(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
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
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
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
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