Donald Meyer

(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?
According to the information I have, the City did not refuse to let the Police Department unionize. They invited the Department to sit down and discuss their issues - this has yet to happen. The City is open to discussion with the Police Department and this is as it should be. There should always be open dialogue between the Department and the City.

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.
We should never turn away business opportunities for the downtown area regardless of it being a school or some other business.

At the time New St. Andrews and the new high school were approved to move into their present locations, Joel Plaskon interpreted the code to read having a school in that location was allowable. Some of our citizens don't see it that way. It looks like this situation is headed for a legal solution. Until there is a legal answer it would be hard for us to make a determination on allowing any new school downtown. Personally, I would not be in favor of allowing any new schools downtown until the code interpretation has been resolved. But I also think that because New St. Andrews has invested time and money in their building a way should be found so that they can stay at their location.

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?
The city of Moscow definitely needs to consider setting up a system to use effluent or gray water for irrigation. There are different methods to accomplish this such as ponds or storage tanks on new city park developments. We need to choose a method by which we can save water and also make it be economically feasible.

Water conservation designs in new structures could also be helpful and may be more cost effective than other options. At this time the City is considering limiting permits on some commercial building. This should not be a long term solution. We need new business and the tax revenue and jobs it provides.

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?
There are advantages to having a bridge on Third Street. If we were to proceed, the best option could be a traffic bridge with the incorporation of a pedestrian and bicycle path. This bridge is needed because of the increased traffic flow from the current and new subdivisions across Mt. View. This area seems to be the City's current major expansion area. We also need to look at the traffic impact to local neighborhoods along Third Street.

There are many issues to consider and study before any decision is made. We need more public input. My mind is still open on the issue and when I do make a decision it will be based on solid information and what I consider to be the best decision for our citizens and the City.

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 have been to many of the City council meetings where this issue was discussed. I am in favor of the city ballparks. They will be designed as a place for more of our children to play and participate in baseball and other field sports. I know there is a faction of our citizens that feel these ball fields will be detriment to the UI Arboretum as well as the traffic and noise issues. While I respect their concerns, I feel enough care has been taken in the initial planning stages that their concerns can be put to rest.

For instance, they believe the lights will be too bright and annoying. The design calls for the lighting to only illuminate the fields and not spread over into other areas or neighborhoods. As for the noise issues, the concern is primarily because of the PA system. There are many ways to mute the sound such as site berms or adding more trees to the design along Palouse Drive and other areas bordering the neighborhood. I also believe fences with slating material would help with the noise and light issues. The design can always be changed to be friendly to the neighbors. Nothing is in stone until the final design is approved and we have heard public testimony and have answered questions and put the citizens fears to rest.

I don't think I would be in favor of making parks in subdivisions or dedicated parkland mandatory to the process of subdivision development. Much of these types of areas would be located in flood planes or other low lying areas. Many developers, if offered incentives to do so, would incorporate parks in their design on their own volition to make it more family friendly. But we do need to study the issue and see if it is plausible. As far as planning and maintaining parks. I hope we never say we can't improve the process and find new and improved ways to accomplish the job.

6. Please include biographical information about yourself and any other message or contact information you want to share with Moscow voters.
I am 56 years old and grew up in Colton, WA where my family has farmed for over 100 years. They also have farmed in the Moscow area for over 40 years. I am a professional truck driver and I currently work for Motley and Motley.

I have been married to my wife, the former Joanne Bentz of Dayton, Ohio for 25 years. We moved back to Moscow in 1989. Joanne is a 15 yr. employee of the University of Idaho and is President of the Ladies Auxiliary VFW Hawley-Jameson Post 2905 and Sr. Vice President for the Ladies Auxiliary VFW Department of Idaho. My daughter Charmagne is a 14 yr. veteran of the U.S. Air Force and her husband Michael Belvin is a 17 yr. veteran of the U.S. Air Force.

I am a Vietnam Veteran and have been Commander of Hawley-Jameson VFW Post 2905 for 10 years. I have coordinated the 4th of July Parade in Moscow and promoted VFW scholarship programs in the Moscow school system. I also represented the VFW for 5 years on the Committee for the Idaho Veterans Cemetery which was built in Eagle, ID and was dedicated in July 2004. I am currently State Judge Advocate for the VFW Department of Idaho.

If elected, I will work to see that the City of Moscow continues to grow and prosper. As your City Council representative, I will always be available to listen to what the citizens of Moscow have to say on the issues. They will be treated respectfully and their concerns on any issue considered by me in my decision making process. We may not always agree but we can hear each other out. I will make my decisions fairly and impartially, taking into account any cost or legal issues and when I have reviewed all the facts, I will base my decisions on what I think is in the best interest for the betterment of Moscow. I hope we can move Moscow in a direction that we will always be proud to call Moscow, Idaho our home.

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