Anthony Georger

(candidate for 2005 Moscow City Council (4 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 be allowed to unionize. Idaho is a Right to Work state, so any city officers who wished to remain outside of a police union would have the right to do so.

Typically a request from workers to unionize is symptomatic of either an unfair working environment or a broken down relationship between workers and administrators. I am concerned that the police department request to unionize is a signal that wider problems exist in the relationship between our city police and our city government.

The city should investigate the root cause of the request to unionize. Are we providing adequate pay and benefits for our officers? Are we providing them the resources necessary to accomplish their task? Has the city provided enough direction for the force so that we can work together as a community to solve our law enforcement problems and keep our neighborhoods safe? The city needs to answer these questions now in order to move forward on this issue.

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.
The city needs to carefully guard the integrity of our central business district. Our city must enforce our zoning codes accurately in order to protect the character of historical buildings and businesses and in order to guide future growth. In recent years, mistakes have been made in the interpretation and enforcement of our zoning code. Private and public schools have been allowed to open up in areas previously granted special zoning protection as part of our central business district or in areas around Moscow intentionally zoned for commercial activity.

However, schools such as New St. Andrews College and the Moscow Alternative High School should be allowed to remain in place at their present locations. Our zoning code should be amended to acknowledge past mistakes in zoning enforcement. It would be wrongful, if not illegal, for the city to attempt to remove these schools now that they have been allowed to open. I am against any future conditional use permits for schools in the central business district of Moscow, with the possible exception of Moscow High School, if a concession was ever necessary.

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?
As our primary employer and as a preeminent state institution, the University of Idaho has a duty to take a strong stand for water conservation. Any comprehensive water use policy aimed at sustaining our aquifer must demand action and concessions from the university to meet and exceed water limitations asked of Moscow residents. We share a common aquifer, and we must all act together to sustain this valuable resource.

I would be in favor of a stronger tiered structure in water billing within the city of Moscow, as well as the use of treated effluent water for irrigation in city parks – if such a method is financially feasible. However, our least expensive method of water conservation within the Moscow community comes from encouraging conservation by all of our residents. The city can model water conservation by example. We should never water city parks, except between the hours of midnight and 6am when there is minimal evaporation. Whenever financially feasible or possible we should install low-flow toilets in city parks and buildings and encourage the use of timed automatic sprinkler systems to monitor and guard against overuse of water on all city property.

Instead of limiting building permits, Moscow should carefully seek out and invite clean industries to our area. We need to enhance our local economy with employers that reflect our values and respect our environment. We should never sell ourselves short to resource industries that seek to waste our precious resources or to businesses or developments that do not return more to our community tax base than they would demand from city coffers.

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?
I am not in favor of a motor vehicle bridge at Third Street and Paradise Creek. Beyond East City Park, Third Street is not designed to be a collector road. If a connection were made from Third Street through to Mountain View Road, too many cars would funnel through a dense residential neighborhood east of East City Park that is ill-prepared for such traffic. If a bridge were built over Paradise Creek, I could foresee Third Street becoming as heavily trafficked as Third Street currently is from Line Street to Jackson Street on the west side of town. That should never be allowed to happen to the East Side of Moscow.

I would support a bicycle/pedestrian bridge at Third Street if it is financially feasible. I support the city's development of the Paradise Trail and I would support an extension of bike lanes north/south on Mountain View road, along with set back side walks to encourage pedestrian traffic.

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?
I am in favor of the city ballfields on Palouse River Drive. I believe that an investment in these ballfields is truly an investment in Moscow's children and in our collective future. In developing these ballfields, we would be giving our children more opportunities for recreation while in the process discouraging bad habits of drug and alcohol abuse that are horribly common traits in small cities everywhere. Moreover, sports needs in our city have simply overrun our current capacity to host games and practices. Our available city park space is nearly overwhelmed. I am in favor of setting a quota on new development for park space at a rate of one acre of parks per 35 acres of development.

Moscow should work closely with the University of Idaho to develop a comprehensive volunteer policy to augment our city parks and recreation staff. Plenty of University of Idaho students seek out opportunities to volunteer and aid their local community. The city should capitalize on this amazing resource of several hundred, ready and able volunteers to help us maintain our parks and to develop and build new city parks and reserves.

6. Please include biographical information about yourself and any other message or contact information you want to share with Moscow voters.
As a small business owner, community volunteer, city employee and lobbyist on behalf of the students of the University of Idaho over the past several years, I have had the privilege of participating in the Moscow community from many different angles. As a university student, I enjoyed a safe academic community that was geared towards encouraging success. As a community volunteer, I planted trees at a city charter school and encouraged the development of local community events such as Alive After Five that I look forward to following through. As the Farmer's Market Coordinator for the past three seasons, I have had the opportunity to meet thousands of local citizens, listen to their needs and help solve problems through my participation in the city fee setting process. Finally, as the co-owner of Moxie Java, I have the opportunity to interact with 200+ Moscow citizens daily, to hear their needs and now, hopefully, to help build solutions.

Moscow is a special place to live. The slogan of the University of Idaho is "You can go anywhere from here." But after five years in Moscow, I realized there were few places I would rather live than here. Rarely in the United States today will you find an environment so pristine, a community with such solid values, a town so committed to the safety and well-being of its citizens. Moscow is still a place where our children can go to quality schools and where the local news stories are usually still uplifting. Moscow is still a place where neighbors are friends, and where local citizens participate in the creation of our future.

Moscow is unique. However, that uniqueness is challenged by many threats, internal and external. Moscow's economy must grow in order to sustain a future for our children. That growth must be planned, reasoned, environmentally and financially responsible. As the rest of the state grows, Moscow must keep up in order to maintain its importance, not just as a university town, but as a major city within our state. However, we need to keep up in a way that does not sacrifice the core of this community.

This is the challenge set before Moscow – how do we carefully maintain our unique community in the face of growth and economic pressures? How do we accommodate all of our citizens, from those with children that need us to invest in ballfields and parks, to those citizens on fixed incomes who need property tax relief? How can we strike the best possible balance to accommodate all the citizens in this community? If elected to Moscow City Council, these are challenges I look forward to solving.

If you are interested in helping my campaign for change in Moscow, please contact me at:

Tony Georger for Moscow City Council
317 W. 6th St., Ste. 102
Moscow, ID 83843

(208) 892-9010

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