Debbie Kling, who is president and CEO of the Nampa Chamber of Commerce, is a compelling candidate with a record of civic and business experience. She’s challenging Mayor Bob Henry, who is running for re-election after one term as mayor, one term on the City Council and a dozen years on the Nampa School Board.
Kling wants to boost master planning efforts, broaden economic development and recruitment, and offer a more inclusive leadership style. She also wants to improve communications and relations between city government and the community, including with the chamber, where Henry’s gruff style has caused some strain. But it strikes us as dubious strategy for the chamber CEO to challenge the sitting mayor in hopes of repairing city-chamber relations.
Bob Henry’s primary pitch is, basically: Don’t fix what ain’t broke.
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[VIDEO: Scroll to the end to see the candidates in their own words.]
Henry made a name for himself doggedly pursuing public records challenging the crazy, long-drawn-out case of the city’s prosecution contract with Canyon County and John Bujak. Henry’s skepticism ultimately was proved right. Henry can be a bull in a china shop, and we worried in 2014 when he defeated likable, longtime mayor Tom Dale that Henry might be more interested in blowing things up than paying attention to libraries, sewers and streets. But Henry has City Hall operating smoothly.
The burden is on the challenger to demonstrate why voters should make a change, and Kling and the other candidate, Melissa Sue Robinson, haven’t made that case. While he may lack a soothing bedside manner, Henry has given voters no reason not to return him to City Hall.
For Caldwell mayor: Garret Nancolas
Garret Nancolas has served 20 years as Caldwell mayor, and is known as one of the most beloved, organized and effective leaders in the Treasure Valley. In an interview with our Editorial Board, his impromptu defense of the benefits and successes of urban renewal in Caldwell were a textbook example of that. His knowledge and track record earn him our enthusiastic endorsement.
Challenger Ted Brumet is a veteran who served in Iraq with the Idaho National Guard’s 116th Brigade. But his focus on problems with downtown parking, street work and snow removal can’t match Nancolas’ record of service or breadth of knowledge and accomplishment.
Unsigned editorials represent the opinions of the Statesman editorial board.
Early voting underway
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