final three-part question:
- How much time will you devote to your position?
As much as it takes. I take this position very seriously and will research agenda items before coming to final conclusions and voting.
- How many City Council meetings have you attended in the past two years?
I have attended several, I have also studied council minutes and watched online.
- Why are you running for public office?
I made the decision to run because I feel people want to know their best interests are being represented by elected officials. I have found the recent budget explosion and rising taxes alarming and above everything else I would like to see a fiscally responsible government in place that will appreciate the value of tourists while prioritizing the local citizen and business community ahead of the lure of tourists.