Moscow Idaho City Council Election

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					Vision 2020 Questions for Moscow, Idaho City Council Candidates: 1999

Moscow, Idaho City Council Election: 1999

As a committee of Moscow Vision 2020, Kenton Bird, Ken Medlin and Bill
London compiled a series of questions for the candidates for Moscow
City Council. We requested a short biographical profile and the
answers to the following six questions from all 8 candidates. Seven
candidates responded. The responses are presented in the order

Our thanks to First Step Research, and Bill Moore, for making these
comments available on the Moscow website.

The Moscow City Council Candidate List
Aaron Ament
Steve Busch
Mike Curley
Jack Hill
Evan Holmes
Mike Thomason
Travis Tonn

The Candidates’ Background
            Aaron Ament: Background
My name is Aaron Ament. For twelve years I have lived in Moscow with
my wife Cindy. Marriage brought three wonderful children: Mollie(21),
Abram(18) and Saeb(16). I am the great-grandson of Latah County
I have lived in Latah County for most of the last 33 years. I served
as Idaho Youth Governor in 1968, the same year I graduated from Genesee
High School. While attending the University of Idaho, I helped write
the Student Bill of Rights. I lived in Genesee in the 70's and 80's,
working as a carpenter and devoting time to the care of my
Life in Moscow has rekindled my interest in public service. When my
boys joined Scouts, I volunteered to help and was an active member of
Troop 345's Adult Committee. Later I became involved with the fight to
save and reuse the 1912 MHS, which led to mayoral appointment to two
Desire for a stronger commitment from our city to our youth led to my
appointment to the Task Force on Youth Recreation and to my work on the
skateboard park. I presently serve as First Vice-President of the Latah
County Historical Society.

              Steve Busch: Background
Date of Birth: June 23, 1950

Place of Birth: Colfax, Wash.

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Vision 2020 Questions for Moscow, Idaho City Council Candidates: 1999

Education: Graduate of Colton High School, Received a B.S.M.E. from WSU
in Pullman in 1973, Received an MBA from Ball State University in
Muncie, Indiana in 1977.

Family Background: Married with three children.     Lesley age 23, Eric
age 21, Adam age 17. Wife's name is Donna.

Work Experience:
1973 to 1977             Westinghouse Electric Corporation, Muncie,
1978 to 1980             Carrier Air Conditioning Company, Seattle, WA
1981 to present    Busch Distributors, Inc., Moscow, ID

General Manger, Busch Dist. Inc.

President of St. Mary's School Board, President of St. Mary's School
Foundation, Chair of Moscow Parks and Recreation Commission, Member of
Mountain View Road Project Committee, Member of Moscow Street Standards
Committee, President of Moscow Baseball Association, Chair of Moscow
Public Works Finance Committee, Moscow City Council Member

Activities: Fishing, Camping, Racquet Ball, Skiing, Travel,
Woodworking, and Gardening

            Mike Curley: Background
Mike Curley is a clinical professor at the University of Idaho College
of Law and practices law in Moscow. He is 53 years old, holds a BA in
economics and a JD (law) degree from the University of Missouri--Kansas
City. His wife, Kathy, is Director of Therapy Central at Gritman
Medical Center and teaches yoga in Moscow. Their two children are
Tucker, 15, a sophomore at Moscow High School, and Tara, 13, an 8th
grader at Moscow Junior High. Mike is a member of the City of Moscow
Planning and Zoning Commission, a youth soccer coach, and chair of the
Moscow Junior High School Support Team, a parent-teacher-staff-patron
group. He was an officer in the United States Air Force. He has
practiced law for twenty-four years in addition to having taught at the
University of Missouri--Kansas City School of Law and at the University
of Idaho College of Law. He is admitted to practice in Missouri,
Idaho, and Federal courts.

            Jack Hill: Background
My name is Jack Hill. I was born in Bakersfield, California, in 1943.
I grew up with four brothers in Whittier. I graduated from the
University of the Pacific (1965), and began a career in teaching. I
taught for the San Diego Unified School District for eleven years. I
received my M.A. (1972) and Ph.D. (1977) at United States International
University. My career spanned 34 years in education, as a teacher and
administrator (principal and superintendent). I was superintendent of
the Moscow School District from 1993 to 1998.
         I am now adjunct faculty to the College of Education at the
University of Idaho. Currently, I am on the Board of the Moscow-Latah
Economic Development Council, Chamber of Commerce and Friends of the
Moscow Library. I serve as chair of the Moscow-Latah County Workforce
Development Task Force.

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Vision 2020 Questions for Moscow, Idaho City Council Candidates: 1999

      My wife and I enjoy living in Moscow with our two adopted
greyhounds and cockatiel. I would like to serve on the Moscow City
Council and contribute to our community's future.

            Evan Holmes: Background
      My interest in small government processes began over twenty-five
years ago when I attended a city council meeting as a class assignment.
My fascination with the culture, heritage, landforms and issues of the
western lands coincided with my growing belief in the value of
stewardship which allowed me to fit comfortably within the employment
folds of the National Park Service. Over the ensuing years the
relationships forged with western locales and a large benevolent
bureaucracy allowed me to gain knowledge and insight into hierarchical
administrative systems, procedural law, the political nature of right
and wrong, authority and jurisdiction, goal-driven management, 12 month
budgeting, the difference between rights and privileges, the language
and intent of obtuse plans, aesthetics treated as commodities and the
value of retaining the perspective of the constituency I was supposedly
hired to serve.
      My wife Nancy and I chose to live in Moscow ten years ago. The
town provides a happy backdrop for managing two children (Emily and
Colin), two cats (Mary and Pumpkin), three businesses (Beginning With
Music, Homework, Interpretive Media Productions), one little job
(Moscow School District), various short and long term volunteer
endeavors (Moscow Food Co-op, Christian Science Church, Renaissance
Charter School), a couple of rental properties and two houses in
various states of renovation. You might say we've become very attached
to the place.

