A new era of local government arrives in Caldwell, with the election of three new city councilors who have all beaten the longtime incumbents.
Caldwell is preparing to elect a new mayor for the first time in 24 years in a run-off on Tuesday, November 30. The voters also decided to bring in three new members of the city council as well as a new mayor.
âA lot of people were looking for change,â said Diana Register, the new city councilor for Seat 3. âThere were a lot of incumbents with a lot of experience who served the city well, but it got to a point. where people really wanted change.
Another incoming city councilor, Chuck Stadick, said voters were fed up with raising property taxes and the taxes prompted them to elect three new council members.
Stadick served on city council in 2015, but lost reelection in 2019. He won the 2 council seat this year, beating incumbent Dennis Callsen, who has served on the council since 2001.
When Stadick was on the board in 2015, he said advisers refused to consider increasing Caldwell’s impact fee, which is a fee paid by developers on new construction to offset costs as new growth. imposes on public services. Stadick was pushing for those.
The board recently increased impact fees, but that was the first time in more than five years, Stadick said.
“It’s always reactive and not pro-active,” he said.
Stadick also said Caldwell voters want a city council that can represent their interests in the Idaho legislature when deciding tax bills.
He said during this year’s hearings on Bill 389, a new law that seeks to reduce property taxes by capping the amount of funding local governments can get from new developments, the current city council did not testified. Some city leaders in Treasure Valley say the caps are hampering their efforts to leverage growth. Caldwell and Meridian have temporarily halted development requests in response to the law.
Stadick is an advisor on the Canyon County Concerned Citizens Committee called 5C, which advocates for conservative taxation from local governments. The organization visited the state house every day Bill had a hearing to testify against him, he said.
âCouncil members did not participate, and they are supposed to represent taxpayers,â Stadick said.
Stadick and the concerned citizens’ group plan to visit State House again in the next session to advocate for a new land tax relief bill.
Did the election of the mayor lead to three new council members?
Register said she believed that with the retirement of Mayor Garret Nancolas, “it seemed like the right time to introduce a new council”.
Register defeated incumbent Rob Hopper, who has served in Seat 3 since 2001.
The driving force behind Register’s decision to run was funding for public safety in the city.
Register’s late husband was a Caldwell police officer, and she remembers he once went to work with an expired bulletproof vest. She said when she rushed him he said there was not enough money in the police budget to buy officers new vests.
âWe couldn’t protect them – the people who protect us,â she said.
Register has worked in law enforcement for approximately 20 years. In Caldwell, she worked as a Community Service Officer with the Police Department, then as a 9-1-1 dispatcher with the Nampa Police Department.
“I have seen it, officers and firefighters work so hard that they are exhausted, or a turnover that is bad because they are underpaid and do not receive benefits, or are simply underpaid. estimated, âshe said.
Brad Doty, who won City Council 1 seat, shares Register’s goal of strengthening the Caldwell Police and Fire Department, with better funding.
He agrees that the residents of Caldwell were ready for a change with Nancolas leaving.
âI think this is more in line with Mayor Nancolas leaving, and he has been there for a long time,â Doty said. “And people just wanted a fresh look at the budget, the police and the fire department, the city’s growth and the city’s taxes.”
Mike Pollard, the current City Councilor for Seat 1, said he congratulated Doty on his election victory. Pollard said Doty would be a great addition to the board, although he wondered what the other two winners would bring.
“I had hoped everyone would re-elect the incumbents, just because we didn’t know who the new mayor would be, and I think the new mayor needs experienced city council members,” Pollard said. “I think they should have realized that experience matters, but they didn’t.”
Stadick said the new advice was a good thing.
âWhen I spoke to the other people who won their seats, they are close to what I said, to what we need to do to turn the tide,â he said. âI think it’s positive. We walked and did nothing but watch our taxes go up. “
Councilor Dennis Callsen and Hopper did not respond to requests for comment.