Nampa mayoral race: Bob Henry

October 8, 2013 

Name: Bob Henry

Age: 62

Occupation: Owner, Henry Insurance Agency, LLC

Education: Some college

Prior political experience: Twelve years Nampa School District Board of Trustees; two years Nampa City Council

Civic involvement: Past member of Nampa Optimist Club; past president of Nampa Kiwanis Club; member of NNU Foundation Board; former board member of Nampa Boys and Girls Club and Salvation Army

Years living in Nampa: 35

Family: Wife, Jane (married 37 years); daughters, Erica and Beth; son, Matt

Website: www.henryformayor.com

Social media accounts: Facebook

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

I think I am the best candidate. Nampa needs a mayor who understands budgets and one who looks for efficiencies within city departments. With my 12 years of experience on the Nampa School Board, 35 years running a business and two years on the Nampa City Council, I am well prepared and ready to hit the ground running.

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

1. Bring the property tax levy rate down. The mayor and city council must work together to find additional efficiencies and re-prioritize what is important and fund those areas properly. We must be mindful that we cannot increase spending and must lower budgets where possible to give businesses and property owners relief.

2. Bring urban renewal back under the authority of the council. Elected officials should be accountable for how urban renewal dollars are spent.

3. Take care of our roads. The city council and mayor need to work together to find a way to fund roads properly.

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

Working together with the city's Economic Development department, we must attract more manufacturing businesses. We must explore which incentives are available to make Nampa a viable choice for businesses in the planning stages, those looking for a place to relocate or existing companies considering expansion.

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

Our local economy is improving slowly. I can visualize Nampa in the future attracting businesses that will utilize a workforce trained to their needs in cooperation with CWI, NNU and the BSU satellite campus. New developments will provide amenities including greenbelt extensions and new parks. I hope we retain a small-community feel within the larger city with the addition of shopping and service areas within neighborhoods. I hope there is a sense of pride in being a Nampa resident and that we continue to maintain and appreciate our agricultural roots.

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

I am concerned. I think across the country as well as here in Nampa, people don't feel their voices are being heard. I think more people will become involved when they see that things can change in city government. That will happen when we have a mayor who really listens to citizens' input before making important decisions.

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

Property taxes are a major consideration for the businesses we are trying to attract. We are not competitive with our surrounding communities and many businesses have chosen to locate where the tax rates are lower. We lose not only the business itself, but also its employees, the homeowners who shop, send their children to school and volunteer in their new community.

Urban renewal is not popular in Nampa. We need to bring it under the control of the city council, pay off our debt and retire it.

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?

We should do a better job of funding our roads and give the citizens some tax relief. Just because there is an upswing in tax revenue, hopefully because of new commercial growth, it doesn't mean that we should grow government at the same rate.

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

All areas of city government would need to be scrutinized, recognizing that we have an obligation to provide for the health and safety of Nampa residents. We cannot put more of a burden on the back of the taxpayers than they already bear.

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