            Mike Thomason: Background
My name is Mike Thomason and I'm one of 8 candidates seeking your
support for one of 3 Moscow City Council positions. I have lived and
worked in the region for most of my 46 years. I am married to Tina and
we have 2 daughters, a son-in-law and one granddaughter. I first
noticed Moscow when I was a teenager, and I thought at the time that I
would like to live in the community if the chance ever arose. I
recognized the "quality of life" even then. The opportunity finally
came in 1986 when the local Washington Water Power manager retired, and
I was selected to fill the position. I have worked in the utility field
for over 20 years, and have direct experience with utility
installation, customer service, office management, budgeting, field
engineering, billing, public relations, community development and
economic development. I think most of my job experience is largely
transferable to city government. Since moving here, I have been
involved at one time or another with the Moscow Chamber of Commerce,
Rendezvous in Moscow, the Moscow Downtown Association, the Moscow Latah
County Economic Development Council, the Lionel Hampton Jazz Festival,
and the Palouse Economic Forum. My job and my involvement with these
organizations have allowed me the opportunity to get to know many of
Moscow's citizens, as well as people in the surrounding communities of
the Palouse.

            Travis Tonn: Background
My name is Travis Tonn and I was born and raised in Moscow. My
grandfather on my mother's side, Goldie Hylton, was a rancher and owned

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Vision 2020 Questions for Moscow, Idaho City Council Candidates: 1999

all of the land from East City Park to Mountain View Road, and from the
Troy Highway to the junior high. He was forced to sell most of it when
my grandmother became ill to pay for the doctor bills. My folks still
live on the acre and a half that is left on Mountain View Road.
     I moved from Moscow after high school and joined the US Navy to
fix jet aircraft. After serving in Desert Storm and seeing the world,
I moved back to Moscow for a short time then left for Iowa to visit a
Navy buddy for the summer. There I met my wife, Julie, and settled
down in Grinnell, a small college town, working as a quality assurance
inspector for Maytag. After about three years I was laid off and
decided to finally start college. I moved Julie and our two children
back to Moscow and started attending the U of I in '97. I am currently
an environmental science major and a park ranger for the Army Corps of
Engineers in Clarkston, WA.

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Vision 2020 Questions for Moscow, Idaho City Council Candidates: 1999

The Vision 2020 Questions

1. Utilities and the Corridor
 If Whitman County officials request that Moscow extend utilities and
services across the state line to the eastern end of the Moscow-Pullman
Corridor, under what conditions--or would you ever--support Moscow
providing water, sewage, police, and fire protection to residences and
businesses in the Corridor?

            Aaron Ament: Question #1 Utilities and the Corridor
 Development will come to the corridor. The best we can hope for is
development we can live with. If we, the City of Moscow, are asked to
extend services into Whitman County we can have a voice in the
direction corridor development will take.
1. Development on the south side of the corridor should not be allowed
to interfere with the Chipman Trail, (access from the highway to any
development on the south side should be via bridges). If possible,
this should mean no development along the creek. We could trade the
option of more development on the north side to minimize impact to the

2. The type of development and landscaping in the corridor need to have
low impact on our water supply. 3. Any agreement entered into by the
City of Moscow and Whitman County must contain a clause that shuts off
services if there are any changes in codes, zoning or regulations
regarding the corridor.

            Steve Busch QUESTION #1 Utilities and the Corridor
 I would support supplying utility service, police and fire protection
to "West Moscow, Washington" under certain conditions. The main
condition would be that West Moscow be included inside Moscow's "area
of influence" similar to the agreement Moscow has with Latah County.
This would allow Moscow to include the region in our comprehensive plan
and control how it is developed. Another condition would be that the
City of Moscow be allowed to collect taxes/fees in the West Moscow
vicinity. This revenue would be used to pay for services provided to
the area.

            Mike Curley: QUESTION #1 Utilities and the Corridor
 I stated my position on this issue in a post to Vision2020 before I
ever chose to apply for the Council position. I believe Moscow should
DISCOURAGE development at the eastern end of the Corridor by NOT
provided the protections mentioned. I believe that any smart business
person will want to take advantage of the superior retail opportunities
that the western edge of Moscow provides--the ready-made market
generated by Palouse Empire Mall, Wal-Mart, Staples, Applebees,
University Inn, University 4 Theaters, and, of course, the University
of Idaho student population. The easier (less costly) Moscow makes it
for businesses to develop in the Corridor virtually on our doorstep,
the more likely it is that Corridor development will occur from east to
west--that is, from Moscow toward Pullman. Let's let Pullman extend

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Vision 2020 Questions for Moscow, Idaho City Council Candidates: 1999

services (or Whitman County) so that businesses that consider settling
near the state line will have to foot the bill for extension of water
lines, sewers, police and fire services.
I have no axe to grind with the Whitman County business community. But
I am seriously opposed to the Corridor becoming a North Division
(Spokane) clone. We in Moscow and Latah County have (and certainly
had) little influence on how the Corridor is developed. The issues of
safety, esthetics, quality of life, and preservation of Moscow's own
business community dictate that we not participate in eastern corridor
Are there conditions under which I think Moscow could or should extend
services? Yes, but primary conditions would be (a) that Moscow and
Latah County officials participate with Whitman County and Pullman
officials to plan and agree on future development of housing,
recreation, transportation, and support services in the areas near the
state line, (b) that fair compensation is received by the City, (c)
that the Corridor development plan be withdrawn or seriously modified,
and (d) that no undue burden is created on the Moscow infrastructure.

            Jack Hill: Question #1 Utilities and the Corridor
 Currently we already extend, through agreement, supporting services of
fire and police to Whitman County. The Attorney General of Idaho has
stated that it is legal to extend water and sewer services across state
lines. I suspect there could be some inter-governmental agreement that
would fairly compensate Moscow, but I see little value in it presently
for our community.

