Aaron Ament

(candidate for 2005 Moscow City Council (2 year seat))

1. Moscow’s police officers recently approached the city with a request to form a union. The city refused. Was that the right choice – why or why not? What should the city do now?
Moscow police officers should have the right to form a union. I believe a police union will help our town retain a professional police force committed to the safety of all our residents. The city should recognize the local police union.

2. Which schools, if any, (K-12, colleges/universities, commercial schools) should Moscow's zoning code allow downtown in the central business district, and under what conditions, if any? Explain why.
City Code states that the Central Business District is a place for retail; professional; personal service businesses and public gathering places [eating and drinking establishments]. Commercial schools are the only ‘schools’ allowed in the Central Business District. They are allowed there by virtue of their retail component, which makes their operation consistent with the intent of zoning code in the district. Rather than relax the code to allow all schools, commercial schools should be required to have a conditional use permit. That way only those commercial schools [such as the hairdressing and massage schools] that have a retail component, will be permitted. Moscow’s downtown is flourishing at present and more, not less, available commercial space will allow this happy circumstance to continue.

3. Please list the changes in city regulations or policy, if any, that you favor to lessen the depletion of our aquifer: for example, a stronger tiered rate structure, required use of treated effluent water for irrigation in parks, required installation of water-conserving designs in new structures, limitations on building permits, or any other changes?
Conservation. Conservation. Conservation.

We must all use water wisely and fortunately technology exists that can help water users at all levels use water efficiently. The city should encourage the use of water conservation devises through a regular and meaningful public information program.

Domestic water use accounts for the majority of the water used in Moscow so that is where most of the savings must come from. Those changes will come from a combination of change of habits, more efficient fixtures and appliances and out door watering systems that apply only the necessary water at optimum times. The city must enforce these savings with a tiered rate schedule that rewards those willing to conserve this shared resource and places the cost burden on those that do not. This rate structure and all other policies used to stop the draining of our deep aquifer will have to be adjusted each year until our goal is reached. That goal must be a level of use that insures the protection of our water resources. Commercial, industrial and institutional users of water must also share the burden of conserving our water. The technology is available and business must be encouraged to make use of it.

There will be a cost involved with reigning in water use in Moscow. That cost will be far less than finding a replacement for the water we need to live our lives here on the Palouse.

4. Should a bridge be built over Paradise Creek to connect Third Street between Hayes and Mountainview Road? If no, why not? If yes, should that bridge be built for use only by bicycles and pedestrians or should the bridge be designed for motor vehicles? Are there ways to improve the city’s approach to planning and maintaining our transportation needs?
The only bridge connecting Third Street to Mountain View would carry pedestrians and bicycles, not motor vehicles. This bridge would signal Moscow’s commitment to alternative forms of travel. The gentle grade of Third Street makes it the ideal east/west bicycle and pedestrian route for our city.

If the proposed motor vehicle bridge were to perform as promised it would:

1.} Increase traffic on Third between Washington and Jackson; intersections at best barely able to handle present traffic.

2.} Increase traffic past Moscow Senior High School, East City Park and Lena Whitmore [less than a block off Third], thus increasing the danger to students and all who enjoy Moscow’s premier park.

3.} Destroy the “Quality of Life” for those directly affected and signal to other neighborhoods that there is no protection for them, either.

Transportation needs must be considered as development occurs and not “some time in the future” as it seems is so often the case.

We need to be sure to provide a safe environment for our kids, not place undue burdens on our central business district and protect the livability of our neighborhoods.

5. What are your views about the proposed city ballfields on Palouse River Drive? To ensure that neighborhood parks are created in new subdivisions, should development of dedicated parkland there occur simultaneously with the initial development of the subdivision? Are there ways to improve the city’s approach to planning and maintaining city parks?
Our kids need ball fields, non-sports recreational opportunities, and maybe an upgrade or two at our youth designed skate board park. I could support ball fields adjacent to the Frontier addition, but they must be designed to fit the neighborhood they are built in. They must also suit the times they are built in.

As proposed, the sports complex adjacent to the Frontier Addition fits neither the neighborhood nor the times. The proposed lights, sound system and amenities do not enhance the livability of the neighborhood. The lights as well as dependence on people driving great distances to make the project a financial success do not fit a future when less, not more, energy consumption will be demanded of us all. Sports played in the sunshine filled my youth. There is plenty of sunshine available during the seasons these fields will be most in use.

As it now stands the developer, not Parks and Recreation, decides whether to provide land or money to satisfy park requirements. Parks and Recreation needs to have that choice, not the developer. That way Parks and Rec can use land when the amount is sufficient, and gather monies from selected projects when that is appropriate.

6. Please include biographical information about yourself and any other message or contact information you want to share with Moscow voters.
My name is Aaron Ament. My wife Cindylou and I have lived in Moscow for eighteen years, and raised our family here. The Palouse has been my home for most of the past thirty-nine years. I have worked as a carpenter and for Moscow Building Supply and Paradise Farm. It is my intention to spend the rest of my life here. I have been a community leader and hope to become a leader on your Moscow City Council.

You may reach me via e-mail at:

Check out the Ament for Council web site at:

Or write to:
Ament for Council
523 Veatch
Moscow, Idaho 83843

Thank you,
Aaron Ament

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