Bondy Lays It On the Line
My name is Tim Bondy and I am your candidate for the Mountain Home City Council election. This will likely be my last campaign post so I'm laying it all on the line for the voters. For better or worse, I want you to understand what you'll be getting if I am “hired” as your City representative. Better to know now than discover the truth over the next 4 years when it's too late, don't you think?
Top 4 Issues from the Mountain Home Idaho Voters:
Here is a list of the top 4 voter issues compiled from e-mails, personal contacts and political forums. I address each issue below.
- Lack of Communication Issues
- Improving the downtown business sector
- Golf Course
Bondy Addresses the Biggest Issues
1. Communication, or lack of communications between City Hall and our citizens, was the single biggest issue by far. While no one ever came right out and said “communication” was a problem, most issues boiled down to lack of communication. I grouped concerns ranging from “why a certain street hasn't been repaved?” to “what can be done about all the garbage in my neighbor's yard?” into communications issues.
The Problem: People get annoyed and frustrated when they believe the City isn't responding to obvious problems in their neighborhood. Everyone has a hectic life, without enough time to get answers during “normal business hours” right? But come Saturday or Sunday morning, these same issues start flooding back into our thoughts. The problem stews in our brains all weekend, then gets put on the backburner starting Monday morning.
Bondy's Solution: Statistics indicate 70% of our households have an Internet connection. Common sense tells me the City could reach 7 of 10 people in Mountain Home simply by providing more information on their website. This would not be an overnight project but could be a cost effective method of opening a 2 way communication pipeline between the citizens and local government. If elected I will push the idea of enhancing communication though a new robust “content management system” website.
2. Improving Mountain Home's downtown business district was a big issue at one forum as well as in my email inbox. But a City Council Member doesn't really have much say in this matter. The “quasi-public” and little understood Mountain Home Urban Renewal Agency seems to have a big part in trying to attract new business. The City's Economic Development Department seems to be the place a City Council Member would have the most influence in bringing new businesses to town.
- The Mountain Home Urban Renewal Agency seems like the “Black Ops” organization charged with getting businesses to relocate to our town. The recent “King's Department Store” announcement, while likely great news for most businesses in town, should also strike at least some fear in the taxpayer. With the announcement that an unnamed business will “likely” (hopefully) lease or buy the old Kings Department Store came big cheers. But first, the URA must buy and renovate the building. Ir is possible the taxpayers could end up owning this 12,000 sq foot building. If the deal for a ShopKo Express or whatever family retail store is planning to occupy this building falls through, the taxpayers get to absorb the total $835,000 cost until suitable tenets can be found. Is it a gamble worth taking?
- The City of Mountain Home, Idaho doesn't seem to have an identity. Common sense tells me we need to create a vision for the City and work towards specific goals that will attract businesses that meet our vision. In these tough economic times, just throwing money at a problem might not be the best solution.
Bondy's Solution: Please see “Bondy's Stance on Mountain Home Business Incentives” for just one of my ideas.
3. Taxes...wise use and keeping them under control. This is one of those issues a Mountain Home City Council Member has a direct impact on. The e-mails I received were overwhelmingly in favor of lowering or keeping property taxes in check. My property taxes rose in 2011 while the true market value of my home likely fell in the preceding 12 months. Hmmmm.
The Problem: It takes a lot of money to properly run a city. Property taxes are just one of the sources used to keep our streets department, water system, parks and our police department operating like we like them. Other sources of tax revenues are slowly drying up or are coming under the budget axe. This means local user fees, permit fees and property taxes have to take up the slack. A strong and growing business community would greatly enhance our tax base but only if we collect property taxes from that growing business community. Business incentives, lowered impact fees and tax exempt status eat into our tax base.
Bondy's Solution: I'll be honest, this is a rather vexing problem. But recouping money from a golf course that continually runs in the red would be a good start. Ensuring non-essential organizations have a user base that matches the funding our City provides is another idea. In other words, we need to get the biggest bang for our tax dollar funded programs. Obviously, encouraging and not standing in the way of local entrepreneurs opening businesses in town could reap immediate benefits.
4. Taxpayers subsidizing the Desert Canyon Golf Course is a hot issue for a few but very vocal folks. At the heart of the issues is the fact that taxpayers are saddled with paying off the remaining $1.185 million bond AND the total amount the golf course runs in the red each year.
Bondy's Solution: I highlighted how I stand on this issue in the “The Mountain Home Golf Course Tax Payer Funding Issue” article I posted on October 27th, 2011. Please take some time to review my ideas and rationale.
Top 4 Reasons I Will Not Win a Seat on the Mountain Home City Council
Here is the list of the reason I've been told why I'll lose:
1. I'm a newcomer and not as “connected” as the other guys.
2. We're looking for a new face with fresh new ideas.
3. I've brought up taboo issues that are better left buried.
4. No yard signs.
And in retrospect, I agree that 3 of these points are valid. I just ask that you compare my platform with all other Mountain Home City Council candidates before voting on November 8th, 2011.
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