            Evan Holmes: QUESTION #1 Utilities and the Corridor
 Those of us living east of the state line should reasonably expect to
have no input concerning the development of the Hwy 8 roadside in
Whitman County. Many of us, however, would like to raise our hands from
the back of the room and actually be called on before the bell rings.
We have clever ideas about scenic easements, covenants, checkerboard
development, sign design, clustering and access roads. But why should
they call on us? Is there any reason? Maybe one. Maybe we can trade
some services for some input. Water for setbacks. Sewer for green
space. Emergency service for low profile signs. Without these valuable
things we have nothing with which to negotiate. If we hastily amputate
the leg we have left to stand on, they won't be able to see us waving
our hands in the back.

            Mike Thomason: QUESTION #1 Utilities and the Corridor
 The idea of selling services to either a government or private
interest across state lines raises all sorts of red flags. For
instance, I'm not sure of the legalities of selling water across state
lines. Would we be able to pick and choose our customers or would we
fall under the auspices of the utility commission and thereby lose some
control of our resource? Does it make sense to sell necessary services
to a "big box" retail developer in the corridor, if that retailer
forces a local tax-paying company out of business? I think not.
Bottom line, I would be cautious about moving in this direction, but I
will stop short of saying that I would never deliver services across
state lines. If a clean, high tech, quality employer were interested
in the corridor but needed some of our services...I would consider

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Vision 2020 Questions for Moscow, Idaho City Council Candidates: 1999

providing them on a non-subsidized or profit basis providing the
arrangement met legal requirements.

            Travis Tonn: QUESTION #1 Utilities and the Corridor
  I don't believe I could support using city funds to provide any type
of services to businesses whose taxes would go to Whitman County or the
state of Washington.

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Vision 2020 Questions for Moscow, Idaho City Council Candidates: 1999

2. The Downtown
What three specific actions would you support to maintain or increase
the economic vitality of downtown Moscow?

            Aaron Ament: Question #2 The Downtown
 We have a great downtown.
1. The first word I hear when talking to downtown business owners are
PARKING. The city should set aside parking for downtown employees on
the periphery of downtown. Parking between Jackson St. and Washington
St. needs to be available to patrons. If we are to keep our downtown
viable, providing parking must be a City Council priority.

2. Provide landlords with tax breaks tied to money spent on maintenance
of their buildings. Provide equal but unconditional tax breaks to
those who own the building housing their business.
3. Prevent business sprawl. Keep business concentrated in areas
already dedicated to business. This will not only help downtown, it
will encourage shoppers to use their feet rather than their vehicles.

4. Listen to our downtown merchants.

            Steve Busch QUESTION #2 The Downtown
 a) Provide the infrastructure and resources to keep downtown looking
clean and tidy. i.e. keep the streets repaired and clean. Place
trashcans in appropriate areas and empty on a regular basis. Maintain
landscaping. Provide adequate parking as space permits and enforce
parking time limits.    b) Support events and places that draw people
to the downtown area. i.e. the farmers market, Rendezvous in the Park,
Mardi Gras, the Prichard Art Gallery
      c) Keep city offices in the downtown area. Long term, something
has to be done about parking and access to the downtown area. Some
combination of remote parking and public transportation to the downtown
area might be a solution. A "Trolley Bus" transportation system
connecting both malls and the downtown area might be another idea worth
considering. A downtown parking structure cannot be dismissed.

            Mike Curley: QUESTION #2 The Downtown
 Encourage compliance with the City's Comprehensive Plan in the areas
that are adjacent to the downtown area. The Plan states that areas
currently zoned industrial [along A Street between Line and Almon,
along the railroad tracks from Sixth to Logan] should be reclassified
for commercial and high-density residential uses if they are vacated by
the current industrial uses. As a member of the Planning and Zoning
Commission, I voted at our last meeting (10/13) with other members of
the Commission to deny an application to construct a storage facility
on Asbury Street just south of A Street because I did not find such a
facility in the best interests of the community as a whole or that
neighborhood in particular, as well as because it did not meet the
terms of the Plan.
      Develop a "Visitor/Tourist Information and Assistance Center" in
the downtown area where it would be most effective. Consideration
should be given to the 1912 Building, City Hall, or another central
location where parking is generally available.

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Vision 2020 Questions for Moscow, Idaho City Council Candidates: 1999

            Jack Hill: Question #2 The Downtown
 In order to maintain or increase the economic vitality of downtown
Moscow, I would support more arts and events downtown. As the "Heart
of the Arts," we need to pump more events downtown. Mary Blyth has
some great ideas for such activities. I would like to see the
Kenworthy turned into a community theater. We also need to continue to
improve the 6th Street corridor, and develop a downtown beautification
plan. Grants are available. Finally, address the problem of large
truck traffic through downtown and improve parking. I support the use
of fine money for more parking lot development.

            Evan Holmes: QUESTION #2 The Downtown
Holistic management of our fair city requires ongoing analysis of
potential consequences for businesses, social organizations,
agriculture, diverse constituent groups, traditions, environment, U of
I, "ambiance", education, budget, etc. etc. etc. Interestingly, most of
these filters for our decision-making process have filaments that
connect them to the downtown area.
      Consequently, many actions by city council have implications for
downtown; therefore there are dozens of things that can be done.
Highlighting three specific actions may do a disservice to equally
viable alternatives. In order to prioritize various ideas one must
consider whether the "downtown" is 1) enjoying a renaissance or, 2)
suffering a decline or, 3) limping along on momentum, hoping the grim
reaper is busy with downtowns elsewhere.       In case #1 our immediate
concerns would be in the areas of parking (perhaps to buy property and
convert to parking), thematic architectural integrity, packaging
downtown as part of the UI student experience and removing or
mitigating the adverse effects of the two state highways (especially
truck traffic).
      In case #3 we should first assist the current property owners to
develop a twenty year plan (perhaps towards managing the entire
downtown more like a cooperative outdoor mall); pool resources among
realtors, landowners, business organizations and government agencies to
collect and maintain a good economic and demographic database to share
with potential investors and; insure that easy access is retained for
bicyclists, pedestrians and motorists.
       If advanced symptoms of "downtownitis" are diagnosed (this
terminal illness has stricken thousands of small communities in the
United States) then we must immediately begin contacting other similar
communities to find what failures and successes they have experienced
in treating this problem. It might be possible for the City of Moscow
or UI to own/manage some core businesses, staff them with volunteers
and/or student trainees and use the proceeds to fund civic projects.
      Regardless of our perceptions about the status of downtown, I
would recommend considering all of these things all of the time;
maintenance of downtown economic vitality is a job that will never be

