Name: Paul Alldredge
Occupation: Retired for the last 15 years. Previously worked in Production and Quality Management at JR Simplot
Education: B.S. Biology, California State University Bakersfield, 1974; Propulsion Engineering School and Submarine School while in the Navy. Most of my Navy years were spent on a Nuclear Ballistic Missile Submarine.
Prior political experience: None
Civic involvement: Caldwell Planning and Zoning Commission, 2002-2007; Downtown Ordinance Committee, 2005-2007. Currently serve on Tax Accountability Committee of Idaho Board, 2009-2013. Created watchdog blog Caldwell Guardian, 2008-2013
Years living in Caldwell: 35
Family: Wife, Karen, married 42 years; sons, Jeffrey and Mark; daughter, Jessica; two grandchildren
Website: Caldwell Guardian (on hiatus until election is over)
Social media accounts: None
1. What makes you a better choice for voters than your opponent(s)?
Our current mayor has been in elected office in Caldwell for nearly a quarter century. It is time for a change and some new ideas and approaches to solving problems.
2. If elected, what are your top three priorities? How will you accomplish them? Please provide specifics.
Get the Pioneer Irrigation lawsuit resolved. The citys eminent domain lawsuit does nothing to resolve the issues of pollution of Pioneers waterways and canals.
Work to get our levy rate lowered. Caldwell East Urban Renewal accounts for a 22 percent increase in our levy rate or about $290 per $100,000 of taxable value. Getting that shut down will be a significant step forward in lowering city taxes. Additionally, I would involve department heads in ways to creatively cut costs in all city departments.
Mayor Garrett Nancolas has done a very good job of shielding all of us from the realities of stormwater retention, high levels of phosphate in our waste water effluent and other aspects of dealing with the federally mandated Clean Water Act currently facing all Nampa residents. Caldwell needs to meet these challenges head on before they become another law issue.
3. What is the one thing your city should start doing to encourage economic development and create jobs?
I would reorganize Economic Development under the Caldwell Planning and Zoning Department. There is a disconnect between the current Economic Development Director and Planning and Zoning. I would also appoint an advocate to businesses wanting to locate in Caldwell to facilitate the permitting processes. I would like to see businesses locate in Caldwell because we are a good place to do business and not because they will receive all manner of giveaway deals that fly in the face of existing businesses and ultimately cost those businesses money to support the new guys in town.
4. How do you envision your city 10 to 20 years from now? How should it change?
Unless Caldwell changes course it may very well become a bedroom community for Ada County. The words around town are Ada County has jobs, Nampa has retail and Caldwell has parks. Caldwell is a diamond in the rough with two golf courses, two colleges, a major medical facility and a host of other amenities for our residents. Imagine what Caldwell would look like with the Job Service Building, SW District Health and other government offices in our downtown. Roger Brooks is coming to Caldwell after the election. He and his people will help create a set of plans to move Caldwell forward as a city of distinction. It will be up to current and future elected leaders to zero in on this effort along with energized citizens and the necessary funding to pull Caldwell out of its malaise. Otherwise, 20 years from now not much will change except more rooftops.
5. Are you concerned about public apathy and involvement in civic matters? How would you get more people involved?
That is the very reason I decided to run for mayor. Mr. Nancolas has had nearly a quarter century to make his mark in Caldwell and here we are at election time with only one position out of five up for election being challenged. It is my hope that Mr. Brooks will help give us a generational change in civic involvement here in Caldwell. Only about 3,800 people voted in the last mayoral election in a city of 46,000 people. I will bring some new faces to city commissions and appointments when elected.
6. What are the top two issues facing Caldwell, and how should they be addressed?
First, is the Pioneer Irrigation District litigation. You have to recognize you have a problem before you can fix it. The eminent domain litigation filed by the city of Caldwell does nothing to address the pollution flowing to food crop irrigation canals and waterways. The money spent on litigation is far better spent on an action plan to correct the problems in an orderly fashion.
Our levy rate is far too high to be attractive to any business thinking of locating in Caldwell. It is about 40 percent higher than what it would be in Ada County. The county and the cities of Caldwell and Nampa are the main drivers of the overall property tax rates.
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?
Serious consideration needs to be given to an additional fire station on the east side of the freeway near the Caldwell Airport.
8. If more budget tightening is needed, where would you look first for cuts? Why?
I do not see a need for budget tightening in the near term with just about all economic indicators on the upswing. Housing prices are now back near what they were pre-recession. I do think creative cost controls with the involvement of all city department heads should be an ongoing activity. We need to be good stewards of taxpayer dollars. If it got down to cuts, I would look at urban renewal as the first target for reductions. The city will continue to collect URA dollars until 2022 and what is done with that money shapes what happens to our levy rate.