Tuesday, November 24, 2009

What's the next step for the Kuna Chamber of Commerce Economic Development Committee?

Work on the Kuna Chamber of Commerce Economic Development Committee continues full throttle.
A couple of weeks ago, the Kuna Melba News asked its online readers in our weekly poll what you felt the committee’s top priority should be.
We offered the choices of improving downtown Main Street, attracting new commercial development, attracting industrial manufacturers, marketing existing businesses and planning and organizing special community events.
With 56 percent of the vote, attracting new commercial development was the top vote-getter, followed by improving Main Street (14.6 percent), marketing existing businesses (12.2 percent) and attracting industrial manufacturers (9.8 percent). That message is pretty clear. But that doesn’t mean we’re only going to do one thing at the exclusion of all else.
When I think of the types of commercial ventures to attract to Kuna, I have some ideas of businesses that I think would do well here and that local residents want, such as a dry cleaner, a bowling alley, a movie theater and a skateboard/bike shop.
As always, I’d love to hear what you think. What businesses would you like to see in Kuna? What have I left out? What do you think would be successful? What business would you patronize? What kind of a manufacturer would you like to see in Kuna? Send me a letter: PO Box 373, Kuna ID 83634, or send me an email: kunamelbanews@aol.com. Or simply post an opinion to this blog.

There is more of this column in my Editor's Notebook in this week's Kuna Melba News.

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Kuna LID protest hearings turn up some (scary) revelations

Kuna City Council members are expected to make a ruling or rulings in the next couple of weeks regarding the protest hearings held last week about the local improvement district that is funding the $27 million wastewater treatment plant.
City staff members are putting together their evaluations of the individual protests as well as the larger, overarching legal issues surrounding the LID itself. Primarily, that analysis is of a legal nature but also involves technical considerations of certain specific properties and their encumbrances from the LID. It appears that City Council might make a ruling at its regular meeting on Tuesday, Dec. 15, but nothing has been scheduled yet.
One of the biggest shocks of last week's protest hearings, for me, came when one landowner said he needed more information from the city in order to make a business decision about what to pay or even whether to pay. He cited a clause in the city’s assessment notice that reads, “the city may increase any assessment or assessments up to twenty percent (20%) of the original amount thereof without giving further notice and without holding a new hearing.”
He drew blank stares from council members Lisa Bachman and Jeff Lang, who apparently had no idea what he was talking about.
Yikes. Either they didn’t get a copy of the six-paragraph assessment notice or they didn’t read it closely, or they didn’t read it the two times it ran in the Kuna Melba News, even though the notice is signed, “By order of the City Council.”
It’s scary that the decision makers aren’t paying very close attention to the biggest issue facing the city in probably decades.
They’d better start paying attention, because I can guarantee you everyone else is paying close attention — especially the banks’ lawyers who attended last week’s hearings.

You can read more of this editorial in this week's Kuna Melba News.

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

City of Kuna hires two new city attorneys

The city of Kuna has a new city attorney — two city attorneys, actually.
Kuna City Council members last week approved a contract to hire lawyers Richard A. Johnson and Richard T. Roats to serve as city attorneys. They will be paid $100,000 per year.
They replace city attorney Randy Grove, who resigned last month, citing conflicts with his role in the formation and execution of the local improvement district. That issue appears headed for a lawsuit, and Grove said he would find it difficult to serve as counsel to the city and as a witness in the matter. His last day was Nov. 6.
Grove’s salary was $93,540, but health benefits pushed the cost to the city well over $100,000. A $100,000 contract without health benefits actually saves the city money, according to Kuna Mayor Scott Dowdy.
Dowdy said he received inquiries from a number of candidates interested in the position. Dowdy said that he, city engineer Gordon Law and city planning director Steve Hasson interviewed three of the candidates, and all three agreed independently that Johnson and Roats were the top candidates.

You can read the rest of this, including the backgrounds on Roats and Johnson, in my Editor's Notebook in this week's Kuna Melba News.

Thursday, November 5, 2009

Glad that the goofy season is over

Now that the goofy (election) season is over, let me share with you a few more words of wisdom I plan to share with my boys:
“After a while, everyone will stop listening to the guard dog that is constantly barking.”
“The man who sees everything in black and white apparently lacks gray matter.”
“People who have all the answers are usually making up the questions.”
“If you seem to be getting into a fight with everyone you come across, ask yourself, ‘What’s the common denominator?’”

Also in this week's Editor's Notebook in the Kuna Melba News, you'll learn the back story behind the big American flag in Sandstone Plaza. But you have to buy the newspaper to get it. No free lunches.