            Mike Thomason: QUESTION #2 The Downtown
 Several years ago, I was involved in the Main Street program in
Pullman, and also with the Moscow Downtown Association. While both
organizations struggled at times, they did have a positive influence on
the respective downtowns by creating events that drew people downtown,

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Vision 2020 Questions for Moscow, Idaho City Council Candidates: 1999

through beautification projects and by creating joint marketing
opportunities. I think those opportunities still exist. The most
interesting downtowns that I visit include a variety of restaurants and
small specialty shops, which are mingled with service providers (legal,
medical, financial, etc.)

            Travis Tonn: QUESTION #2 The Downtown
 One of my strong points as a city council candidate is a sincere
willingness and desire to listen to the concerns of Moscow residents
and to hear their ideas for improving Moscow. I consider myself an
advocate of the free enterprise system and believe government can help
most by governing least, however, if local businesses feel there is
something that the city can do to help, I would be very receptive.

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Vision 2020 Questions for Moscow, Idaho City Council Candidates: 1999

3. EDC goals
 Moscow is a member and funder of the regional Economic Development
Council (EDC). What specific goals should the EDC pursue in the next
five years?

               Aaron Ament: Question #3 EDC goals
 The EDC should query area businesses to find out if their specific
needs are being met, and to identify support or compatible enterprises.
Use the information gathered to ensure that the needs of our current
employers are met. Encourage relocation of new, compatible businesses.
The EDC should work with the University of Idaho, Lewis-Clark State
College and Moscow High School to promote the availability of a trained
labor force.

               Steve Busch QUESTION #3 EDC goals
 I think the development of the south couplet highway project presents
the opportunity to unite downtown Moscow with the Sweet Avenue entrance
to the University of Idaho. I'd like to see the EDC put an effort into
this particular area of town.   Working to retain companies that
graduate from the Business Incubator should also be a priority of the
EDC. I do support the EDC and the fundamental goal of promoting the
economic vitality of the area.

               Mike Curley: QUESTION #3 EDC goals
 EDC has done an admirable job of developing the Alturas Business Park
and the Business Technology Incubator. Continuing the expansion of
those facilities and programs is, appropriately, one of the goals of
EDC. Other existing task force groups for workforce development, arts
and events, and economic diversification are indicative of the forward
thinking, planning, and implementation that EDC exhibits. I
particularly support the objectives of encouraging business development
that is environmentally friendly, provides high average wage and low
social infrastructure impact, and that utilize local agricultural and
forest products.
      Additionally, continuing to promote the arts and events that
attract tourists, recreational uses, and programs that stimulate the
economy and enhance our cultural quality of life will meet more than
just the economic needs of the City.
      I think the EDC operates on the assumption that not all projects
that are touted in the name of "economic development" are truly
beneficial to the City or our area. Growth for the sake of growth is
not a goal of EDC or of mine.   I certainly want to see EDC continue
its broad-based structure of City of Moscow, University of Idaho, Latah
County, and local business representatives.

               Jack Hill: Question #3 EDC goals
 I currently sit on the Board of the Moscow-Latah County Economic
Development Council (EDC). We are presently in the process of
redefining our relationship with the University of Idaho, City of
Moscow, Latah County, and our business partners. The EDC will work
with our partners in the following strategic areas: (a) Workforce
Development -- Assist business in developing and delivering cost

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Vision 2020 Questions for Moscow, Idaho City Council Candidates: 1999

effective, high quality training for its workforce. (I am the chair of
the task force working on this); (b) Economic Diversification --
Encourage development of businesses and industries that does not
require intense use of natural resources, is environmentally friendly,
utilizes intellectual property, pays living wages, and does not have a
large impact on social infrastructures; (c) Arts, Culture and Events -
- Work to link compelling themes (arts, science, youth, and economic
development) by establishing an arts and events council. Begin work on
an arts plan for greater Moscow; (d) Business Development -- Work with
the Idaho Research Foundation for more effective technology transfer.
Continue to support the Incubator and Alturas Phase II development.
Work with the city and county to investigate the possibilities of urban
renewal cooperative projects.

            Evan Holmes: QUESTION #3 EDC goals
   And now for something related to the downtown question; some ideas
for the Economic Development Council:
1) The agricultural backbone of this region supports the body of our
western heritage, our local culture and our economic diversity; it must
be preserved. The council's efforts should promote bioregionalism (e.g.
value-added wood products, expanding local markets for small producers,
etc.); niche marketing (e.g. organics, local specialties) and
sustainable water use plans.
2) Construction that rides on the coattails of economic expansion must
be spread over long periods of time in order to avoid the multiplier
effects that create miniature boom and bust cycles.
3) All current and potential businesses would benefit from an up-to-
date well managed economic and demographic database. Local and
regional. The council should develop/implement/oversee a plan for
insuring that census2000 statistics and those available from other
sources are coalesced into one easily accessed repository.
4) WSU and UI have ambitious enrollment expansion plans and are capable
of acting independently. All other local development efforts should
dovetail with the plans of these two significant economic engines.
5) Local economic fates are partially tied to the status of and plans
for various modes of regional transportation. The current and proposed
capacities of airports, rail lines, highways etc. must be part of any
economic equation. In Moscow, our goals or expectations can be severely
impacted by State of Idaho plans for Hwys 8 and 95. The EDC should help
insure that good and timely methods of information transfer are
available concerning transportation issues.

