Thoughts – City Club Forum

City Club Forum

Today I participated in a candidate luncheon conducted by The City Club of Idaho Falls. When I attended I was surprised to learn that all 3 incumbents had been invited and only I as a challenger. I agreed to go along with the exercise because I felt it was important for the city of Idaho Falls to hear a different perspective than those already on the council. I was asked a question and did not have time to respond to in a thoughtful way.

The question was in regard homelessness and how we in Idaho Falls would handle the homelessness issue. And I apologize if my answer came across as heartless and insincere.

If you would go on a journey with me for a moment and type into your web browser “Homelessness in Portland,” and click on images. If we adopt the same type of policies that these cities have adopted, then we will get the same response.

Here in Idaho Falls we do not have the resources to handle this type of homelessness. Zoning for low income housing is one matter. Zoning for subsidized housing is another matter all together. All of us in this community believe in the attribute of charity. However, how can we on the one hand attract people here that are struggling, and then on the other hand not have the resources to take care of them?

Currently property taxes are forcing our seniors on a fixed income out of their homes. So the real question is: Who gets to stay in their home? Would we tax our senior citizens out of their home so that we can provide a social net for someone else?

When considering these difficult social issues, we need to consider personal responsibilities, family resources to help, and then church and community resources. Growth is inevitable here in this community, it needs to be done wisely, and in a way that will not overburden our city, and its citizens.