Q: What are some of your goals for 2014 as mayor?
A: My top priority is to put Eagle on a firm financial footing. Eagle is 80 percent residential and 20 percent commercial. That commercial includes cutting-edge engineering and software firms and the service community, including our wonderful coffee houses. They are not the kind that helps the city’s revenue very much. Annexing Avimor offers more than an environmental-friendly community, but also the opportunity to develop 17 million square feet of light industrial. That could mean almost 10,000 high-end blue-collar employees to boost the local economy.
Another goal is to continue to brand Eagle “The City of Adventure,” as suggested by Mark Pyper when running for City Council. Just as the regional sports park is an attraction to cyclists from all over the country, combining it with the many miles of bike trails in Avimor will enhance Eagle’s theme as City of Adventure.
Adding motorized sports to Avimor will bring wheeled sports into another dimension. It is beyond thrilling to think about it.
Q: Two years ago, the city took over the Eagle Urban Renewal Agency. Are you satisfied with the move? How have things changed?
A: I am generally satisfied with the Urban Renewal board and our activity in assisting new downtown businesses. As for the old Chevron and the meat packing building, the people really want them gone, and something of beauty in that area. I hope we can help that happen.
Q: How, if at all, has your style changed as mayor since taking office more than three years ago?
A: I am more outspoken with the Council, outgoing and incoming. I tried to observe my first year or so believing it is better to be silent and thought a fool, that to speak out and remove all doubt. My goals are less in response to a constituency and more on keeping the ship afloat and headed in an overall positive direction.
Q: In hindsight, what have your learned from the dispute between the city of Eagle and Ada County over the terrain park and Ada-Eagle Sports Park. Would you have done anything differently?
A: Harvey Mackay wrote a helpful book a few years ago entitled, “How to Swim with the Sharks Without Being Eaten Alive.” It gave some excellent advice on how to roll out projects like the snow park to a successful outcome. We would have done well to follow his advice.
Q: What new projects are on the horizon for Eagle?
A: Further development of the sports park to include the proposed tubing and snowboard park. Annexing Avimor into Eagle. Creating a new go-kart track at Avimor to attract regional events. Find funding for infrastructure to allow development of the proposed industrial component of the Eagle Motorsports Complex.
Q: What is the best thing about Eagle you wouldn’t change?
A: The best thing about Eagle that I would not change is the same spirit that has always attracted me — the spirit of independence, self-reliance.
Q: What is the most important thing you would change?
A: If I had the power to change people’s minds, I would help them realize that they are part of the whole of Eagle and the greater community. Step back and focus on the health of the whole community, not just their little piece of heaven.
Q: Top policy priorities?
A: Continue my open-door policy of being available to everyone, either in person or by phone and email. Keep the city on sound financial footing and operating in the black. Adopt growth policies that will ensure better balance between commercial and residential growth. Continue to be business-friendly smoothing out the necessary governmental process required to bring businesses to Eagle.
Q: How can residents have the most impact on their city in 2014?
A: Get involved with the organizations that make Eagle work. Spend the time to become familiar with local, state and national issues, legislation and candidates running for office. Then take time to vote intelligently in every election.
Q. What are your expectations for dealing with people? What can citizens expect of you?
A: My expectation of the people is: They will want to live in a city of which they can be proud; they will expect transparency from their local government, as they should from their state and national government; and they will continue to expect frank and honest answers to their questions. Moreover, when they don’t get exactly what they want, they will clearly understand why, and hopefully see the greater good. As for me, they can expect me to be available to them, to listen to them and to use sound judgment in making decisions and to do my very best in carrying out the duties of a mayor.
Q: How can citizens communicate with you (email, phone, office hours, etc.)?
A: Email: firstname.lastname@example.org or cell: 861-9748. Office hours? What are those? My days tend to run from early morning to sometimes late in the evening, with occasional breaks in the middle. Tammy Gordon keeps my schedule and will make time for you. She can be reached at 489-8790.