            Mike Thomason: QUESTION #3 EDC goals
 The Moscow Latah County Economic Development Council is a good example
of cooperation between the U of I, the City of Moscow, Latah County and
several other private businesses and individuals that choose to fund
the organization. There are several interesting things happening in
economic development circles in our area, including: the creation of a
Rural Development Coordinator at the county level and the expansion of
the U of I's incubator system. I think these changes give the MLCEDC
the opportunity to redefine its mission based on the needs of its
constituencies. The first specific action I would support is the
development and refinement of an operating agreement between the above-
mentioned entities. It's important that we focus on what we can do
well. Secondly, I think the Council needs to continue with its
workforce development initiative. The MLCEDC has been the catalyst of

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Vision 2020 Questions for Moscow, Idaho City Council Candidates: 1999

discussions between local businesses and education professionals.
Finally, I think it is most important for the EDC to play a role in
diversifying our economy and creating quality job opportunities for our
citizens. I think the university-incubator-technology park model is a
good one.

            Travis Tonn: QUESTION #3 EDC goals
 I would like to see more high-tech, high wage and environmentally
friendly businesses in our area. Moscow has an incredible
technologically adept labor pool with the University located here and I
believe that we should do what we can to attract businesses that would
best utilize that talent. Also, projects such as the U of I's
biodiesel development program have tremendous commercial value and the
EDC should look into promoting and developing a venture based on this
and other new and environmentally friendly technologies.

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Vision 2020 Questions for Moscow, Idaho City Council Candidates: 1999

4. Annexation
 Earlier this year the Moscow City Council narrowly approved the
annexation of 51 acres north of Morton Street for residential and
commercial development. If a similar proposal were to come before the
council during your term, what information would you require and what
conditions would you place on the development before your vote?

               Aaron Ament: Question #4 Annexation
     Required information:
1.    Community need for the proposed development
2.    Effect on existing neighborhoods
3.    Impact on city services
4.    Development in line with goals of the Moscow Comprehensive Plan

1. Compatible with the surrounding area
2. Minimal negative impact on existing neighborhoods
3. Route traffic into new developments from existing arterials and not
through residential areas
4. No strip malls at city entrances
5. Fees in lieu of parks or open space in new developments are

               Steve Busch QUESTION #4 Annexation
 It is very difficult to answer a question about a hypothetical
development. Each one is unique. In general, if I felt a development
met the requirements of our zoning code and comprehensive plan, I would
not oppose the project. I might ask that certain improvements be made
to improve traffic flow to minimize the impact on the existing
neighborhood. The process used by the City of Moscow to approve a new
subdivision provides a forum to discuss the legitimate concerns of all
parties. The system does not automatically make everyone happy but it
is logical and in the end it works.

               Mike Curley: QUESTION #4 Annexation
 I was the lone member of the Planning and Zoning Commission who voted
AGAINST the development plan. I voted for the annexation of the parcel
because it was completely surrounded by the city. I thought the
proposal strained sewer services in the area, that the cul-de-sac
street plans diverted traffic from the development to contiguous older
neighborhoods (much to their detriment), and that the number of
residences was too large for the parcel. I had additional concerns
about several issues including intensified storm water and snow runoff
on adjacent properties and the designation of part of the area for
business development--the location of which effectively precluded
creating a "through" street, thereby requiring traffic diversion into
existing "quiet" neighborhoods.
      While I think that the area was appropriate for some residential
use and, under appropriate conditions, partial business use, I did not
think the development as proposed to Planning and Zoning, or as
ultimately amended by City Council, was in the best interest of the

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Vision 2020 Questions for Moscow, Idaho City Council Candidates: 1999

community or the contiguous neighborhoods, and I would have voted
against it in its final form, as did 3 Council members.
      My considerations for such developments in the future, in
addition to consideration of the existing zoning, compliance with the
Comprehensive Plan, and existing City Code requirements, would be that
we have more data on the expected impact of the development on
neighboring uses; that we consider development plans that are
alternatives to those presented by the owner(s) and that may be more
compatible with neighboring uses; that streets within the development
connect with existing streets as much as reasonably possible so that we
avoid diverting traffic around the development and thereby
unnecessarily increase the traffic on streets outside the development,
and that more complete research be provided regarding sewer, water,
police and fire needs generated by the development.

            Jack Hill: Question #4 Annexation
 I am a proponent of smart growth. As I have said during my campaign,
managed growth should match local values. Many kinds of growth cost
more than the benefits they bring. As a city councilman, I would need
to carefully assess the proposals coming before us. The existing rules
and laws for development need to be followed without favoritism and
with consistency. I would want input from neighbors, city staff,
developers and the Planning and Zoning Committee. I would have to be
sure a development of the size stated in your question made sense for
the existing tax base. It must have access to a major arterial and
more than one public access. Traffic patterns must assure trucks are
not going through residential areas. There needs to be well thought
out transitions from motor business to residential areas.
         We must remember, new development requires water, police and
fire protection, schools, sewage treatment, garbage pickup, road
maintenance, etc. The new money development brings seldom covers the
new costs. I believe a fairly steady rate of growth at 1-2% per year
would be ideal for Moscow. Growth and change will happen. In fact, we
need it to stay vital as a community. It must be thoughtful. If
elected to the City Council, I will do my best to manage growth that
supports local values. I would work cooperatively with the County
Commissioners to establish a more defined plan for the area of impact.
We need to ensure all parts of our community have an opportunity to
take part in visualizing and planning for our community's future.

