Marsha Ogilvie

Marsha Ogilvie
Candidate for: Sandpoint City Council

Age: 60
City of residence: Sandpoint
Years of residence in Sandpoint and Bonner County: Moved to Sandpoint in May 1994
Marital status/family: Married with no children
Contact information: or [email protected]
Education: Pepperdine University, San Bernardino Valley College and Long Beach State

Recent or pertinent employment history
: Owner and operator of The Candy Cottage and All Smiles in downtown Sandpoint, 15 years in restaurant management, training new hires and restaurant managers. I was Vice President of Operations for eight years for a retail food boutique.

Public offices held: None

Nonprofit groups, service or professional organizations to which you belong:

What particular experiences or skills qualify you for office? I have the ability to build consensus among people with differing views who are willing to work together for a common goal. Iíve been on numerous boards, committees and have proven communication skills in facilitating successful projects. I have the drive to see things through to completion. I believe that now is the time for new eyes, fresh perspectives, and creative ideas.

Your positions on key issues:

1. Among the myriad issues facing the city at present, what do you consider the single most important issue, and why? Please also describe any other issues you feel are important.
The single most important area of concern that has been identified by everyone I have spoken to is the need to work together and I agree. All of us are passionate about our vision of how things should be. The challenge is to find common goals that will bring us together. Many express the desire to cooperate while still finding others to blame. The city council, city staff, county commissioners, and downtown businesses need to work together more closely. Communication is essential. We need to work toward a thriving community by giving new methods and ideas their due consideration while respecting traditional values and honoring our heritage.

The city held an election in May for a $20.5 million bond to expand and renovate the cityís lake water treatment plant, which was defeated. The bond proposal will again be on the ballot on Nov. 3, this time for an amount of $17 million. Do you favor or oppose the bond, and why?
According to the experts we are using more water than our treatment plant can safely provide to all of its users. Before we pass on water rate hikes I would like to see the city establish a more strict water conservation program. Water usage increases dramatically in the summer months and with rate structures geared more aggressively towards conservation we may be able to avert this additional burden on taxpayers. Until then I want the voters to decide on November 3rd.

3. The Federal Aviation Administration has voted to cut off all funding for the Sandpoint Airport, located in the city limits off North Boyer, due to infractions that arise largely from the Silver Wing fly-in residential development adjacent to the airport. The county is losing $150,000 a year in federal funding, plus possibly millions in grants for capital improvements. Do you consider the airport an important asset, and what actions would you take, if any, to facilitate a resolution?
There have been positive steps taken recently by the city and the county to resolve the current airport problems. There are urgent concerns with safety, decaying runways, the impact of lost funding, and the failure to meet FAA requirements. We have an opportunity to make the airport an economic growth engine. The airport has tremendous unrealized revenue and has been overlooked again and again. The airport has the potential to be a financial shot in the arm for Sandpoint and Bonner County. If we truly want to be a destination resort community we need to provide air service. Together the city and county can make this a reality by working together. We need the airport. It is critical to our economy and our potential to grow and attract new business opportunities.

4. In a tie vote by the council, with the mayor casting the deciding vote, the city recently rejected a call for the city to stop fluoridating its water. The issue may surface again, possibly as an initiative or referendum. Do you favor or oppose the fluoridation of city water, and why?
Government should not be the deciding factor. Individuals should have the right to choose. Fluoridation is mainly effective in strengthening teeth and reducing cavities while teeth are forming and parents can easily find fluoridated products to protect their children during that period. Water fluoridation will come before the city council again and I would like to see the public given the ability to make that choice for themselves.

5. The Idaho Transportation Department is in its first year of construction on the Sand Creek bypass, with likely 2 to 3 more years to come. Overall are you satisfied or dissatisfied with the construction project and its impacts on the city? What issues do you see arising for the city from the construction and completion of the bypass? 
I think the anticipated delays have been dealt with as well as can be expected. We are all looking forward to the completion of the Byway. Until then we can be proactive and plan for the future. I think the possibilities are exciting for the downtown corridor. We will have our streets back and have control over events and promotions for bringing more people into the downtown area. There is the potential of returning to two-way streets with an increase in available parking which might help resolve the loading zone issue. The decrease in automobile and truck traffic will make the downtown a more desirable destination and make for significantly safer streets for pedestrians and non-motorized modes of transportation.

6. One impact of the bypass has been concerns it raises with Burlington Northern Santa Fe about parking and access to the Amtrak stop at the historic Sandpoint train depot. The depot continues as a stop but the building has been closed for months due to disrepair. BNSF is considering to abandon the depot as an Amtrak stop. What would you like to see happen with the depot and Amtrak stop in downtown Sandpoint and what role, if any, would you play as a council member? 
I think it would be a shame if the Depot was abandoned. How can we let this wonderful Sandpoint treasure disappear? Sandpoint natives have heartwarming memories that are tied to this historic asset. I want Amtrak to continue their service and I want the depot to be restored. I will do whatever I can as a city council member to facilitate retaining the depot in Sandpoint. 

7. Growth remains a major issue. The city this year completed a long process to adopt major changes to its comprehensive plan. As a tool to manage growth, are you satisfied with the new comprehensive plan? Describe your own posture toward growth in Sandpoint.
Every city must grow to remain viable but that growth needs to be managed properly. The long overdue comprehensive plan does well in addressing this issue. I am reassured by the multi-use plans for the downtown corridor. I want to see our city thrive

8. One growth-related issue is housing. Do you think the city should play a role or be proactive in securing affordable and work-force housing in Sandpoint?
The city plays the most important role in establishing the development of affordable housing through its zoning ordinances. The comprehensive plan addresses this issue. The Sandpoint I see is one of multi-uses accessible to all ages with downtown lofts, studios and apartments.  All workers in Sandpoint should be able to find housing appropriate to their income level.

9. How would describe the economy of Sandpoint today? What role do you see for the City Council to play in creating a healthy local economy?
The number of businesses forced to close their doors recently is description enough. The City Council needs to aggressively pursue the continued revitalization of downtown. The downtown is the life blood of our community. Downtown businesses historically support every aspect of our community Ė sports, non-profits, events, fundraisers, education and the arts. We have an opportunity to concentrate on our strengths, work on our weaknesses and be ready to move forward. When the byway is completed we must find ways to roll out the red carpet and entice locals and visitors back into our downtown to shop, sample the cuisine and spend time in Sandpoint.

Supporting local business, addressing problems at the airport and continuing to find solutions to affordable housing are ways the city council can assist our local economy in retaining and expanding the job market.

10. Why are you running for public office? If you are elected, how much time will you be able to devote each week to your position?
I want future generations to be able to return, make a living, start their families and call Sandpoint their home. I am retired and ready to devote as much time and energy as necessary to make informed and thoughtful decisions.  In the fifteen years I have been here I have been an active participant in making things happen. I have a record of achieving goals by finding people with fresh ideas who want to be part of the solution and a member of a winning team. Living in Sandpoint is a gift and I want to continue to give back and to make a positive impact wherever I can