Name: Bruce D. Skaug
Occupation: Managing attorney, Skaug Law PC
Education: Juris Doctorate (law degree) University of Idaho 1988
Civic Involvement: I have served as a board member on numerous nonprofit organizations over the past 20 years including Nampa Lions Club, Salvation Army, Canyon County Historical Society, Nampa Library Board, Hands of Hope, Joseph Project, Lifeline, charitable foundations and church boards. I have provided pro bono legal work on freedom of religion and freedom of speech cases and I am a recipient of the International Lions Clubs Melvin Jones Award for outstanding humanitarian service.
Years in Nampa: Started working as an attorney in Nampa in 1992; moved my family to Nampa in 1994. Idaho native.
Family: Wife, Debbie, six children.
Social Media: Facebook: BruceSkaugforNampa
Endorsements: Former Idaho Attorney General and Lieutenant Governor, David H. Leroy; Rep. Brent Crane; former Nampa police chiefs Bill Augsburger, Curtis Homer and Marshall Brisbin.
1. What makes you a better choice for voters than your opponents?
I have invested most of my adult life into this city, as did my ancestors. I have been blessed to be a part of Nampa in church, family, education, volunteer work and as a business owner with a dozen employees. I know Nampas history better than most, because our family has been part of the history. My philosophy of government is in line with the majority of Nampans, that of a responsible fiscal conservative.
2. If elected, what are your top three priorities? How will you accomplish them?
1. Stability: Maintain public safety with ongoing quality police and fire departments, clean water, efficient wastewater and improve street maintenance.
2. High tax levy: Though the power of the council is limited on the overall tax levy, I will work to lower the tax levy whenever possible. I will not vote for any new urban renewal projects.
3. The Idaho Center: The Idaho Center will cost the taxpayers $100,000 per month this fiscal year. I am already working on a responsible win-win solution to this expense with a team of business owners and civic leaders. This is a problem that can be solved and will be solved.
3. What is the one thing your city should start doing to encourage economic development and create jobs?
First, let me be very clear, government does not create jobs. However, responsible city government can encourage economic development by creating a secure physical environment for families and businesses by being vigilant in the fight against violence and property crimes. City government should make a stable and predictable tax environment that does not impede business start-ups or new building projects with unreasonable regulations and fees. If city government maintains a safe environment, free of crime and unnecessary bureaucracy, old businesses will thrive and new businesses will come to Nampa.
4. How do you envision your city 10 to 20 years from now? How should it change?
When I first moved to Nampa, Mayor Goering and the city leaders were proud that our infrastructure was ready for population growth. At that time, Nampa had an approximate population of 28,000. Now, we have about 84,000.00. In 10 years, barring national economic catastrophe, we will have well over 100,000 people in Nampa. Whether we want it or not, Nampa must prepare for coming growth. I foresee Nampa will prosper with a multitude of new and successful businesses. Our tax levy will decline, our schools will improve and this city will be a place where my children will want to raise my grandchildren. I am optimistic about the future of Nampa because of the people who live in this city.
5. Are you concerned about public apathy and involvement in civic matters? How would you get more people involved?
People in Nampa are generally independent, seeking only to live their lives in peace, prosper and raise their families as they see best. Nampans come together and get involved when there is a problem to be solved or a project that needs done. I am confident Nampans will rise to the occasion when needed. As a council member, I will work for open government so everyone interested will be aware of important city issues.
6. What are the top two issues facing Nampa, and how should they be addressed?
1. Road Maintenance. This City of Nampa has one big shortfall for infrastructure. We are falling behind on basic roadway maintenance in the amount of $5 million per year. The city bills are paid, but we simply do not have the funds to maintain the streets. At some point this will be a safety and crisis issue.
2. High cost of the Idaho Center. By solving the Idaho Center financial bleed, we can have $1.2 million per year to put toward roadway maintenance. We cannot properly prepare for the coming growth if we cannot pave our streets. There are other issues but, by electing responsible fiscal conservatives to council, the problems will be solved.
7. If tax revenues take an upswing in the next few years, which part of city government do you think most needs an infusion of cash, and why?
City roadway maintenance. Though not a popular discussion point for campaigning, this is a safety and quality of life issue. Also, with an upswing in revenue, the city can pay off debts more quickly.
8. If more budget tightening is needed, where would you look first for cuts?
Like many businesses in the economic downturn, the current Nampa City government has done an outstanding job of reducing costs at all levels of government while maintaining essential city services. My compliments to the current department leaders and city employees for making the necessary cuts and still keeping Nampa a safe and functional city. There is always something in any business or department that can be made more efficient financially. $100,000 per month to subsidize entertainment at the Idaho Center cannot be justified for the long term. The cuts, if necessary, would take place first on the Idaho Center subsidy. I do foresee a successful solution for the Idaho Center that will keep our events, protect the Snake River Stampede rights and be a win-win for Nampa.