            Evan Holmes: QUESTION #4 Annexation
 Answers to the myriad development questions (when? who? how much?
where?) will expose the core of small city government intents and
processes. Often, this is where the lines are drawn, the stage is set,
and the mold is cast. Governments tend to adopt one of three stances on
development issues.
      The prevalent stance incorporates the unconscious assumption that
development generally produces the greatest good for the greatest
number. Those in decision-making positions will accept most proposals
for development unless it is shown without doubt that enough harm or
disservice will arise to undermine the "greatest good" supposition. The
primary burden to demonstrate potential harm is left to the affected
      Government can also assume the contrary position where
development is seen as a Trojan horse. The benefits to local long-range

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Vision 2020 Questions for Moscow, Idaho City Council Candidates: 1999

economics, the affects on the environment and potential changes to
valued social indicators are three prominent areas of concern. In this
case, the burden of demonstration shifts the other way. Furthermore, in
this paradigm there are two delineations of government - the split
occurs in how the government handles the burden of demonstration it has
placed on the developer. The more stringent case requires that the
proposed development be shown to enhance the three areas of concern or
at the very least, to have no adverse affects. In the second case, the
proposal may admit specific detriments to the three areas of concern
but may be allowed anyway if it includes adequate plans for mitigating
or offsetting those negative impacts.
       A weak and frustrating stance, yet frequently occurring, is a
government that jumps between the first two models. This can even be
done intentionally with a resultant claim of neutrality. This will
happen because our methods of governing often involve making decisions
after seeking input only from what is perceived to be the most affected
parties. These "parties" can change from time to time based on
political correctness, the squeakiest wheel doctrine, campaign and
election alliances or even mere happenstance.
      I believe a fourth method is possible and usually preferable. It
is probably the most difficult to achieve. It is based on conscientious
and fastidious neutrality. Each proposal is viewed through a variety of
lenses (environment, need, traffic, infrastructure, tax, et cetera).
The factors that determine the level of scrutiny associated with each
"lens" may change over time but the overall intent would be to avoid
missing "something". The biggest burden here is on the various
agencies, committees and boards to develop and implement a system that
involves proactive citizen and developer input.
       This discussion leads into what I feel is the "one great
question” of representational governing. In any governmental decision-
making scenario is it more correct to weigh primarily the interests of
(and seek input from) the smaller group of most directly affected
constituents or is it better to give more weight to the combined
interests of a larger group of peripherally affected constituents?
      I believe it is the job of an elected official to represent
everyone. I can more easily accept decisions that are shown to satisfy
the indirect interests of a demonstrably larger constituent base.

 As for the 51-acre development, I think there are some lenses under
which it wasn't carefully scrutinized. The "need" question quickly
arises but one part could be addressed with phased implementation. It
is doubtful that the cost/benefit equation, especially with
consideration of infrastructure, will achieve a timely balance. Both
"need" and "cost/benefit" analyses might suffer additional failure when
scrutinized in conjunction with one of the primary lenses I like to use
when looking at local residential development. What is the view through
that lens?
      Plans to increase enrollments at UI and WSU coupled with "golden
handshake" cost saving measures means there will be a lot of new
hiring. Attempts to attract business relocations and to assist startup
endeavors also point to new jobs in the area. A primary incentive for
"golden handshakes", business relocations and startups is the
relatively low starting salary ($22K to $30K annually) that can be paid
for competent professional workers. Standard mortgage calculations
indicate that a household with $35K after-tax income will qualify for a
$900 per month PITI payment (Principal, Interest, Tax, Insurance).
Assuming a thirty-year loan at 8.25% interest and provided there is a

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Vision 2020 Questions for Moscow, Idaho City Council Candidates: 1999

sufficient down payment, this household could purchase a home costing
about $110K. It is unlikely that the proposed new lots will be priced
cheap enough that new single-family homes can be offered at this price.
Thus this development proposal doesn't mesh well with local economic
trends or needs.

            Mike Thomason: QUESTION #4 Annexation
I would strongly consider the advice of the Planning and Zoning
Commission. I would also consider the needs of the community, the
impact the development would have on traffic, water and sewer
infrastructure, and how it fit with surrounding neighborhoods. I'm not
against development, in fact, I think it's healthy for a community to
grow to some degree. It's very important to plan well and scrutinize
development on the front end, because it's too expensive or sometimes
impossible to fix mistakes.

            Travis Tonn: QUESTION #4 Annexation
Before approving of any more developments and annexations to Moscow I
would have to have a detailed analysis of how much it would cost the
city in increased services and if the additional tax revenue would
support the increases. I would also have to hear from residents
impacted by the increased traffic and noise to get their input on how
their neighborhood would be affected. Moscow is growing and changing,
but we need to steer that growth and development in a direction that
preserves our small town atmosphere and the "quality of life" that
attracts people here.

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Vision 2020 Questions for Moscow, Idaho City Council Candidates: 1999

5. Quality of Life
 What aspects of Moscow's quality of life do you most enjoy?      How would
you enhance and protect those qualities?

            Aaron Ament: Question #5 Quality of life
 Moscow is a great place to live. Citizens are involved with the
business of our city. We sit on a task force, decide what kind of pool
we will have, financially support a skateboard park, buy a building and
set out to raise money to turn it into a community center.

This is a small city yet we enjoy music (everything from jazz to
country), theater, museums, art galleries and the Renaissance Fair.
Thanks to our university, we are a culturally diverse community. A
great variety of lectures are available along with a wide range of
sporting events. Personally, I most enjoy the visual comfort provided
by the surrounding hills and spending time with a good novel, but when
I'm ready to step out on the town I appreciate the multitude of
activities available.    As an individual I will continue to support
and participate in the activities I enjoy. As an elected official I
will encourage my fellow citizens to do the same.

