Marshall Comstock

(candidate for 2001 Mayor)

1.  How can the mayor and City Council better communicate information about issues facing city government to citizens? What specific strategies would you advocate to inform the public about pending decisions?
We should utilize all forms of public media including: local newspapers, public education government television channel, City of Moscow Web page, and Moscow Vision 2020.

What specific strategies would you advocate to inform the public about pending decisions?

Publish the minutes and agendas for upcoming committee and council meetings.

2.  Do you believe that public (taxpayer) money should be used for maintenance of the 1912 building?
Yes, I think that public (tax) money should be used for a portion of maintenance and operation of the 1912 Community Center. Because the city will have a presence and use the building for city programs and operations, we should be responsible for a percentage of the costs. The fees collected from the differing user groups will be used to offset the majority of the maintenance costs.

3.  Currently, much of the discussion of controversial items takes place at the city's two committees: Finance/Public Works and Administration. Do you favor televising these meetings over the city's public-access channel so the public can have greater insights into the council's decisions? Why or why not?
I do not favor televising public works/finance and administrative committee meetings. 1) The public audience will be extremely limited during meeting times, which usually occur in the late afternoon or early morning hours. 2) The cost of production would exceed the benefit derived. 3) Final decisions are not made at the committee level. Although discussion and development of a recommendation occur at these meetings, further discussion and final decisions are made by the full council at council meetings which are televised.

4.  How would you assess the success of the Alturas Technology Park in attracting new business to Moscow? Does the City Council have any role in trying to attract additional businesses to locate in the park?
I would assess the success of Alturas Technology Park as marginally successful at this point. The technology industry is in a slump at this time but I am optimistic for the future. I still believe the creation of Alturas was a good idea and as our economy strengthens, having a place for clean industry with higher paying jobs is important.

Does the City Council have any role in trying to attract additional businesses to locate in the park?

The city does have a role and is active through membership, partnership, and participation, in the Latah Economic Development Council.

5.  The depth of our aquifer continues to drop. Continuing land development increases water use from that aquifer. Have we studied this issue sufficiently? How can we address this problem?
Basically, only of the dept of the deep aquifer is dropping. The City of Moscow utilizes both the deep aquifer and the shallow aquifer for our water needs. The shallow aquifer recharges itself on a continual basis. The Palouse Basin Aquifer Committee, of which the City Of Moscow has many members, is currently studying the dynamics of both aquifers. This committee through their studies will be developing recommendations for long term solutions. We are actively involved in a program of water conservation education, including distribution of free water conservation devices. We should seek additional funding sources such as grants to be used towards further study. The City of Moscow will be funding additional programs through user fees in this years budget.

6.  Should Moscow continue to support economic development by focusing on increasing tourism to art-based events? Specifically, should the city continue its support of the Rendezvous in the Park concert series?
Yes the City of Moscow should continue to support economic development by supporting tourism, including art based events. The City should continue to support and be associated with Rendezvous in the Park at some level. It is one of our City goals to study and implement art as a function of economic development.

7.  Many city boards and commissions currently have vacancies. What strategy should the mayor use to attract more applications for these positions?
Currently the City advertises for vacancies on the public education government channel and on the city's web page. Other strategies that could be utilized may be to advertise periodically in the local newspapers, announce vacancies at public meetings, solicitation of new members from current members of the council and advisory committees.

8.  What process would you use for filling vacancies on the City Council, should any occur during the next four years?
The process I would use for filling a vacancy on the council would be to advertise and encourage public application, and to seek about and interview prospective candidates that have the same view points and philosophy as the elected council member that would be replaced.

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