We need to ensure that our public safety sector has the manpower and tools to keep our city safe. The Idaho Falls Fire Department has recently seen many improvements such as a new Fire Station 1, increased manpower, additional training opportunities and an improved ISO rating. These positive changes have improved the safety of our city and citizens as well as our firefighters.
Conversely, the Idaho Falls Police Department has many issues that need to be addressed. Among them is the need for a new police headquarters and for opening lines of communication between officers and management, including the city council, to address labor and manpower concerns.
Our police department works hard to ensure that our city is secure and our citizens are safe. I will make it a priority to give them the support they deserve.
After participating in the Mayor’s Citizen Review Committee and the public planning sessions to develop master plans for Tautphaus and Heritage Parks, I now more than ever recognize the value that parks and open spaces add to our community and the need to preserve, maintain and enhance our parks and recreation system.
Projects on the horizon are the completion of Heritage Park and upgrades to Tautphaus Park which include a second sheet of ice and a spray/water park.
Citizen’s support is strong for the Connecting Our Community Plan to connect our city’s bike and walking paths, making it safer and easier for pedestrians and bicyclists to move about town. Another citizen recommendation was improvements to our zoo. I support these projects as well.
My time on the Idaho Falls Golf Advisory Board has given me insight to another project in the works which is maintaining the irrigation systems at our golf courses. This includes replacement of the outdated system at Pinecrest Golf Course. By switching from the city water system to surface water application it will save the city valuable potable water resulting in long term cost savings.
I see our parks and recreation operations as an investment in our community. The Parks and Recreation Department has been working hard to obtain outside funding and grants for these and other projects and I will work to support them in this effort.
Although these are my priorities, I understand that we must always adequately fund our essential services of streets, sanitation, sewer, water and power. Maintaining a strong infrastructure will help ensure economic growth and development for our city. I believe we can be fiscally responsible and still move Idaho Falls forward.
PAID JIM FREEMAN FOR CITY COUNCIL, MELVIN ERICKSON TREASURER © 2017