            Steve Busch QUESTION #5 Quality of Life
 The Moscow community offers a very nice blend of activities. We have
outdoor activities, sporting events, cultural events, civic projects
and a myriad of others things that add up to a very special place to
live. The University of Idaho brings a wonderful diversity of people
and activities to our community. Our city is not crowded and we enjoy
open spaces. Crime is under control and we feel safe. As a city
council member I will do my part to make sure the budget does not get
out of control and at the same time support the things that make Moscow

            Mike Curley: QUESTION #5 Quality of Life
      High quality educational opportunities and choices provided for
our children: public, private, and parochial. By collaborating and
planning with education leaders, I believe the City can help preserve
and promote our educational institutions. Effectively maintaining and
applying our zoning ordinances and comprehensive plan helps preserve
our neighborhoods, thereby protecting our base of satisfied families
availing themselves of our schools.
      Fresh air, clean water, and outdoor activities are not often
available in large cities. While growth may be inevitable, managing
how and where we grow can help us maintain the core of our city while
remaining accessible to our outdoor resources.
      Moscow is a friendly place to be. People speak to one another,
don't worry a lot about locking the car doors, and frequently trust the
local businesses to make a delivery inside their front door when no one
is home. While the city and all of us inhabitants face inevitable
issues of change, how to maintain the beauty of what we have, and
developing a plan for "where we are going," encouraging and creating
collaborative groups to analyze issues from various perspectives helps
us to understand one another and find mutually acceptable solutions.
While working on the development of a new sign ordinance for Moscow,

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Vision 2020 Questions for Moscow, Idaho City Council Candidates: 1999

the Planning and Zoning Commission was addressed at a public hearing by
representatives of the Moscow business community who were unhappy with
some of the proposed terms of the ordinance. I sat on a sub-committee
of P&Z members who met and reasoned together with some of the business
representatives to hear and understand their complaints and proposed
solutions. In the end, we were able to develop an ordinance that
preserved the best interests of the community as a whole and avoided
undue hardship on our businesses' resources. Efforts to promote
understanding and avoid an "us v. them" conditions are important to
maintaining the local "atmosphere."

            Jack Hill: Question #5 Quality of Life
 I like the friendly people and the small town feeling of Moscow. I
like the intellectual stimulation two land grant universities provide.
I like the community atmosphere provided by our downtown and special
events (almost too numerous to mention).
         I would like to preserve what we have and work to enhance the
arts, parks and open spaces. I would like to work on downtown
vitality, a community center, increased recreational opportunities,
improved transportation, and expanded senior citizen programs. Quality
of life means different things to different people. What might be
considered a quality of life issue in Portland, may be different form
our point of view. As a community, we need to have continued and
planned discussions to shape our special quality of life.

            Evan Holmes: QUESTION #5 Quality of Life
 In response to what I enjoy about Moscow I offer some famous Moscow
1) It is a family-friendly place but could offer more activities and
venues for parents with young children during the occasional appearance
of wet and/or cold weather.
2) The presence of UI and WSU brings many cultural, sporting and
entertainment events that belie the population base, but student
spending habits favor quick, cheap and fast remedies to immediate needs
which disappear altogether during university downtimes.
3) The diminishing of extractive industries, the decreasing viability
of historic agricultural economics, the short term unpredictability of
university enrollment and the relative isolation from essential
transportation networks prevents boom and bust growth cycles, helps
insure good air and water quality, maintains the rural setting and
creates a pleasing mosaic of developed and undeveloped properties.
4) The lack of anonymity that helps keep Moscow crime free and insures
that one has plenty of recognizable people to greet on a stroll through
town also makes it difficult to govern without apparent conflicts of
interest or to keep most any sort of business from generating some
truly preposterous rumors.
5) There is a daily local newspaper that reports on local events that
after careful inspection and the passage of time don't seem
particularly newsworthy.
6) A plethora of pedestrian crosswalks combined with a handful of local
drivers who are either oblivious to or resentful of them insures that
street crossing maneuvers retain their aerobic content.
7) There are tremendous opportunities for global networking and motel-
free cross-country travel based on the number of intelligent, caring
people available at any time for immediate friendship but who, after a

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Vision 2020 Questions for Moscow, Idaho City Council Candidates: 1999

few years of not achieving tenure, or tiring of paying high rent for a
run down mobile home, or finding a job in their field, will finally
move away.
8) Daytime temperatures can change by 40 degrees or more anytime
during the year, which can dictate frequent wardrobe adjustments and
ultimately create rather mind-boggling fashion shows along any
pedestrian thoroughfare.
9) I’m hoping there is at least one more dichotomy that says occasional
irreverence won't get you blacklisted.

            Mike Thomason: QUESTION #5 Quality of Life
 Ask 50 people to define "quality of life" and you might get 50
different answers. I mentioned in my bio that I appreciated the
quality of life in Moscow as a teenager. I still enjoy the appearance
of the community, its trees, its parks and the U of I campus. I enjoy
its proximity to the rural areas around us. I enjoy the parades, plays,
concerts, exhibits and sporting events that entertain us almost any
time of year. I rest better knowing that my children are safe on the
streets and that we have some of the best medical, police and fire
services anywhere in the region. I enjoy the vast and diverse
educational opportunities afforded my children, and the recreational
activities that keep them busy and in good condition. Most of all, I
enjoy the friendliness of the people I know and work with in the
community. I think all these things make our community a great place
to live and we should all support them through donations of our money
and more importantly our time. I think city government can play a role
in some, but obviously not all these things. We need to continue our
support for police and fire services. We should continue to explore
opportunities to partner on the development of recreational facilities.
I think it would also be worth our time to investigate the creation of
a local community foundation, or work with the Idaho Community
Foundation to create an advised endowment fund specifically to fund
local projects. We also need to be aware that not all these things can
be funded through more taxes or higher service charges, because is
greatly affects the "quality of life" for some of our neighbors that
are on a budget.

            Travis Tonn: QUESTION #5 Quality of Life
I think the thing I appreciate most about Moscow is the low crime rate
and the feeling of safety in walking about at night. I also enjoy the
great service and treatment of local businesses. I know that if I'm
not happy about a product or service, I can bring it to the attention
of the manager and the problem will be worked out. You just don't find
that in many towns these days. Also, since Moscow is my hometown,
there are a lot of great memories of this place and am thankful to my
folks for raising me in such a great little town.
     I think the city should continue to support its police department
and look into more space for its cramped headquarters. I would also
like to work with Chief Weaver to improve retention in the department
and provide
him with the resources he needs to continue his efforts.     I would
also like to speak with business leaders to build a consensus on what
the city can do to make their job easier as creators of the economic
base here in Moscow. And I'm planning on giving my kids the precious
gift of growing up in such a wonderful town.

