About Town – One Month in the Life

This week’s column concerns my activities as Mayor for the month of October. This will give my readers a brief idea of what I do as your mayor. Each month is different while some months have more or fewer activities. I meet with Chief Erickson, police department, and Ken Steinhaus, public works supervisor, several times a week, not because I want them to but because they want to keep me informed as to what is happening in their area of expertise.

On October 1, I attended a Basic Airport Training Workshop in McCall. I was unable to attend an earlier meeting in Nampa because of a conflict in dates. This meeting helped me understand the needs of our own airport, the opportunities for upgrades, and gave me names of individuals I could call when questions arose. As I knew little about our airport, this workshop gave me a much better grasp of the knowledge I needed to understand the needs and opportunities for our facility.

October 9 was the evening meeting of our Rural Fire and EMS board meeting at the Parma Firehouse, referred to as Station 1. For your information, Station 2 is located at Nuhems on Anderson Corner Road. I have attended the last several, not because I have anything to offer, but I believe it is important to understand other jurisdictions. All of us pay taxes to support the Rural Fire and EMS so it is important to understand what they do.

On Friday, October 10, the city clerk, police chief and myself attended the Public Risk Management Association (PRIMA) conference in Boise. This conference gave us information regarding claims and lawsuits, public records, open meetings, spending public dollars, and several other meaningful topics.

Monday, October 13 was the first of two evening city council meetings. Reports were heard from the police chief and our city engineer regarding proposed developments. Tuesday saw me working in the kitchen to serve the Lion’s Club their noon meal. I began volunteering as a helper with the women’s group who cooks meals when I moved back to Parma after my retirement in 2008. I have continued to assist that group since then. Wednesday, I attended an elementary school staff meeting to encourage the teachers to take the opportunity to visit city hall and city council chambers. I have also made myself available at the middle school and high school for talks about city government. Thursday, I attended an Idaho Power sponsored Economic Development Forum in Ontario. I learned much I will be using as Parma begins the process of developing its own economic development association in the coming months.

Tuesday, Oct 21, I hosted the lunch meeting of the Western Alliance of Economic Development at Peg Leg Bistro. The city pays annual dues to this group. I am the vice-chairman and ran the meeting this time in the absence of the Chairman. On Wednesday I attended a meeting in Meridian to get a better idea of the workings of Community Planning Association (COMPASS), so to understand the impact this group may have on the city and surrounding area. I also met with officials from Valley Regional Transit for the same reason.

On Friday the 24th, I visited with the city engineer to discuss long range planning for both storm water and waste water upgrades and what will be needed in the next three years to meet new more restrictive waste water requirements. We also made arrangements to develop pans for a pedestrian bridge over the drain at the Idaho Power Park along Valley Road and Walker Road.

October 27 was the second of two monthly city council meetings. The council approved a surplus property resolution so that we can remove an old police car from service and remove from inventory all of the old signs that are currently being replaced through out town. The council also approved renewing the contract for our auditors. The council heard, in executive session, an update from our attorney regarding the pending litigation.

On October 28 and 29, Public works director Ken Steinhaus and I traveled to Boise to view Idaho Transportation Department surplus equipment and to make a bid on a surplus air compressor. Unfortunately, we were unable to acquire it and will have to rent a compressor to blow out sprinkler lines in all of the parks.

October was a busy month as I continue to learn and understand all the things that make a city move smoothly through time. If you have questions, please call me at 722-5138 or email me at nleigh@parmacityhall.net.