moscow.com presents:

Robert Stout

(candidate for 2005 Moscow City Council (4 year seat))

1. Moscowís police officers recently approached the city with a request to form a union. The city refused. Was that the right choice Ė why or why not? What should the city do now?
          
The Moscow Police voted unanimously to unionize. They felt this action was necessary because communication with City officials had broken down. The Police union should be recognized and negotiations with their representative should begin. This will reduce turnover, improve morale, and enable us to have a veteran police department. This issue is more than a labor issue. The turnover in our Police Department is very high and this costs the taxpayers money because of the upfront investment in the officers to train them properly. We should also begin talking with other City employees to ensure that they are satisfied with the communication between themselves and City leaders.

        
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.
          
Moscowís downtown is one of the most important aspects of Moscow. Our downtown defines who and what Moscow is. With that said we have a very divisive problem that has arisen with New Saint Andrews and other educational institutions in our downtown. I believe my stance is reasonable and practical. We should grandfather all the current educational institutions into the central business district and make each come before the City for a conditional use permit. This will allow us the opportunity to address many of the concerns that these entities bring to our downtown district (parking, expansion etc.). I do not believe that there should be any expansion of the already existing institutions and they should mitigate the parking concerns in some way. This issue reflects the need for strong leadership and creative, forward thinking so we can move on in our city. It also reflects the immediate need for a new Comprehensive Plan that addresses these and other planning issues.

        
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?
          
We should consider all of the above. All of these suggestions in the question are ways that we can begin protecting one of our most precious natural resources. If we donít begin to recognize this problem is serious, future generations will pay the price. I think education is important in the water issue, not just for our adult residents but also our children who need to realize they have a vested interest in conservation.

This issue needs to be at the forefront of our development plans and considerations. Itís very easy to talk about water conservation but we need to have serious deliberations in any decisions that might affect our water supply.

        
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 cityís approach to planning and maintaining our transportation needs?
          
I donít support the bridge over Paradise Creek. My biggest concern is the safety issue for our children at Lena Whitmore, bicyclists, and pedestrians. My daughter now attends Lena Whitmore and Iím concerned about the increased traffic. Iím also concerned about maintaining the integrity of this great historical neighborhood. This would have a drastic impact on East City Park and parking in this area. We need to reevaluate this proposal and look at a possible bicycle and pedestrian bridge over Paradise Creek to provide a safe passageway for these users.

This issue brings up my concerns with the Cityís approach to planning in a couple of different ways. One is the public input process; this issue has been contentious and shows we need to reevaluate how we receive and ask for public input in proposed developments and projects in our neighborhoods. If one person doesnít feel like they were a part of the political process thatís too many. We also need to have a plan for infrastructure (crosswalks, parking, and traffic lights) before we begin serious discussion on bridges and other projects. Planning, public input, and safety are of the utmost importance in this issue.

This issue also points to the need for the council to consider the impact on existing neighborhoods before it approves new residential development on the edge of town.

        
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 cityís approach to planning and maintaining city parks?
          
I have not supported the ball fields on Palouse River Drive because of the scale, the potential negative impacts on the UI Arboretum, and the aquifer water usage. The scale of this park is too big. It has a negative impact of the existing neighborhoods in the area and a beautiful landmark, the UI Arboretum. I think the project also should not be considered until we utilize the grey water resources that are available in that area.

Development of parks in the framework of the initial development plans should be considered. This is an important aspect of planned development. I have two children who participate in Parks and Recreation sports and I know we need more parks. We need to make the development of parks a high priority as the City works with developers in new subdivisions.

        
6. Please include biographical information about yourself and any other message or contact information you want to share with Moscow voters.
          
Born in Moscow in 1971, and raised on a family farm and ranch in Uniontown, WA, Bob Stout graduated from Colton High School in 1989. After attending community college for two years he married his high school sweetheart Sara Foust in 1991. After farming and ranching for five years his young family moved to Lewiston, ID where he worked as an insurance agent for Farm Bureau Insurance. He assisted many families, primarily farm families, with their estate planning and insurance needs. After being named Rookie of the Year and an All Star salesman with the company in 1996 he moved to Coeur dí Alene, ID where he continued in the insurance and real estate business. After the death of his father he returned to Uniontown in 2000, where he continued to be involved in agriculture.

After being reminded about the struggles that a small family farm life brings, he moved to Moscow, ID in 2001 to complete his Bachelorís degree. In 2004 he completed a Masterís of Arts in Anthropology. His graduate research entitled Lessons From Salmon is an ethnographic project detailing the development of the Nez Perce Tribal Fisheries Department. While a student he was President of the University of Idaho Young Democrats and served as Campaign Manager for Idaho Rep. Shirley Ringoís successful 2004 re-election campaign.

In 2004 he took a position as Assistant Director of New Student Services with the University of Idaho. In 2005 the opportunity arose to complete his Masterís in Public Administration under a generous teaching assistantship which enabled him to teach Political Science. At this time he resigned from his position from New Student Services.

Bobís community involvement is impressive. He is serving on the Board of Directors of the Moscow Civic Association and the Latah Economic Development Council. He also serves on the Moscow Human Rights Commission. Through this community involvement, he and his family have grown to love Moscow and consider it their home.

His spouse, Sara is an academic advisor for the University of Idaho. Their children are Dylan, age 12, Emily, age 8, and Elizabeth, age 3. His school age children attend Moscow Public Schools.

        
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