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Vision 2020 Questions for Moscow, Idaho City Council Candidates: 1999

6. Aquifer
Do you think that the depletion of our aquifer is a problem that needs
to be addressed now--or can we wait 5 or 10 years to confront it?
Moscow violates the Palouse Basin Aquifer Committee management plan by
excessive water usage. Is it important that Moscow be brought into
compliance with those water use goals?

             Aaron Ament: Question #6 Aquifer
 The depletion of our aquifer is definitely a problem that needs to be
addressed now. We must bring Moscow into compliance with voluntary
water use limits. The city can follow the University of Idaho's lead in
using recycled water to irrigate our community green spaces. We can
offer incentives to encourage homeowners to replace their lawns with
water-friendly landscaping. Citizens can be encouraged to use a broom,
not water, to clean their sidewalks and driveways. We can find a way
to minimize the waste caused by hydrant flushing. We can and must take
voluntary actions now to conserve water before a shortage forces us to
take drastic actions.

             Steve Busch QUESTION #6 Aquifer
 The possible depletion of our aquifer is certainly something to be
concerned about. Without an adequate water supply, progress stops. At
present, we need more information about our deep aquifer. All six
members of the Palouse Basin Aquifer Committee (PBAC) have committed to
a significant increase in funding for the next three years. This
increased funding will be used to do more research and hopefully give
us a better understanding of our situation. In the mean time, it
always pays to be efficient in the use of our precious natural
      Members of the PBAC have set a target growth rate for water usage
of 1% per year. In my opinion, the details of this growth rate target
are not clearly understood. For instance, Moscow pumps a significant
percentage of its water from the shallow "Wannapum" aquifer. This
aquifer is known to recharge itself. Was it the intention of the PBAC
to have the shallow recharging aquifer included in the 1%?   There are
other clarifications that need to be made. Recent tests of meters used
on Moscow's large pumping stations have shown the meters to be out of
calibration by a significant degree. If adjustments for the meter
errors are made, you can make a case that Moscow has met the 1% growth
recommendation. As a member of the City Council, I will be meeting
with the PBAC to discuss this very subject. I was the council liaison
to the PBAC in 1998.

             Mike Curley: QUESTION #6 Aquifer
 As Juliet McKenna's response to this question indicated (October 11,
Vision2020), this is a complicated issue, the conclusions on which
changes from time to time as new information is made available. One
would be hard pressed (or stupid?) to suggest that we defer attention
to our aquifer for 5 years or longer. It is important to the City and
to our neighbors in Latah County and surrounding areas that we
constantly monitor the condition, content, and quantity of our water
resources. Simply because we seem to have "plenty" at any given time,
or that we are not depleting our aquifer, is not a good reason to

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Vision 2020 Questions for Moscow, Idaho City Council Candidates: 1999

continue wasteful practices.   We have an obligation not just to
ourselves and our children to protect our water, but also to all future
generations--that we do nothing to endanger our ability to provide
water to our community. As Moscow participates in creation of water
use goals, its City Council should do everything it can to encourage
meeting and exceeding those goals.

            Jack Hill: Question #6 Aquifer
  Local aquifers and water use are important issues for residents of
the Palouse. I have talked to Dale Ralston, hydrologist at UI, and
Juliet McKenna, Palouse Basin Aquifer Committee, to understand better
the challenges of water use now and in the future.
         We do know water levels continue to decline in wells located
in the deep aquifer. We do not know yet if we are actually taking more
out than is coming in. There is currently a joint UI/WSU study that is
being funded by Whitman/Latah/Moscow/Pullman and UI/WSU. These six
entities form the Palouse Basin Aquifer Committee (PBAC). They are in
the process of updating their Groundwater Management Plan. According
to Juliet McKenna, each member entity of PBAC will need to reevaluate
how they will meet their water use limits, the costs associated with
the various options, and how these decisions will affect future growth
and development.
         The City of Moscow has just released a report of its water
use.   It will be discussed at the PBAC meeting on October 21st.
Although there is no reason to be overly alarmed, there is also no
reason to wait. If elected to the Council, I would want us to follow
our agreed upon water use as outlined in the revised Groundwater
Management Plan. I would also support a much more intense educational
program aimed at water conservation.

            Evan Holmes: QUESTION #6 Aquifer
 Information about the aquifer is incomplete but it is never too early
to practice and promote the maintenance of clean air, the conservation
of drinkable water and retention of arable land. It is because we can
still take drinking, breathing and eating for granted that we shouldn't
do so.

            Mike Thomason: QUESITON #6 Aquifer
 It's my understanding that we currently get our water from 2 separate
aquifers: the Wanapum Aquifer, which is fairly shallow and the Grande
Ronde Aquifer that is much deeper. While there is a recharge issue
related to the deeper aquifer, I'm told that the Wanapum recharges
quite well. Since the majority of our water comes from the deeper
aquifer, and since it recharges slowly, it is important that we be
cautious about added use of that source. We should continue to explore
opportunities to utilize reclaimed water for irrigation, and possibly
study the opportunity to use the Wanapum aquifer for industrial and
irrigation use. I recently read a report from the water department
that indicated that the flow meters on wells 2 and 8 were inaccurately
over-metering pumpage. The actual use from those wells is reported to
have been 44.2 million gallons less than previously thought.

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Vision 2020 Questions for Moscow, Idaho City Council Candidates: 1999

            Travis Tonn: QUESTION #6 Aquifer
  As an environmental science major and an avid outdoorsman, I can
appreciate the value of protecting our natural resources, and water is
one of the most important. Moscow is not too far over the targeted
pumping standards and should be able to be brought into compliance with
minimal changes. I definitely support doing what we can to preserve
our aquifers and think the city should gather sufficient data
concerning actual aquifer levels. There are many factors in
environmental issues and we need to proceed cautiously and with a clear
picture of what our situation is before taking any measures.

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