Nampa City Council, seat 1: Paul Raymond

October 7, 2013 

Name: Paul D. Raymond

Age: 62

Occupation: Retired Nampa Public Works Director, Mountain Home city engineer, Keller Associates project manager

Education: Graduated Idaho State University two-year course in civil technology. Registered professional engineer in Idaho

Prior political experience: No prior political experience.

Civic involvement: Rotary Club Mountain Home about 1978-1999; Nampa Rotary Club 1999-2006; Meridian Rotary Club 2006–2008; Board of Directors of Treasure Valley Transit about 2002–present; Board of Directors Nampa Civic Center about 2005–2011 and president of the Mountain Home Travel and Tourism Committee 1994.

Years living in Nampa: 14

Family: Wife, Connie, and four children: Brent Raymond, Blair Raymond, Kristy McKinlay and Lori Davis.

Website: www.paul-d-raymond.com

Social media accounts: Facebook; Linkedin

1. What makes you a better choice for voters than your opponent(s)?

The applicable experience of which I am aware my opponent has is law enforcement and being a member of the Nampa Planning and Zoning Commission. My experience as a public works director and city engineer, including working with mayors, councils, finance, police, fire, city clerk, and other departments, has taught me how city government works. In addition I have a better technical understanding of the issues that will be presented to the council. My private sector experience has taught me the importance of the role private business plays in our local economy and government.

While law enforcement, and planning and zoning are important; with my background and understanding, I will have an advantage in assessing technical issues, understanding the ramification of proposals, knowing how government works, and I believe, in a broader perspective, having the discernment to differentiate between needs and wants.

2. If elected, what are your top three priorities? How will you accomplish them? Please provide specifics.

Help to reduce the amount by which the city subsidizes the Idaho Center. I would work to accomplish this through considering selling or leasing the facility and reviewing the management team and the contract it has with the city when it comes due in 2014. This would possibly bring to light better ways of operating the facility or finding others who can operate it better.

Work to improve Nampa’s image, as perceived by its citizens. This could be accomplished by spending time with individuals and organizations and being upfront and open with the issues. This would first help to develop trust, followed by cooperation and securing a better image.

To reduce taxes, I would promote the retention, expansion and promotion of businesses. I would work to emphasize business success instead of consciously or unconsciously producing or modifying ordinances in such a way that they impede business success.

3. What is the one thing your city should start doing to encourage economic development and create jobs?

Show an interest in businesses, meet with them and see what their recommendations are for success. Identify their concerns and solicit their advice.

Since business helps business, facilitate brainstorming sessions amongst the business community to determine the best course of action the city can take to promote business. If the city would show more interest in the success of business, the attitude of business leaders would improve and their desire to promote Nampa would likely accelerate as well.

4. How do you envision your city 10 to 20 years from now? How should it change?

At an average growth rate of 2.5 percent over 20 years, I forecast the population to be near 131,000. Through cooperation of the city with local business interest, positive results will occur:

By then, we will have produced a more educated work force.

Nampa business will begin to share in the Meridian and Boise Markets.

As business comes to the valley, they will then see the benefits of establishing themselves in Nampa.

The increased tax base will more equitably support the housing, resulting in a lower tax levy, and a better job market.

Nampa should grow moderately so that the infrastructure needs, including the replacement and expansion of transportation, public safety, utilities and other services, can be planned for to accommodate the growth well ahead of its arrival.

5. Are you concerned about public apathy and involvement in civic matters? How would you get more people involved?

Yes, this is a serious problem. I think there are so many other activities and interests that compete with political issues that people don’t pay attention to these matters. Another problem is that people think, “You can’t fight City Hall.” My experience shows that people are simply not concerned until major issues arise with which they disagree, and then it’s usually too late.

A good solution is difficult. However, I believe the most effective tool is communication. Whether it is politically expedient or not, politicians need to always be working toward being upfront with the public. People seem to distrust government on any level, so generating trust is crucial. Take the message to the public through visiting service clubs, homeowners associations and governmental bodies. Have press releases, describing the upcoming project. In the concept stage, approach influential individuals in the community and solicit their input.

6. What are the top two issues facing Nampa, and how should they be addressed?

Taxes and the limited ability to attract business.

In attracting businesses, high taxes are hard to overcome. So, businesses need to be invited to stay here, be able to freely expand and encouraged to come here. This will build our tax base. For now, we need to determine our needs vs. wants and focus on needs. This would help to prevent tax increase and to possibly bring taxes down.

We need to remember that government does not drive the economy, the private sector does. So, one way to help is for government to get out of the way. This can be accomplished by having their success of business be the focus, instead of ordinances. Yes, both are critical to the wellbeing of our community, but on occasion, some proposed ordinances and/or regulations, however unintentional, can impede business success.

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?

The City of Nampa street system would be the first priority. Most of the limited revenue available for street maintenance and replacement comes from the state revenue sharing. As a result, over the past several years, necessary maintenance and replacement has been insufficient, resulting in many of the streets of Nampa becoming prematurely aged and are near the end of their lives. Allowed to deteriorate much further, many streets may need to be replaced simultaneously, the funds of which are simply not available.

The next concern is a lack of park space for football, baseball and soccer. This has been a problem for a while.

8. If more budget tightening is needed, where would you look first for cuts? Why?

Assuming that budget tightening would result from a drop in tax revenue, as a councilman, I would be forced to look first at the budgets that are partially or wholly property tax supported. The reason for this is largely due to the fact that much of the remaining revenue comes from user fees that support enterprise funds i.e., water and waste water. These enterprise funds cannot be used to supplement tax-supported budgets. If, however, user fee, grant or other revenue-supported budgets were to lose revenue, there would be little choice but to cut them proportionally.

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